Books

Becoming America’s Food Stories – A Review

‘Becoming America’s Food Stories’ is part family memoir, part immigration story and part cookbook. Undoubtedly, it will make you reflect upon your own family, culture and food traditions — whatever they are. It is also guaranteed to make you hungry! With recipes ranging from simple pasta dishes and breakfasts to more complicated baked goods (at least more complicated for me), there is something in this book for everyone.

A quick and easy read, I finished my copy in just over an hour. I savoured the author’s treasure trove of warm family memories and swore that I could smell pasta sauce simmering in my kitchen.

As there was no sauce to be found, I decided to make the book’s Lentil Stew. It was an excellent choice. Thick, comforting and incredibly flavourful, both my husband and I greedily reached for seconds. Now, I need to decide what to make next. It’s a close toss-up between the Sunday Meatballs, Eggplant Stacks or Grandma’s Clam Chowder.

Thank you to Antoinette Truglio Martin for sharing her family’s food story and inspiring me to reflect upon my own cooking traditions.

I highly recommend this book to all food lovers.

50 thoughts on “Becoming America’s Food Stories – A Review”

  1. Hi Donna – as I’m no great cook, a book like this would never be on my list, so it was good to “read” it through your eyes and (seeing I’ve never had it, but always wanted to try it) I’ll have some of that clam chowder please. x

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    1. Hi, Natalie – Thank you for stopping by. I only made one of the recipes so far (which was delicious). But I did have a careful read of all of the other recipes. I will definitely be making more. Wishing a very merry Christmas to you and your family!

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    1. Hi, Jill – Thank you for checking out this review. Whenever I’ve made lentils before, I’ve either served them as a soup, as a stew on their own or over rice. Serving lentils over spaghetti was new to me … and something that I will continue to do.
      Wishing a very Merry Christmas to you and your family and a peaceful New Year!

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  2. Thank you! Thank You! for the excellent testimony and review. I am so glad you enjoyed the book and made the lentil stew-one of my dad’s favorite. Have a festive Christmas holiday. Looking forward to sharing 2021 with you.

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    1. HI, Antoinette – Thank you so much for commenting. I truly loved this book both for its story and for its recipes. I’m glad to hear that the Lentil Stew was one of your dad’s favourites — I will be making that exact recipe again (and again)!
      Wishing you and your family a warm, happy and healthy holiday season!

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  3. Aah, lentils, who would have known! I imagine that were plenty other additions to the lentil stew, vegetables (no meat?), herbs and such like? I’ve used lentils before, did I have to soak them overnight, I think so? – it’s certainly good in protein I think I remember .. thanks Donna, clearly the book is a treasure trove!

    All good Christmas wishes to you and family – Happy Holidays!

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    1. Hi, Susan – Thanks so much for stopping by. I absolutely love lentil dishes — so this recipe was an excellent choice for me to start with. You’re right that it contained lots of other flavourful ingredients including carrots, celery, garlic, onions, diced tomatoes, basil, oregano and dried parsley. I used green lentils and soaked them for an hour first which seemed to be plenty of time.
      Sending warm holiday wishes your way.

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  4. A wonderful review, Donna. I enjoy following Antoinette’s blog and this book has been on my reading list. This book sounds like it has diverse and yummy recipes in it. A good clam chowder is a real treat.🙂

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    1. Hi, Erica – What I loved most about this book was that it told great stories, shared simple and delicious recipes and made me want to go hug every family member that I have!
      I haven’t tried the clam chowder recipe yet, but it is high on my list. See you tomorrow!

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  5. Hi, Donna,
    You made me hungry just thinking about Clam Chowder. I make a very good Split Pea Soup and would love to have a recipe for Lentil Stew. Have a wonderful week. Stay safe and warm up there! Joe

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  6. Hi, Joe – This book literally made me hungry from start to finish! The Lentil Stew included lentils (I used green), bay leaf, garlic, onion, carrot, celery, tomatoes, parsley, basil, oregano and garlic powder. Antoinette also included her family’s recipe for Split Pea Soup which uses ham steak (or leftover hambone), garlic, bay leaf, noon, carrots, celery, chicken stock, oregano, basil, parsley and dried split peas.
    Ooops – I just made myself hungry again! 😀

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  7. Hi Donna – sounds such a great book … I’m missing chowder so much having left Canada … I did so enjoy it … as well as sea food – but here the aubergine stacks sound delicicous. I love cooking and cookery books, as did my mother … but sadly her recipes were thrown out – without thought that I might like them … from a chap that bought her business – one of those frustrating things of life, which really irritates me. The lentil stew sounds interesting … especially as you and Richard found it so good … but the book sounds a delight … take care – Hilary

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    1. Hi, Hilary – I am so sorry to hear about your family’s lost recipes. I understand the frustration, disappointment and irritation.
      I greatly appreciate your kind (and wise) comments during the past year (and beyond). Wishing you a safe and happy holiday season and a wonderful new year ahead!

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  8. Hi Donna! I’m not a person who takes the time to read memoirs OR cookbooks but you do have a way of making it not only tasty sounding, but also captivating. While I’m probably not going to read it, I do congratulate the author on her creation and you on your great review. ~Kathy

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