Victuals: A Book Review

Usually when I open a cookbook I skim through, look at the pictures (I know!) and then choose based on pictures and apparent ease and cost of recipe, what I am going to cook. I then turn down the corner of those pages and slowly over time I make most, if not all of those recipes.

I tried to have that approach with Victuals but the writing drew me in more than most of the recipes. My husband and I ended up reading vast sections out loud to each other, the writing was so entertaining, engaging, and informative. Frankly it felt a bit like traveling to Appalachia but not as a tourist, but rather visiting a local friend. Which makes sense based on the subtitle: An Appalachian Journey With Recipes.

If I had to just one section to read again it would be a hard fight between the Introduction, Roots and Seeds, and Preserving.

The few recipes we made from the book were very good. We stuck mostly to the Apple-achia section of the book as our four apple trees were overwhelming us at the same time Victuals arrived on our doorstep.

The apple butter was particularly good and easy to make, and a large amount of apples (thank goodness).

I don’t know why the recipes didn’t engage me more. The pictures are very appealing and I am sure we will make more in the future, but after reading all the non recipe sections of the book (a good 1/2 of the book itself) only a few pages are dog eared. I think part of it is that I have never eaten very much of this kind of food before so I don’t know what to expect in terms of finished product.

Even when it comes to apple butter, I had only had it once before hand, so it took us a while to get in the habit of using it, even though it was very good.

I am planning to make my mother The Shack’s Sweet & Savory Banana Pudding and I am rather excited about trying it myself. I am sure I will make more of the recipes over time, but even if I don’t, I learned so much from this book already, and I enjoyed every minute I spent reading it.

I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.

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