You know the saying "don't judge a book by it's cover"? That definitely does not apply in this case. This book is gorgeous. Absolutely gorgeous. Both outside and inside. I received Falling Cloudberries: A World of Family Recipes as an early review book from Andrews McMeel Publishing. They wanted me to read it and post a review on Library Thing and on Amazon.com. Silly people, don't they know, I don't write reviews for Amazon, I blatantly plagiarize their reviews in my lame attempt at book reviews!! But this book was so wonderful, I am going to step up to the plate, and do my part.
First of all it's gorgeous (I really can't stop saying that). I took the dust jacket off to keep from tearing it while reading, and was delighted to see that the inside matched the dust jacket. No, plain gray or brown. The inside is every bit as beautiful from the blue flowered design on the inside of the cover, to the pictures of recipes and life. I say recipes and life, because that's what this book is, it's cookbook and a memoir all in one.
The author of the book, Tessa Kiros, opens the book with the following quote, "These are the recipe I grew up with: the recipes that have woven their way through the neighborhoods of my mind, past indifference and into love. Those that have stayed while others might have fluttered away with a gentle spring breeze." What a growing up she did, she was born in London to a Finnish mother and a Greek-Cypriot father. When she was four, they moved to South Africa, and she now lives in Italy with her husband, Giovanni. Wow. Kind of makes my - born in Illinois, grew up in Missouri, and moved to Tennessee, seem kind of lame.
So, it is with that rich background of cultures and influences that she puts together this collection of recipes and stories. And quite a collection it is. She begins with Finland - from her mother and her mother's side of the family, then to Greece and Cyprus - for her father, South Africa - from her upbringing, Italy - where she currently resides with her husband, and a section called suitcase - a lovely collection gathered along the way.
I started out listing all of the recipes that I wanted to try (but they soon became too numerous, this book is 397 pages, after all). A very shortened version of my list:
Finland - Potato Pancakes, Salmon Dill and Potato Soup, Cranberry Jam
Greece - Dolmades, Skordalia, Lemon and Oregano Chicken
Cyprus - Fried Haloumi Cheese, Green Olives with Coriander Seeds
South Africa - Lemon Vanilla Jam
Italy - Olive Oil Bread, Pasta with Sardines and Wild Fennel
Suitcase - Caramel Ice Cream, Milk Honey and Cinnamon Ice Cream
I can't begin to say enough nice things about this book. I absolutely loved it. It's big, gorgeous, filled with delicious sounding recipes, gorgeous photos, and a sweet family history.
Five out of five stars!