Recipes to Remember is an engaging cookbook fueled by family love. I strongly encourage readers to take the time to read the section near the beginning of the book described as, “My epicurean journey.” It will help the reader appreciate each recipe preserved by author Barbara Magro. She is not afraid to invite you to sit at the table while she explains the character arc of her life, how she arrives at the creation of this cookbook. Her subtitle says, “My epicurean journey to preserve my mother’s Italian cooking from Memory Loss.” The title quickly grabbed my attention because I could relate to it. When I step in the kitchen, especially for the holidays it helps me connect with family no matter how far I am and who has passed. Stirring ingredients stirs up memories. Sharing the recipes preserves tradition and history. Magro recognized with beginning stages of her mother’s memory loss would go a huge part of her family’s history. With a sense of urgency, Magro stepped up to the challenge of saving her family’s culinary legacy. When Magro did this for her family, she tapped into a helping other Italian families conjure up pieces of family memories and I believe it would help any family to be inspired to get in the kitchen with your relatives to understand the importance of culinary family traditions.
The vibrant mostly in color cookbook is filled with 100 classic Italian recipes from antipasti (appetizers) to holiday recipes. I appreciate that Magro does not opt to merely lump certain dishes into the standard sections. The holiday dishes are highlighted from Easter to Christmas. Look forward to finding recipes for antipasto classic, pasta e fagioli, various sauces, polpettone(meatloaf), sausage stuffing for turkey, veal parmesan, zeppole, pizza rustica, biscotti de mandoria(almond biscotti) and more. If you have ever desired to learn more about Italian cooking starting with the cookbook of classics is a great way to start. Seeing how the holiday recipes are grouped together is an excellent shortcut way to learn about Italian culinary traditions.
Most people do not pick up a cookbook to read a biography; however, this cookbook includes a compelling inspired story of creation. This book has one key ingredient many other cookbooks miss…soul. It should be a gift to yourself and to put in someone’s culinary library. A portion of the proceeds from Recipes to Remember benefits the Alzheimer’s Association.