The Mitford Cookbook

mitfordJan Karon’s Mitford Cookbook & Kitchen Reader

Edited by Martha McIntosh

Viking, 2004

My mother recently “discovered” the Mitford books and is thoroughly enjoying them. Included in her discovery is this cookbook. On a recent visit I sat down and read it completely. I gained ten pounds just reading the book. And then there are the recipes. This is down-home cooking, especially if down-home means Mitford.

The idea for the dishes come straight out of Jan Karon’s nine Mitford novels. Martha McIntosh developed the recipes to match the dishes in the books. For example, in Book 2 – A Light in the Window, Edith Mallory is keen on getting Father Tim’s attention. She has matrimony on her mind. For a meeting at her house, she prepares Beef Tenderloin, Father Tim’s favorite. The cookbook has a recipe for Edith’s Beef Tenderloin.

There are 150 recipes in this book and they are wide-ranging. In addition to Father Tim’s favorite Tenderloin, here are a few of my favorites:

  • Puny’s Cornbread
  • Rector Meatloaf (Old Faithful)
  • Jan Karon’s Banana and Peanut Butter Sandwiches (She does have a great sense of humor.)
  • Marge’s Chicken Pot Pie
  • Esther’s Orange Marmalade Cake
  • The Lord’s Chapel Communion Bread
  • Helene’s Roast Poulet with Currents
  • Christmas Smell (you don’t drink this)
  • Barnabas’ Dog Biscuits

The book is divided into chapters, one for each of her books and the food mentioned there. In each chapter there are excerpts from the book, recipes to match  the food item mentioned, and some kitchen tips.

In the beginning of this cookbook is an introduction by Jan Karon in which she explains a little about her writing and why she included food in her books. In the back of the cookbook you’ll find a section about her mother with a couple of her recipes. And last, you’ll find some snapshots from different times of Jan Karon’s life.

A bonus comes in the center of the book. There is a story, titled The Right Ingredients, which has never before been published in a Mitford Book. It’s twenty pages of a Jan Karon story set right in Mitford. It’s a super story.

This book can stand alone as a good cookbook of old-fashioned American foods. But, it is certainly a delight for anyone who is a fan of Jan Karon’s Mitford series. If you are a die-hard Mitford fan, you have to have this one. If you are unfamiliar with the Mitford books, check out Jan Karon’s the website here.

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10 Responses to The Mitford Cookbook

  1. Kathy says:

    I love the Mitford books, so I would love to try Esther’s Orange Marmalade Cake.

  2. Cerrin says:

    The chicken pot pie sounds tasty. I would love to have a good pot pie recipie.

  3. Sounds like a really fun and interesting read!

  4. Love the Mitford books! I didn’t know there was a cookbook … when I’m done with the Game On! challenge I’ll have to look into it.

    Your granddaughter might enjoy Jan Karon’s children’s book called (I think) Miss Franny’s Hats; have you seen it?

  5. Beth F says:

    What fun! I read the first Mitford book and thought it was a bit preachy. I’ve heard I should stick with the series — I may return to it. I loved the characters, just not all the praying.

  6. stacybuckeye says:

    My Mom loves Mitford, so this would be a perfect gitft fot her. Thanks 🙂

  7. Ruth F says:

    I have misplaced my The Mitford Cookbook and I need the Barnabas’ Dog Biscuits recipe. I am making them for Christmas presents, and I am lost without my book. Please HELP!!!


  8. Barbra says:

    I am just in the midst of turning the pages to this beautifully composed Mitford treasure – savouring each page along the way~~words & recipes!! Of course I have been a true Mitford-Wanna-Be ever since I cracked open the first Mitford book…..

  9. Elaine Loucks says:

    just want to say hi to a fellow, or I should say ‘sister’ retiree, who is also happily retired! Stumbled across your blog today looking for the Milford Cookbook and enjoyed reading it! Also RVer’s, not full timers, but certainly fulltime lovers of traveling. First trip was 3wks south thru GA, AL, and FL, home for couple wks, then 3 ms around the good ole USA! Hope to do New England and Nova Scotia next, then CA to Canada, and cruise to Alaska! Have fun, be safe and may God bless you daily!

  10. MINNIE says:

    is there a receipe for corn pudding in your book. i am on the third series and i have enjoyed each one. what an awesome writer. THE LOVE STORY OF FATHER TIM AND CYNTHIA IS BREATH TAKING

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