Thursday, March 25, 2010
My View: 100 Sweet Treats by and for Quilters by Ann Hazelwood
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....
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?