Recipes I Stole From My Mum

20 August 2014

Recipes I Stole from My Mum
by Lisa Lambert
Published by Lisa Lambert
Review by Regine Haensel
$19.95 ISBN 978-0-9917434-0-7

Recently my book club discussed favourite cookbooks that we used regularly. If I’d had this one at the time, I’d have taken it along.

Lisa Lambert is a trustee with the Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools Board of Education. She grew up in Saskatoon, cooking and baking with her mother. Lambert has also collected inspirational quotes over many years, and combined this with recipes that have endured in her family, to create Recipes I Stole from My Mum.

The author has updated her book with a new introduction that honours her mother, Marilyn Wilchuck, and her two grandmothers.

The book definitely has a family feel, with the sorts of recipes that get handed down through the years. The book is divided into sections: Appetizers & Beverages, Breads & Muffins, Cakes & Cookies, Desserts, Main Courses, Salads and Soups, Squares, and Vegetables. From a soup made with fresh mushrooms, to Shrimp Scampi, and Macaroni and Cheese Casserole ,these recipes run the gamut from elegant to hearty comfort foods. Ethnic delights such as Spaghetti Bolognese, Greek Ribs, and Doche rub shoulders with old favourites like Sloppy Joes, Pineapple Upside Down Cake, and Waldorf Salad. The Scalloped Potato recipe and several others remind me of the foods I used to eat at fowl suppers and other community feasts in small town Saskatchewan.

“To thine own self be true,” (Shakespeare) is one of the quotes in the book. Lambert is not afraid to use short-cut ingredients such as canned soups, jelly powders and whipped topping. These are items that many will already have on their shelves. As is stated on the back cover, “While the rest of the world is getting more complex, Lisa Lambert is making food simple.”

I have one small quibble with the book. The abstract art by her husband Jim, which is featured to separate the sections, is lovely. I would, however, have liked to see a few colour photographs of the prepared recipes. Nothing adds to a cook book more than images of mouth watering dishes. Still, in the end, it’s the actual recipes that tell the tale. Tuna Melt anyone?


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