Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Quilter's Kitchen-Jennifer Chiaverini

The Quilter's Kitchen
Jennifer Chiaverini
Simon and Schuster, Oct 2008, $19.95
ISBN: 9781410408198

Anna Del Maso has two passions: quilting and cooking. She has been able to combine her loves by creating quilts involving food. Now she receives what she deems a great honor; she has been selected as the head chef of the Elm Creek Quilts retreat at Elm Creek Manor in Waterford, Pennsylvania.

Anna is a purist when it comes to food and wants to continue what her predecessors started going back to 1858. On the other hand, Master Quilter Sylvia Bergstrom Compson encourages her to explore the dining heritage but to also update the kitchen last renovated before WWII. Anna delights with exploring the current kitchen and making plans to modernize it yet keeps its historical flavor. She knows she must be finished by the start of the next camp season. With Sylvia at her side, they begin the renewal even as the Master Quilter tells her head chef tales associated with every nook and cranny in the kitchen.

Obviously for fans of the series, THE QUILTER’S KITCHEN is an entertaining spin as the food, recipes, and kitchenware lead to the flashbacks rather than the usual quilting. The combo of Sylvia and Anna make for a fun tale filled with vignettes and related recipes including the return of fan favorites from previous Elm Creek novels starting with apple strudel as even tradition can be modernized and renovated with success as long as what makes the heritage sacred to some (in this case the recipes) is maintained.

Harriet Klausner

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