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The Quilter's Kitchen

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Anna Del Maso had known that she wanted to be a chef since she was in the seventh grade. "Somehow everything in my life ends up being about food," she realizes, as she begins the latest of her food-themed quilts. Her twin passions have converged in a brand-new position as head chef for Elm Creek Quilts, Waterford, Pennsylvania's popular quilting retreat. As she joins the ci Anna Del Maso had known that she wanted to be a chef since she was in the seventh grade. "Somehow everything in my life ends up being about food," she realizes, as she begins the latest of her food-themed quilts. Her twin passions have converged in a brand-new position as head chef for Elm Creek Quilts, Waterford, Pennsylvania's popular quilting retreat. As she joins the circle of quilters at historic Elm Creek Manor, Anna is eager to preserve the manor's culinary heritage, dating to 1858, while also celebrating the new favorites of their many guests. Yet as Master Quilter Sylvia Bergstrom Compson well knows, the manor's kitchen, last updated in the 1940s, can't create food that compares to the state-of-the-art quilting instruction for which Elm Creek Quilts is renowned. A full renovation of the kitchen must be completed by the start of the new camp season. Though the task is daunting, Anna is assured in her belief that "A kitchen is the heart of a home." As she and Sylvia begin to dismantle the old to make way for the new, Sylvia's reminiscences remind them both of just how many of the manor's traditions have involved food and celebrations. Whether the feast is one of the holiday menus prepared and enjoyed by generations of Bergstroms, or one of the Welcome Banquets and Farewell Breakfasts that have become hallmarks of Elm Creek Quilt Camp, there is a story for every recipe, and a recipe for every story. The Quilter's Kitchen follows Anna's flavorful explorations of the kitchens of Elm Creek Manor, past and present. As she records beloved recipes and creates original dishes seasoned with love, she discovers anew how the gifts of the table gather friends and family ever closer.


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Anna Del Maso had known that she wanted to be a chef since she was in the seventh grade. "Somehow everything in my life ends up being about food," she realizes, as she begins the latest of her food-themed quilts. Her twin passions have converged in a brand-new position as head chef for Elm Creek Quilts, Waterford, Pennsylvania's popular quilting retreat. As she joins the ci Anna Del Maso had known that she wanted to be a chef since she was in the seventh grade. "Somehow everything in my life ends up being about food," she realizes, as she begins the latest of her food-themed quilts. Her twin passions have converged in a brand-new position as head chef for Elm Creek Quilts, Waterford, Pennsylvania's popular quilting retreat. As she joins the circle of quilters at historic Elm Creek Manor, Anna is eager to preserve the manor's culinary heritage, dating to 1858, while also celebrating the new favorites of their many guests. Yet as Master Quilter Sylvia Bergstrom Compson well knows, the manor's kitchen, last updated in the 1940s, can't create food that compares to the state-of-the-art quilting instruction for which Elm Creek Quilts is renowned. A full renovation of the kitchen must be completed by the start of the new camp season. Though the task is daunting, Anna is assured in her belief that "A kitchen is the heart of a home." As she and Sylvia begin to dismantle the old to make way for the new, Sylvia's reminiscences remind them both of just how many of the manor's traditions have involved food and celebrations. Whether the feast is one of the holiday menus prepared and enjoyed by generations of Bergstroms, or one of the Welcome Banquets and Farewell Breakfasts that have become hallmarks of Elm Creek Quilt Camp, there is a story for every recipe, and a recipe for every story. The Quilter's Kitchen follows Anna's flavorful explorations of the kitchens of Elm Creek Manor, past and present. As she records beloved recipes and creates original dishes seasoned with love, she discovers anew how the gifts of the table gather friends and family ever closer.

30 review for The Quilter's Kitchen

  1. 4 out of 5

    Pammy

    A very quick read with lovely endpapers, this book doesn't qualify as a novella, let alone a novel. Richer in recipes than characters or plot, it looks more like a grade-school short story writing exercise with filler pages than a complete work of any kind. I find it unthinkable that this is part of a "series." The entire "story" fits on the endflaps, and I'm not kidding(The time frame is also roughly two days). Most of the recipes look enticing, but are simple enough they can be found elsewhere A very quick read with lovely endpapers, this book doesn't qualify as a novella, let alone a novel. Richer in recipes than characters or plot, it looks more like a grade-school short story writing exercise with filler pages than a complete work of any kind. I find it unthinkable that this is part of a "series." The entire "story" fits on the endflaps, and I'm not kidding(The time frame is also roughly two days). Most of the recipes look enticing, but are simple enough they can be found elsewhere, if they even need to be written down to be recreated. The concept is cute enough, but I read a children's book over the summer with a similar format (Everything on Waffles)that had much more substance. It left me feeling like I bought an empty box with a pretty wrapper.

