Victuals explores the food in the Appalachian area in the United States. It is more than just a book of recipes. It has beautiful pictures of the area the recipes come from. The author also explains some of the history of the area. There are eighty recipes with their own stories that have been carefully chosen for this unique cookbook.
I really enjoyed perusing this cookbook. The stories gave additional interest and depth to the recipes. Knowing the tradition or history behind some of the recipes made it even more enjoyable to cook the recipes. I liked the personal feeling of this cookbook. It felt as though the recipes could have been from your own family in the way they were presented.
The recipes are varied in type and time period. Some have been around for generations, while others are new takes on traditional recipes. They are presented in an easy to understand way, so even a beginner can make these delicious recipes. I found the ingredients were often simple, yet were combined in such a way that there were excellent flavours.
I made four different dishes from the cookbook. It was hard to choose which dishes to make first. I made the Shredded Beef Shank and Buttermilk Dumplings, Buttermilk Cucumber Salad, English Pea Salad with Cream Dressing, and Nutmeg and Buttermilk Cookies. I do not use buttermilk in recipes very often, but I was delighted with the flavour it brought to all these dishes. It was a simple way of adding a great taste to the dishes.
The English Pea Salad with Cream Dressing was delicious! It was an easy side that dressed up the peas. I also liked the radishes in the dish. I do not cook with radishes very often, but I really liked them in this recipe. It was an interesting way to add flavour. This was one I will make again.
The Buttermilk Cucumber Salad reminded me of Tzatziki. The buttermilk gives it a slightly different taste, but if you like Tzatziki, you will like this.
The Shredded Beef Shank with Buttermilk Dumplings was a delicious stew. It had simple seasoning, but it was amazing! My husband and I both really liked this dish, and the leftovers were really good the next day. I will definitely be making this again. I would recommend making a side dish with vegetables as there are none in this dish.
The Nutmeg and Buttermilk Cookies were delightful. They were savoury not sweet, so make a pleasant surprise when eating cookies. I took some into work and everyone was a fan. I cannot wait to make them again and maybe add some dried fruit or some of the other recommended ideas.
Here are all the dishes (minus the dessert cookies) ready to eat. This made a delicious meal. I could not wait to eat the leftovers the next day. If you like simple ingredients with incredible flavours this is the cookbook for you. I recommend this cookbook.
Some of the recipes I look forward to trying are: Beef Hand Pies, Jam Cake, Busy Day Cobbler, Kale Potato Cakes, Ginger Bread, Roasted Root Vegetable Salad, and so many more. I am excited to continue cooking from this beautiful cookbook.
**I received a free copy of this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for an honest review**
*Receiving a free copy of this book does not change my review. It simply provides me with a copy of a book I would not have gotten to as soon or heard about otherwise.