(This book cannot be returned.)
This book is a remarkable collection of some of the most popular American comfort food recipes from the second half of the Twentieth Century. They were collected and perfected by Joan Knechel, an amazing housewife in Quakertown, Pa.
After Joan died in 2014, her family discovered that she had accumulated an astounding 1,400 recipes. They were in her handwriting as well as that of her mother Florence (1914-1988) and her grandmother Suzanne (1875-1950). It was an accumulation of 100 years.
Joan was born in 1934 to a family that had firm roots in Pennsylvania Dutch cooking. She learned to cook and bake from her mother and aunts. She worked as a diner waitress, a grocery store meat cutter and she was a full-time mom and cook for a family of six. She cooked the family holiday dinners and later in life, her home was a boarding house for a brother, a niece, two sons and, off and on, their friends. Later in her life, she and a partner, cook Bobbie Landes, operated a steak and seafood restaurant in the town of Emmaus. It's hard to fathom where she found the time to accumulate so many recipes and experiment with them.
Mostly, this is a family cookbook. The 130 or so dishes that we cooked, photographed, researched and described were ONLY ones remembered by her children, grandchildren and great grandchild. She served many of these often. They range from Pennsylvania Dutch dishes like hog maw, buweschenkel and Apies cake to vernacular American recipes like creamed dry beef, Salisbury steak, chicken ala King and impossible cheeseburger pie.
The recipes of her lifetime are a survey of the "comfort food" cooking of the United States in the second half of the 20th Century. These are the recipes that were circulating on packaging, in newspapers and in magazines. Joan's archive is one well-documented data point in the modern history of American food.