  2. 5 out of 5

    chucklesthescot

    I wasn't really sure what to rate this book. I was given this through bookcrossing as I have been looking to read the entire series since discovering an interest in quilting-though I have yet to start any projects! While this book is classed as book 13 in the series, it is not really a book at all. It is a recipe book with a few pages in each chapter talking about where some of the recipes fit into the history of Elm Creek's Sylvia. It is really used to show the new quilter and chef Anna, learnin I wasn't really sure what to rate this book. I was given this through bookcrossing as I have been looking to read the entire series since discovering an interest in quilting-though I have yet to start any projects! While this book is classed as book 13 in the series, it is not really a book at all. It is a recipe book with a few pages in each chapter talking about where some of the recipes fit into the history of Elm Creek's Sylvia. It is really used to show the new quilter and chef Anna, learning about her new friends and traditions from Sylvia's stories and looking for a way to fit in. The recipes didn't interest me as I don't cook so I just skimmed past these pages to read the narrative, which I found interesting. Other reviewers suggest that these stories have already been told in other books which explains why some have given it just 1 star. Luckily I have only read the first book in the series so it was all new to me and I quite liked it. I might have held a different opinion had I read the whole series in order! It might be a good starting point for a new reader as it seems like it could be a good stand alone book to introduce you to Sylvia and her life. Those following the series are perhaps more likely to view it as a cheap filler.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    This book is worth buying just for the wonderful recipes it contains. Because of these recipes though, I do have to warn that reading this book won't take very long. The recipes are numerous and included within the story itself so the book is actually only about half as long as it looks. I'm not going to take the time to recap the rest of the books as there are twelve that come before and it would take a whole review just for that, but even so, this book could be read as a stand alone. Sylvia, an This book is worth buying just for the wonderful recipes it contains. Because of these recipes though, I do have to warn that reading this book won't take very long. The recipes are numerous and included within the story itself so the book is actually only about half as long as it looks. I'm not going to take the time to recap the rest of the books as there are twelve that come before and it would take a whole review just for that, but even so, this book could be read as a stand alone. Sylvia, and the new cook Anna, are busing cleaning out the cupboard of Elm Creek Manor. Elm Creek Manor plays host to a quilter's retreat during the warmer months and now that they have a new cook to help with all the people who need fed, they need to redesign the kitchen as well. Desperate to fit in as she is so new, Anna wants to make the kitchen the perfect place that produces wonderful meals, but she doesn't want it to feel different than the rest of the manor. She wants to find a way to tie the rest of Elm Creek into this future redesigned kitchen. Sylvia is helping her with the cleaning out and as they work through the cupboards she finds family treasures and heirlooms. Each discovery brings back a memory and she happily tells Anna the meaning behind each piece. The items also follow a theme and we can see the chapter range from Harvest to Thanksgiving, to Christmas and beyond in sequential order. This of course fits in perfectly with the recipes located at the end of each chapter. I wasn't sure what to think of the location of the recipes at first. From a reading standpoint it would have made more sense to put them all at the end. But really, I think Chiaverini made the right choice as having the recipes at the end of each chapter made it easy to see which were for a specific occasion. You could definitely tell when something was supposed to be served or when the ingredients would be found easily based on the location in the book. As a sneak peak, here are some of the 102 recipes featured in the book: Cider Cheddar Fondue Denver Omelet Chestnut Dressing Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache Spicy Meatballs Mushroom Soup with Fresh Rosemary Quilter's Coffee Since this story was so short, Chiaverini didn't have a lot of detail put into the writing. The stories Sylvia shared with Anna were heartwarming though and it was nice to see the interaction between the two characters as it showed Sylvia being very welcoming and understanding of Anna's feelings. While this story was a bit on the smaller side, it was definitely charming. I loved this book. As an avid quilter and a big fan of cooking in the kitchen, it was a mix of both of my favorite things. I definitely plan on making quite a few of the recipes and if I do, I'll be sure to edit this review with the results. On to cooking and quilting! The Quilter's Kitchen Copyright 2008 204 plus a metrics equivalents page, Acknowledgments for recipes page, and Recipe Index

  4. 5 out of 5

    Julie Barrett

    The quilter's kitchen an Elm Creek Quilts novel with recipes by Jennifer Chiaverini This book is mainly about the kitchen at Elm Creek Manor. It is being renovated and Ana got the job to be the chef. Lots of food and recipes that are served at the quilter's camp. Lots of stories about newly found dishes that hold a place in Sylvia's heart and family. Love all the stories about the holiday foods. Love the history of the feedsacks in quilting and farm work. Love hearing about all the treasures they f The quilter's kitchen an Elm Creek Quilts novel with recipes by Jennifer Chiaverini This book is mainly about the kitchen at Elm Creek Manor. It is being renovated and Ana got the job to be the chef. Lots of food and recipes that are served at the quilter's camp. Lots of stories about newly found dishes that hold a place in Sylvia's heart and family. Love all the stories about the holiday foods. Love the history of the feedsacks in quilting and farm work. Love hearing about all the treasures they find! I received this book from National Library Service for my BARD (Braille Audio Reading Device).

