Member Reviews

A beautiful book that honors the history of the region, and the way that food nourishes both the body and the soul.
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This book is absolutely beautiful and endlessly creative. The photos are evocative and the menus transport you to the author's world. This isn't really weeknight food, but if you are looking for new an interesting ways to use some exciting ingredients as well as ideas of how to pair dishes, you will love it. You will also love it if you just want to flip through and be transported to the mountains through the photography and writing.
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I’m giving this lovely cookbook two separate ratings. The official rating of three stars, or “it’s just fine/ I mostly liked it” is an aggregate of the two.

As a coffee table book, Smoke, Roots, Mountain, Harvest gets 5 stars. It is spectacularly beautiful, full of gorgeous photographs, charming stories, and interesting recipes. It’s terrific for paging through at random and admiring it.

As a cookbook, it gets 2 stars. It is full of interesting recipes. Aka roasted grapes with sausage and leeks on white pizza. Grapefruit and vanilla french toast souffle. cornbread with grapes and jalapenos. Harvest spinach salad with chocolate. Blue cheese and walnut short bread. The recipes are fascinating, but hold zero appeal for me. They are complicated and have some expensive and/or obscure ingredients, which, since these recipes are only inspired by Appalachian culture, not faithful to it, can range from the difficult to obtain Appalachian locals ingredients, like ramps, to items much further afield, like saffron. Maybe they’re all terrific, delicious dishes, but I don’t feel like jumping through hoops to obtain the ingredients just to test that theory. (Also, if you have a need for keeping gluten and/or animal products out of your diet, these recipes won’t be much more helpful for you than they were for me. So much gluten and meat and dairy and eggs.)

So now that I’ve read and enjoyed the book, I’ll return it and keep an eye out elsewhere for recipes I can actually use. Thank you, #Netgalley, for letting me read an advanced copy for free in exchange for my honest opinion.
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I enjoyed reading this book.  The book is part Memoir and part cookbook. The book is organized by season. Each season opens up with the author's memories of growing up in Appalachia and folklore. Seasonal recipes follow. The recipes use a lot of seasonal ingredients and vary from simple to more complicated.  The photographs that accompany the text and recipes give you a wonderful feeling of place. This is a book you will enjoy reading and cooking from.  Enjoy
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I'm always on the lookout for new and unique cookbooks and when I saw this one available for reviewing, I knew it was something I needed to get my hands on. 

So first off, the cover on this book is just gorgeous. It is bright and eye-catching, and I have never seen apples like that before! The book itself is divided into the following chapters...

-- Introduction
-- How to Use This Book
-- Larder & Kitchen Tools
-- Good to Know
-- A Quick Wine Pairing Guide
-- Fall (Ghost Stories, Far from the Tree, Forest Walk, The Homeplace, Noble Rot)
-- Winter (The Wilderness Road, Nora’s Kitchen, Apothecary, Evergreen, Moonshine)
-- Spring (Country Roads, Sun Shower, The Friday Night Jamboree, Kentucky Rain)
-- Summer (Riverbend, Bourbon Country, Strawberries & Summertime, Harvest & Honey, The Sweetest Winds)

This cookbook was well laid out. The recipes easy to follow. It was full of gorgeous photos, quotes, and stories. Which I would have loved to have shown you, but they covered my review copy in an insane amount of "copyright" graphics which frankly made it hard to read. 

Here are just a few of the yummy sounding recipes you will find within...

-- Fire-Roasted Stuffed Pumpkins
-- S’mores, from Scratch
-- Earthquake Bread
-- “Persinnamon“ Crisps
-- Curried Bean & Corn bread Soup
-- Buttermilk & Herb-Fried Chicken with Hot Honey
-- Blackberry Cobbler
-- Simple Pizza Dough
-- Chicken in Milk
-- Roasted Red Cabbage Wedges
-- Winter Glow Elixir
-- Winter-Spiced Morning Rolls
-- Wildflower & Spring Greens
-- Morning Sun Tea Lattes
-- Cantaloupe & Honey Jam
-- Hummingbird Pancakes (I made these, and they were SO good!)
-- Heirloom Tomato Galette
-- Whiskey-Spiked Creamed Corn
-- Sweet Cream Pound Cake 

If you are a collector of cookbooks, then this is one you won't want to miss. It would make a perfect addition to your collection, or a gorgeous coffee-table book to leave out for guests to look through.
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To post on May 14:

Just a few books into this project and I have been exposed to a wide variety of traditions throughout our country.  By coincidence, and timing, I shared two books on foraging earlier this year. I have been picking books that expose me to a diverse set of traditions, mixed with books for review.

The cookbook I’m sharing today is set in the Blue Ridge Mountains. A book filled with recipes and stories throughout. I felt transported to a place I have never visited, yet the similarities to Nordic food is there. It’s how we cook food that makes all the difference, sometimes.  For example, pan fried potatoes taste completely different when cooked with butter versus bacon fat.    

