Thursday, March 25, 2010

My View: 100 Sweet Treats by and for Quilters by Ann Hazelwood

It's a cute idea for a series.

Books that feature '100.' Such as 100 Things You Need to Know If You Own a Quilt or 100 Things to Enjoy in Historic Paducah or as the one I received as a review sample from American Quilters Society: 100 Sweet Treats by and for Quilters by Ann Hazelwood.

The book size, 6x4.5-inches, as well as the price $12.95, make this a great gift idea for a quilter who cooks or a cook who quilts.

Consisting of approximately 100 pages, it is arranged with one recipe per page. This quick peek at dessert instructions provided by a variety of quilters, seems more like a sample that leaves me hungry for more. I must admit that I didn't recognize many of the quilters' names. That may say more about me than about the book. But I wanted to know more about the quilters, their quilts, and their techniques.

The recipes speak to any sweet tooth and are basically easy-to-make foods. Nothing could be easier than Karen McTavish's honey and peanut butter sandwich. Yes it is what you think it is. Two slices of bread, one spread with peanut butter, the other drizzled with honey and the two halves slapped together.

But this turns out to be a cookbook without food photos. Not one. It is the only cookbook I have ever seen that had no visual images of the finished recipes.

The images inserted throughout the book are of quilts. The quilt name and maker and where they're from were printed in rather faint, small print near the photo. Supposedly sprinkling the quilts throughout the book not matching them with the maker's recipes turns the book into a treasure hunt. I personally think it is poor organization and not at all endearing.

The photo clarity is for the most part crisp and clear, but the size of the photos definitely disappoints. It is a colorful book. Yet, I kept wishing this was a webpage where I could click on the photo and enlarge it, zoom in for detail or click to another page for details about the techniques, pattern, fabric, embellishments, etc. Sadly there is only minimal information about the quilt, quilter or even those who supply the recipes.

Most of the recipes are familiar oldies -- cobblers, banana split cake, brownies, bars, sundaes, crumb cakes, etc. Maybe because they are old familiars, photos aren't so important. But I do miss them. The first recipe "Chocolate Brittle" made me perk up and think of one of my favorite candies 'Peanut Brittle.' But after reading the recipe (and not getting a chance to see what this sweet looks like)  -- yes I'm obsessing over the lack of food photos. The ingredients of this particular recipe was reminiscent of the 1930s, The Great Depression. The recipes of that era were unique for the use of inexpensive available substitute ingredients. In this recipe, which may be delicious, one of the first ingredients: 40 soda crackers....

OK, I couldn't stand not knowing more about this recipe, so I Googled it. At allrecipes.com they describe this as "chocolate covered toffee." And provided a photo. OK, now THAT I might be interested in checking out. Note that this accompanying photo is from allrecipes.com, not from the book. For those who can't resist this photo, you can find the recipe here on allrecipes.com

If I had my choice on how to make a book for cooking quilters who harbor mega sweet tooths, I'd choose a more serious attempt at marrying quilters, food and quilts with more information about all. I'd ask for desserts from around the world. What sweet treats do quilters in Australia or New Zealand, or Iceland or Japan, or Germany bake? And of course by now you know I would want PHOTOS OF FOOD!

Yet, for a quick take -- a small gift -- it may be just what you're looking for.

I'd rather save my money, check online and enjoy better quilt AND yes, food photos.... The other titles look promising. Paducah is definitely a fascinating community with such history! I wonder what photos are included in that book?

--Dawn

6 comments:

Suzan said...

I expect good writing but I also want pictures to complete the story. I expect pictures in my blogs, in my quilting books and in my cook books. If I had glanced at this book at the book store it would not have made it home with me!

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you. No pictures then I'm not interested. You would think that a person trying to see to quilters would know that we as quilters are visual people and as such would have lots of enticing pictures.

Kathy said...

Oh, Dawn--I wish they had sent you my book (Rule-Breaking Quilts) to review...the photographer did a great job so the eye candy is there...and that's the only cooking I care to do!!

Dawn said...

I have several books to review, Kathy, but if you'd like to include your book, please tell AQS to send me a copy. They have my contact info.

Beatriz said...

I´ve mentioned your blog in mine. I hope you don´t mind and I´m not doing "anything wrong". In case I am... pls tell me asap and I´ll delete it.

Dawn said...

Hi Beatriz,
I'm so pleased that you enjoy Subversive Stitchers: Women Armed with Needles. And, although I don't speak/read Portuguese, through Google translation I get an idea of what you're writing in your own lovely blog.

But it is best to request permission from me before copying text and photos from my site. You see, I don't own the photos, they are here by generous permission of others. I request permission before posting the photos. You should, too. The same goes for the text/words.

Thank you for asking. I cannot give permission for the use of the photo. You should take it down until you get permission from its owner.

I'd prefer that you not take text or photos from my site, but provide a link to Subversive Stitchers so people can see for themselves what you so enjoyed.

I couldn't find your email address, so I find no other way than to respond via this rather publich forum.

Again, I'm so glad you enjoy Subversive Stitchers!