Friday, November 6, 2009

The Madison County Cookbook

Before I start my review today, I wish to send my heart-felt condolences to all those who lost family members, friends, or loved ones at Fort Hood, yesterday; our prayers are with the wounded victims and their families. The military community is a very caring, close-knit group; I've had the privilege to witness the closeness, first-hand, in our community of Lawton-Fort Sill; in fact, we have friends from Fort Sill who are now stationed at Fort Hood. Folks in the military move often; it's the nature of the job. Unfortunately, this senseless act of violence will touch people, both military and civilian, all over our country and the world. Please support our military and their families!

I have a super cookbook recommendation today. I'm sorry to say that this source of down-home cooking and delightful stories has been on my shelf for years and I haven't been using it. I probably found it with a pile of other books at a yard sale or auction, gave it a "leaf-through" and put it on the shelf for later. Well, I'm glad that "later" has arrived! I have the Carol Publishing Group Edition from 1998, but think that its original copyright is 1994. The ISBN is 0-8065-1733-6.

This very sweet book is a collection of family-style recipes compiled by the members of St. Joseph's Church of Winterset, Iowa. Winterset had a "claim to fame" before the successful book and movie came out called, "The Bridges of Madison County"; it is the hometown of famous American icon, John Wayne!

The citizens of Winterset describe themselves as a, "small community where good, old-fashioned values still prevail." The personal stories and recollections of church-related events and family holidays and celebrations add a charm to the book that reminded me of the writings of Jan Karon's series of books about small town America.

Aside from the ease of reading that I enjoyed, this is a wonderful cookbook simply on the merit of the recipes. I found, literally, something on every two-page spread that I would fix...and my family would eat!

Of the many cookbooks that I've reviewed on this Old Cookbook Review, this is on my Top 10 List. If you start the hunting process now you might be able to find one for yourself and your best friend/favorite relative in time for Christmas!

Yesterday's recipe for Low Cal Chex Party Mix came from this book on page 44. Here's our sample recipe for the book review; it's found on page 157.

Margaret Tiernan's Cherry Bon-Bons

24 maraschino cherries (drained and save the juice)
1/2 C soft butter
3/4 C powdered sugar
1 1/2 C flour
1/8 tsp salt
2 TBSP Half & Half
1 tsp vanilla
Powdered sugar and cherry glaze (recipe below)

Beat butter until creamy and add 3/4 C sugar, beating well. Stir in flour, salt, Half&Half and vanilla. Shape into balls. Press around 1 cherry, covering completely, and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 18 to 20 min. Transfer to wire rack and cool. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and then drizzle with glaze.


2 TBSP melted butter
1 C powdered sugar
1/4 C cherry juice

Combine these ingredients, adding food coloring, if desired. Place glaze in small, plastic bag, snip off corner, and gently squeeze over cookies.

I will be at these swaps today:



  1. This last September we took a side trip (we were going from NE to MN) to Winterset, IA. It is home of Fons & Porter Quilting. We had a nice lunch there at a local cafe, shopped the quilt shop and detoured to see a covered bridge. Such a cute community. This cookbook looks right up my alley and the Cherry Bon-Bons looks great. Thanks for sharing :)


  2. Thanks so much for the review and recommendation. I'll look for the book in our library.