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen Dixon

    This has to have been the biggest disappointment I've had in a book. I've been enjoying this series and, apart from one that I felt wasn't up to standard, have found them engaging and very pleasant. This one is touted as a novel with recipes, but there isn't even one chapter worth of novel, the rest is recipes. The 'novel' isn't even that - there's no plot, just 2 women tiding the kitchen and finding memories. Truly it would have taken up less than one chapter in another novel.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Miriam Robarts

    I picked up this book browsing in the library. This book had a cute idea of writing recipes in with the story, but as the other reviews say, it's a very empty story that could have been told in a few pages. It was very repetitive and never went anywhere. The first recipes seemed to be dumped into the middle--tripping it up instead of tying into the story. The later ones made more sense, but it seemed like they were trying too hard to string together a story when there never was a real plot. I got I picked up this book browsing in the library. This book had a cute idea of writing recipes in with the story, but as the other reviews say, it's a very empty story that could have been told in a few pages. It was very repetitive and never went anywhere. The first recipes seemed to be dumped into the middle--tripping it up instead of tying into the story. The later ones made more sense, but it seemed like they were trying too hard to string together a story when there never was a real plot. I got the feeling that this was an early draft instead of a finished book. I didn't know it was part of a series until I searched for it on goodreads. Although, it did seem like it was gearing up for another volume as a couple of characters were mentioned--hinting at a story line, but it was never even started, let alone finished.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    This is a short book in the Elm Creek Quilt series and is the 13th novel. It is centered on the current day, with looks back in history. Rather than a full blown story, it is primarily a recipe book with the background of the preparation of the kitchen for remodeling as Sylvia and Anna clean out and pack. Sylvia remembers various short stories about certain items that they find and the recipes revolve around these particular stories. There are descriptions of holiday events, picnics, and more re This is a short book in the Elm Creek Quilt series and is the 13th novel. It is centered on the current day, with looks back in history. Rather than a full blown story, it is primarily a recipe book with the background of the preparation of the kitchen for remodeling as Sylvia and Anna clean out and pack. Sylvia remembers various short stories about certain items that they find and the recipes revolve around these particular stories. There are descriptions of holiday events, picnics, and more recent events with the quilting camp. Anna and Sylvia come up with some novel ways to honor the past as they move into the future with a modern kitchen. Had I not known this was the format, I might have been disappointed, but I thought it was a nice way to incorporated Elm Creek Quilts into a mini cookbook. It was a quick and easy read and I look forward to trying some of the recipes in the book.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    I have read and enjoyed many of Chiaverini's Elm Creek Quilt stories. This one is billed as a novel with recipes. I think it is better described as a recipe book with a short story. Sylvia Compson and her new head chef, Anna, are dismantling their old kitchen to prepare for a modernization. While they clean out cupboards they reminisce about things they find, and about the history and traditions of the house and of the Quilt Camps that have been held there. The recipes take up a large part of t I have read and enjoyed many of Chiaverini's Elm Creek Quilt stories. This one is billed as a novel with recipes. I think it is better described as a recipe book with a short story. Sylvia Compson and her new head chef, Anna, are dismantling their old kitchen to prepare for a modernization. While they clean out cupboards they reminisce about things they find, and about the history and traditions of the house and of the Quilt Camps that have been held there. The recipes take up a large part of the book, and they all sound delicious. I read it in a few hours, but I really didn't feel as if I'd read a novel.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    This Elm Creek Quilts novel is just ok. It is basically a cookbook with a very short story mingled within. One of the newest additions to the quilters, Anna Del Maso, is the main character, along with Sylvia Bergstrom Compson, featured in this book. I was hoping to have Chiaverini develop her character some more, but she didn't. Instead book 13 reminisces more about the history of the Manor and retells stories from previous novels. Since the majority of the book is recipes, The Quilter's Kitchen This Elm Creek Quilts novel is just ok. It is basically a cookbook with a very short story mingled within. One of the newest additions to the quilters, Anna Del Maso, is the main character, along with Sylvia Bergstrom Compson, featured in this book. I was hoping to have Chiaverini develop her character some more, but she didn't. Instead book 13 reminisces more about the history of the Manor and retells stories from previous novels. Since the majority of the book is recipes, The Quilter's Kitchen is a quick read.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Alma