Structured by season, this book includes a wine pairing guide, and stories about living in the Appalachia.  Each seasonal highlights what is in season during that time, and is divided by celebration, gathering type, holiday, or general theme.  

I have never heard of a spice mix called ‘The Holy Trinity’ but it sounds amazing.  Salt, Pepper, and Sugar. I can imagine how each ingredient enhances a dish. Other items noted in the book are the use of Ginseng, Sassafras, and a few wild items like berries and ginger. 

Like family and traditional culture in Appalachia, while things can end abruptly and often do, a loving goodbye and thanks for coming is always a thing. 

When I think of southern cooking I think about cornbread, grits, BBQ, sweet deserts, and sweet tea. In reality, I know very little about the southern cooking, even less about what makes up an Appalachian meal. 

Recipes I have tried (and loved): 

Blue Cheese and Walnut Shortbread - the perfect addition to a meal with Brisket as the protein.  It was a good as it sounds (and easy to make).  

This cookbook also references foraging.  I used mushrooms my brother gave me last summer to make Cream of Mushroom and Buttermilk Soup.  

For Easter brunch we made the Buttermilk Dutch Baby with Strawberries and Rose Water.  

Pasta with Creamy Beet and Walnut Sauce - it was divine!

The author included the perfect balance of recipes with the personal connection of a story at the beginning of each chapter.  

It’s so easy for us to remain in our comfort zone - this is a beautiful cookbook that I hope you will try.
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Yummy and delicious!! Couldn't get enough of this book. I want to make every single recipe. Bright pictures and easy to follow directions. Lauren did a good job on this book.
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This was savory cookbook filled with wonderful ideas. I was intrigued by the description of this book and so glad I read it as it has given much food for thought and table.
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In “Smoke, Roots, Mountain, Harvest” Lauren McDuffie blends storytelling with recipes and how-tos all linked to her Appalachian childhood. Filled with beautiful photographs and lovingly crafted recipes, this book is a window to a wild and exciting world, filled with homey and earthy foods.

	I came across this book on Netgalley, and I clicked on it instantly. The cover was enough to draw me in and make me want to love it. On opening it, it took less than 10 pages to know that I had to own a physical copy of this book. McDuffie's perspective and style are the epitome of cozy and earthy. I couldn't put it down, and that is saying a lot for what is apparently a cookbook! I read through this book like it was a gripping novel, flipping pages and going back to re-read my favourite passages. The descriptions of small town life are enchanting, and the how tos about fire building and foraging are both inspiring and empowering. This book creates not only the image of a beautiful lifestyle, but also provides a portal. By following her instructions and recipes, you can take that step closer to living alongside nature and partaking of the amazing bounty in the world around us. 
	It is not an exaggeration to say that when I get my hands on a hardback of this book it will be an instant heirloom that I know I will share with my friends and pass on to my family. The recipes are creative but simple enough for the average home cook to follow, and having tried out a few I can say with confidence that they taste every bit as good as they look. 

	I would recommend this book to practically anyone. If you enjoy cooking or baking, if you love nature or are interested in small town America, if you just love quality books with beautiful pictures, this book is for you! You won't regret it, I swear.
I look eagerly forward to the official release of this book, and I feel truly privileged to have gotten the chance to immerse myself in it pre-publication! Thank you Netgalley for that opportunity.
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I expected to like this cookbook a little more than I did, actually. I am an old fashioned country cook and spent a lot of my life in the south, so it seemed like it would be a perfect fit.

While there are things that I do really like about it, the recipes just aren't ones that are likely to work in my kitchen. Many of them call for ingredients that I consider expensive and trendy, not old fashioned and country. For instance, the fire roasted stuffed pumpkins call for shredded Gruyere cheese. Was that big in old time Appalachia? Likewise, the "S'mores, From Scratch" call for Nutella and many of the ingredients in other recipes are just plain old expensive -- not something I consider representational of classic southern country food.

I also really felt like it missed the mark in the things that made Appalachian cooking so special once upon a time. One thing I love about real traditional country food is that foraged ingredients play such a high role, for instance. I cook with wild foods on a near daily basis and we put up several hundred pounds of wild foods every year through canning, freezing, drying and fermenting. Last night's menu included roasted wild asparagus from the freezer and the night before we had chicken of the woods mushrooms in the stir, fry, for instance, and I season everything liberally with ramp sale. I made elderberry muffins for breakfast yesterday and my son made wild black raspberry syrup for the cake he made the day before. In the old days, it was just normal to cook with wild greens, berries, nuts and so on. While McDuffie does use black walnuts often and features some wild mushrooms in her "Forager's Feast" menu, even that menu includes almost no foraged ingredients of any kind (even the mushrooms) and it provides no information on foraging. She even mentions in the intro to that section that when friends took her foraging for wild mushrooms as an adult: "Up until that point in my life, the closest I'd ever come to foraging for my food was selecting a lobster from the tank at a beachside seafood place during a family vacation." Somehow this description doesn't jibe with what I think of for the author of what's supposed to be traditional Appalachian cookbook.

