by Nicki Wood
But it's great for food historians: More cookbooks mean better documentation of cooking and culture. At My Grandmother's Knee by Faye Porter (Thomas Nelson) gathers 160 traditional Southern recipes that granddaughters across the South (but largely from Tennessee) received from their grandmothers.
Each recipe includes a memory or story from the granddaughter about her Southern grandmother’s traditions, what she learned from her and how grandmothers show their love with food.
Since the recipes are grandmas' — and Southern — they're pretty familiar: blueberry pancakes, tuna salad, cheese grits — nice to have them all in one place.
When you think about what you learned in Meemaw's kitchen, likely as not, it's a dessert. I know that's what I learned from mine — the family jam cake with penuche icing. Accordingly, the book has five chapters of desserts, including a chapter devoted to chocolate pies.
The book feels solid and well-made, and there's nice photography. The $24.99 price tag is refreshing, since cookbook prices have been inching toward $35 in recent years.