Cookbook Profile

American Home Cooking

By Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison

American Home Cooking  
"The Jamison's authoritatively articulate the pastiche of multicultural influences that characterize American regional cuisine, enabling readers to rediscover national (and regional) culinary treasures."

... Publishers Weekly, starred review

Whether it's a coast-to-coast favorite, like Thanksgiving turkey with sage dressing, or a local specialty simmering with ethnic flavor, dishes lovingly served up at home not only delight the taste buds, but reflect the distinctive spirit of America. Cheryl and Bill Jamison, preeminent authorities on regional cuisine and best selling authors with two James Beard Awards to their credit, now invite cooks across the country to savor 400 years of classic American food. Emphasizing the pleasure of cooking and eating with family, friends, and neighbors, American Home Cooking: 400 Spirited Recipes Celebrating Our Rich Traditions of Home is the ultimate tribute to our nation's culinary heritage.

"Over four centuries of adaptation to a new land, immigrant Americans, with the help of Native Americans, have gradually evolved their own distinctive traditions of home cooking, a style as robust and earthy and compelling as any that preceded it on another shore," the Jamisons contend. "The still-developing tradition incorporates different influences from around the globe--an inevitable result of our history--but it's also shaped by our soil, by the natural abundance of the waters, woods, and plains, by the interactions of multiple cultures, and most important, by the practicality and inventiveness of generations of cooks coping with a New World."

American Home Cooking begins with a concise overview of the forces that have shaped the nation's eating, from the enduring influence of early British, French, African, Mexican, and Native American cooks to the far-reaching impact of nutritional science, technology, and marketing. The Jamisons then present the "truest and tastiest" renditions of the country's best dishes. Cooks will find comfort food standards, such as grits, meatloaf, macaroni and cheese, and fudgy brownies, as well as modern classics with an ethnic kick, including variations on cioppino, enchiladas, jambalaya, and chop suey.

Each recipe stresses ease of preparation and fresh ingredients--without sacrificing a morsel of traditional flavor or charm. To sweeten the pot, the Jamisons heap on generous helpings of cultural and historical background. Throughout, the book is peppered with choice trivia tidbits, sidebars on memorable culinary figures--including Betty Crocker, and lively anecdotes capturing the ingenuity of the cooks who have nourished America from its founding to the eve of a new millennium. Chapters showcase:

America's passion for that famed British Earl's idea for a portable lunch of meat between bread--complete with all the fixings for the Iowa Skinny, the Louisville Benedictine, the Miles Standish, the Dagwood, and other stellar sandwiches.

The pig's starring role in kitchens nationwide, with recipes for spicy Southwestern stews, Pennsylvania Dutch-style loin roasts for company, Virginia baked ham, and a favorite with Midwestern farm-hands, Onion-Smothered Pork Chops.

The striking abundance of grain and vegetable specialties savored by a nation of "meat-and-potato" eaters, with dishes from Stewed Cabbage to Texas Caviar, from Maque Choux to Spiced Acorn Squash, from Red Beans and Rice to Pasta Primavera.

Home cooks will from Maine to Texas will also delight in winning turns with beef, poultry, seafood, and game; the secrets to conserves and other home-crafted treasures; decadent desserts passed down for generations; and classic libations, from Sassafras Tea to the Dry Martini. American Home Cooking is a delicious culinary cornucopia.

Buy the Book!


American Home Cooking
400 Spirited Recipes Celebrating
Our Rich Traditions of Home Cooking

By Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison
Published by Broadway Books; October 1999
Hardback, $30.00, 544 pages
ISBN: 0-7679-0201-7
Information provided by the publisher.


American Home Cooking



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This page created December 1999