This is a cookbook that is likely to appeal to a lot of readers, especially foodies and those who like stories with their recipes. The photos are very artistic and McDuffie tells great stories. The recipes sound delicious, just not like the type of dishes that I love to cook in my old fashioned kitchen.

Two caveats: I'm not putting a date finished date on this book because I was unable to finish it before the digital preview expired and deleted itself from my computer. There may have been sections farther in the book that I would have loved and missed because of the maddening practice of archiving review books so reviewers cannot re-download them if we don't finish them before they expire. Secondly, the review copy I read was covered with watermarks which made it difficult to fully read and prevented trying any of the recipes.

I read a temporary digital copy of this book for the purpose of review.
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For anyone who wonders what they eat in Appalachia and the Blue Ridge Mountains in rural Virginia, Smoke, Roots, Mountain, Harvest: Recipes and Stories Inspired by My Appalachian Home may be just the thing that belongs on the cookbook shelf. The writing is excellent, the stories are interesting, and most importantly, the recipes are for dishes that are unique to most, but tempting and definitely southern. 

The book is divided into seasons, and has menus that correspond. There is a chapter on wine pairings, and several sections on spices, ingredients, and equipment that are used in the recipes. McDuffie even addresses moonshine, which most people have wondered about at some time or another.

Although some of the recipes are a bit fancier than one would expect to come out of rural Appalachia, there are many that are very simple and represent easy, down-to-earth dishes. Some of the recipes have a fair amount of ingredients, but most are easy to find or are already on pantry shelves; others are extremely simple and easy. All the recipes I’ve tried so far so far have turned out perfectly. One of her recipes, Greens, Eggs, and Ham, I’ve used several times because it makes a perfect brunch dish and uses up leftover greens. Incidentally, it doesn’t contain ham, but bacon instead, and I add ham too. The recipe for Cathead Biscuits is great, and they go well with the Greens, Eggs, and Ham. Other tempting recipes include Bourbon Broiled Salmon, Sweet Potato Hash Browns with Huckleberry-Mustard Sauce, and Fire-Roasted Stuffed Pumpkins. There are dozens of appealing recipes and McDuffie includes recipes for appetizers, salads, soups, main dishes, and desserts of all kinds. 

Anyone who is interested in making the dishes served in Hillbilly country will love this cookbook. It’s for anyone who likes good, simple southern food. It’s well-written, well-organized, and the photographs are excellent, albeit there isn’t a photo for every dish, but most. Highly recommended.

Special thanks to NetGalley for supplying a review copy of this book.
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Smoke, Roots, Mountain, Harvest
by Lauren Angelucci McDuffie

Recipes and stories inspired by my Appalachian Home

This is a book I can see on a coffee table or by a favorite chair so that it is easily available to read or just to look at the beautiful photographs. I love a book that tells a bit of a story and provides insight about the author and the recipes within the book – this book does just that. I was wondering how Appalachian food would be presented thinking that it would be rather bland and Southern but instead it was a bit more in that it took the ingredients of the area and turned them into so much more. As I looked through I thought about making s’mores long ago and then thought about making all of the ingredients from scratch. Putting moonshine in recipes...something I had never thought of. Some of the flavors reminded me of gourmet restaurants while others were more like spiffed up comfort food. When I hit Persinamon crisps I thought, “Could I make those with our persimmons?” 

Some of the words I wrote down as I read and looked through this book were: 
* a book to take your time with
* pretty on a table
* entertaining from this book would be interesting
* Rich
* Intriguing
* blend of old and new
* stories
* anecdotes
* blend of old and new
* variety
* Play on traditional recipes

Would I like to have this book in my library? Yes
Would I try any of the recipes? Definitely

Thank you to NetGalley and Chronicle Books for the ARC – This is my honest review.

5 Stars
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This book is very hard to categorize.  On one hand, it's a great cookbook with many new, unique (or at least unique to me) recipes that will keep me busy cooking for awhile.  On the other hand, it's a very good memoir of growing up and how the food fits into the life and memories of the author.  Both hands loved this book.  I spent a long weekend reading and rereading the book while adding lots of post it tabs to the recipes.
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More than a cookbook, this book comes with an atmosphere and stories about the mountain. Each recipe brings you in a season and in a place that feels like home.
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Smoke, Roots, Mountain, Harvest by Lauren McDuffie is a joy to have. I love to look through cookbooks and see different recipes .  With the beautiful pictures and great recipes this was a really nice cook book.  Loved it.
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Surprising ~ Enticing ~ Rich
tl:dr: Recipes that elevate Appalachia

I'm an urban snob. I don't spend much time in rural America, and admit to often avoiding these regions. Appalachia has always been close enough by and incredibly far away (from my Cleveland home.) So, my utter delight at this book surprised me. This is an Appalachia that is quite different from the elegy world. It is rural and natural but not disconnected from our modern world. Many of the recipes recall hipster trends, like yellow milk, but still feel authentic enough to be appealing. 

