17 April 2010

Cookbook Review: Clara's Kitchen

Authoress: Clara Cannucciari with Christopher Cannucciari
Length: 184 pages; Mini hardcover

My say: Clara is a gem. No seriously a gem. If I ever meet her grandson Christopher I plan to tell him, "You did a beautiful thing by giving us a bit of your grandmother. Thank you."

My recommendation: Folks that enjoy memoirs, history, and tips on living well during "thin times" will enjoy this one.

Vegetarian Friendly? Absolutely. Meat was scarce during the Great Depression so most of the recipes and tips are meat free.

My favorite quotes & tips & bits:
  • "You think you know about recycling? We invented it. We had to. We were desperate."
  • "Things were much simpler back then, and we were stronger for it."
  • "If you take better care of things, you can hold on to them longer."
  • "It wasn't easy back then. But the lessons I learned, when money was tight and hard work and creativity was all we had, I have carried with me my entire life."
  • "Today everything seems to happen so fast and it's hard to sit back and appreciate things."
  • "Back then, you didn't buy whole books, you bought chapters."
My ratings:
  • Recipe rating: 3 stars; Due to the time period the recipes are very simple.
  • Ingredients rating: 5 stars; All the ingredients are cheap and easy to find.
  • Story rating: 5 stars; This book is all about story. It's chock-full of pictures, stories, and tips entitled, "Take It From Me."
  • Overall star rating: 4 stars
If you would like to learn more about Clara visit Depression Cooking on YouTube.com.



  1. Really cute..I like the quote "You think you know about recycling? We invented it. We had to. We were desperate." So true..

  2. awesome review, Juju! Looks like a good one.

  3. This sounds like a wonderful book. Nice review.

  4. I love cookbooks...this one seems almost sad....ways to make the most out of what you have...I think todays generation know nothing (including me) what its like to not have food and everything we want this minute.

  5. I'm keen on cookbooks as you know, and I appreciate your review, but you left me wondering if you even cooked from it?? Was it good?? Would you cook it again??? Do you recommend any recipes???

    That is what I look for in a cookbook review, story takes a second seat.

  6. This sounds awesome! Great review.

  7. Sounds like a great cookbook! I love veggie dishes!!

  8. This book sounds interesting. Gotta look it up! Glad to know the recipes are simple, as I am not a big into cooking. :)

  9. I simply love books like this. I definitely put this one on my list:)

  10. Anyone living on a tight budget will probably get a lot of use out of this cookbook. Personally, I also enjoy the chef's story, so this book will be doubly enjoyed by me. Thanks!

  11. Freda: I have tried the recipes and they are good. They are however quite simple. (Given that during the Depression ingredients were scarce). I recommend the book more as a memoir and tips on how to make stuff out of minimal ingredients.

    Miel: Me too! I love Clara and loved learning more about her.

    Tina: You know, I expected it to be sad but instead it's heart warming and encouraging.

  12. I DO like books like this, a little bit of memoir, a little bit of history , a little cooking. Delightful! Thanks JuJu!

  13. This seems like a good one for me. I'm not amazingly skilled in the kitchen, and I don't eat meat...so it's hard to find a book that includes some easier meat-free recipes. Add in some memoirs, and I'm sold. I'll check this one out

  14. I need all the help I can in the kitchen so I think this will suit.

  15. this sounds so good! i love cookbooks! i collect them...have way too many and read them just like a novel! is that too weird or what?!?

  16. oooh that sounds like my kind of book!

  17. Oh this sound great. I love recipes!

  18. I love cookbooks, they are so fun! :)