    This book is part of the Elm Creek Quilters series. It purports to be a novel, but the plot is extremely simple and thin, being only a short story about cleaning out an old kitchen and reliving the memories of meals made there. I’ve tried one recipe for mushroom soup which was pretty good and another for “Parmesan Puffs,” a kind of cheesy shortbread cooky that wasn’t a puff at all. (That one was a one-time experiment!) “Shoo-fly Pie” sounds interesting.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Loralee

    Chiaverini usually has engaging plots, characters whose problems interest the reader, and historical detail deftly tied into the story. This book lacks both story and cohesion, and is really more of an excuse for a cookbook. If you want to sample some recipes, go ahead; otherwise, all you need to know from this book is that Sylvia and Anna find a long-lost cornucopia during a kitchen clean-out which they decide to use for a new quilting tradition (see the Quilter's Holiday.)

  12. 5 out of 5

    Cindy

    This book introduces a new character, Anna Del Maso to the Elm Creek quilers. Anna will be the new head chef at the Manor and as she and Sylvia dismantle the kitchen in preparation of remodeling, Sylvia shares some of the traditions of the Manor. The book has some wonderful recipes related to the traditions of the Manor, which remind me of my Pennsylvania Dutch heritage and I'll be trying them soon.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Myrna

    I enjoyed this book. I love the Elm Creek Quilters, and it was really neat seeing the recipes. The story itself wasn't very long, and the book was mainly recipes, but there were a few hints of...what? a relationship change, maybe? Anyway, I'm looking forward to trying Summer's Vegetarian Chili!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lain

    Would have liked a little more "meat" to this. The recipes look great, but there wasn't enough exposition in between.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay

    Very very short book, about half is recipes. I wouldn't count this as part of the series, but rather a companion to the series

  16. 4 out of 5

    N Reads

    Elm Creek Manor needed a new chef for their quilt camps. Anna got the job but really doesn't know the staff. In order for Anna to accept the chef position, Sylvia (owner of Elm Creek Manor) agreed to renovate the kitchen. This small book takes place over just a day as Sylvia and Anna get to know each other and Sylvia retells stories and memories of days gone by. Most of the memories have been covered in other novels (this is #13 in the series), but over the years I have forgotten many of them. Thi Elm Creek Manor needed a new chef for their quilt camps. Anna got the job but really doesn't know the staff. In order for Anna to accept the chef position, Sylvia (owner of Elm Creek Manor) agreed to renovate the kitchen. This small book takes place over just a day as Sylvia and Anna get to know each other and Sylvia retells stories and memories of days gone by. Most of the memories have been covered in other novels (this is #13 in the series), but over the years I have forgotten many of them. This book only took me a couple of hours to read. Most of the 200 pages were recipes that I had no interest in looking at but appeared to be foods that were served over the years at the Manor. Since I had read all of the books in the series, I had to include this one, too. It wasn't a waste of time, but I did miss the whole gang.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    This is a sweet story that helps bring this new character into the series. The story itself is very short but interspersed with recipes that are associated with stories talked about in the story. I liked the story, it was a nice quick read to wind down the night and some of the recipes seem pretty good as well.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Peggy Zeigler

    A quick read, more of a cookbook, has only 2 characters, the main one of Slyvia, who is the owner of Elm Creek Manor and the new cook Anne. they are having the kitchen updated and while clearing out cabinets, find items from previous ancestors and Slyvia tells stories about that person. Her aunts aprons, food her mother cooked, ect.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lynne Radcliffe

    Quick read, more of a short story filled with recipes that compliment the tale being told as Sylvia and Anna clean out the old kitchen in preparation of a remodel to modernize the kitchen at Elm Creek Manor.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    Another continuing episode in the Elm Creek series. I'm in love with this series! I loved the recipes included with this book. So fun to actually read the recipes as you are reading the story! Very easy to read short story.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Mary Beth

    Short story with lots of recipes.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Denice

    Not a lot of depth to this book, but fun to read nevertheless. Short chapters with lots of recipes. Clean language.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Carol Moore Kollar

    Sylvia has promised Chef Anna a new kitchen at Elm Creek Manor. While they clean out and empty the kitchen, Sylvia reminisces growing up in the house. Filled with recipes, it is a quick read.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jean

    Quick fun read with recipes!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Talea

    Perfect for a foodie that likes to sew in need of a feel good, easy reading book. I loved the companionship of the two women as the history of Elm Creek Manor.

  26. 4 out of 5

    kmm1985

    Mostly recipes, not much story... sweet!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Nikki A McDowell

    Can't wait to try the Camper's Wrap!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Claudia

    Half recipe book, half novel that went nowhere. Disappointment.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    I enjoyed the book and it has some delicious recipes in it.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Doris Dhf

    Earlier books were better. Still like the community and setting but feel like the author is running out of fresh ideas.

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