Thanks to NetGallery for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Great Appalachian cookbook with beautiful pictures, stories, and recipes. The book is divided into the four seasons starting with Fall and then follows with wonderful meat, vegetable, dessert, and drink recipes. Lauren McDuffie starts off the cookbook prior to the recipes with definitions of cooking terms, suggested items for the kitchen, and explanation of how she does certain basic functions in her cooking to help before the reader gets into the recipe section. Her more than 70 recipes include: crispy-skin trout with lemon brown butter sauce, s’mores from scratch, jalapeño skillet cornbread, baked pork chops with crab-apple moonshine compote, smoky Gouda grits, cantaloupe and honey jam, bourbon broiled salmon, winter spice morning rolls, and hummingbird pankcakes. She also has a great blog, Facebook, and Instagram account to follow for more recipes.
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Now I'm starving! When this cookbook is published in May, buy two copies--one to give and one to keep. Smoke, Roots, Mountain, Harvest highlights cooking the way it should be, inspiring not tiring. McDuffie's dedication says it all, "For you Mom, you were right all along." I'm in!   This is a book that leads you home.  The compilation reads like the jackpot of regional Appalachian family recipes, passed down through generations.  Organized by season, each menu boasts a story and a unique title like 'Kentucky Rain' and 'Forest Walk' and 'Harvest & Honey.'  Her photography is arrestingly artistic and alluring, a strong light and shadow game play on linens, flowers and dishes, you'll want to roll up your sleeves and get to it. I could listen to her storytelling for hours, she draws you in, skips  along memories, and offers comfort (hello to the entire chapter based on grandma Nora's classics.) A few  recipes that immediately caught my attention:  Raspberry Ripple Ice Cream, Drunken Short Ribs, Winter Spiced Morning Rolls, Coconut Vanilla Bean Jam, Succotash Crostini, and Hummingbird Pancakes with Roasted Banana Cream 
Rounded out with a wine pairing guide and two entire chapters on Moonshine and Bourbon, this compendium will also quench your thirst. I loved eating, I mean reading, this gorgeous cookbook! Thanks to @netgalley and @chroniclebooks for my free digital copy!
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If you love to sit down with a cookbook and read about the background and stories that inspired the recipes you are about to delve into, Smoke, Roots, Mountain, Harvest by Lauren McDuffie is the perfect cookbook for you. I had so much fun reading reading the various sections from the introduction, to the "Good to know" section. Then on to special call out pages like "How to build an outdoor campfire" and even the information at the start of each recipe. I learned so much about cooking in Appalachia and the various food traditions there.

The book is arranged by season, so I know that as I use this book in the future it will be easy to jump to the current season and enjoy some of the best in season food to make the dishes included in this book. Containing 70 recipes and 80 incredible photographs you will have a lot of choices to determine which recipe you want to start with.

Starting with the Fall season, I was instantly hit by the recipes for S'mores, from Scratch and Graham Crackers. Yes, homemade graham crackers! However, I went a few pages further and found the right recipe for me to start with, Earthquake Bread (or, Sorghum Cider Quick Bread) The photo looked divine and I had all the ingredients. However, it was the background story that got me excited..."Adapted from a recipe card I found buried in my mom's old recipe box, this quick bread bakes up sweet and perfectly spiced, while the center stays gooey and pudding-like, suggesting that this bread was most likely a cake in a past life". And it was as good as promised!

Other recipes that might get you interested include; Black Grape and Jalapeno Skillet Corn Bread, Baked Pork Chops with Cran-apple Moonshine Compote, Breakfast Flatbreads with Sausage, Morels and Spring Onions, and Semipermanent Slaw (you will have to read the explanation for yourself). One more note - I have always wondered about the difference between a cobbler, a crisp, a buckle and a betty because I love making apple dishes in the fall, and she gives us 4 Blackberry recipes to show the differences between each of these deserts. 

Smoke, Roots, Mountain, Harvest is a treasure that you will go back to time and time again. I can't wait to try my next recipe, I'm thinking perhaps the Chipotle-Peach Pulled Pork Sandwiches are calling my name. I hope you enjoy this book for the reading and eating as much as I did.
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Inspired recipes and stories from an oft maligned region of the US. This takes me back to the cooking of my Grandma. Each recipe is a thread to a vibrant culture.
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