Forthcoming cookbooks that focus on the Midwest showcase a diversity that some readers may find surprising. Due out in October from Minnesota Historical Society Press, Come, You Taste: Family Recipes from the Iron Range by B.J. Carpenter, collects recipes from Minnesota’s Iron Range, which is home to people whose families were drawn to the iron-ore–rich area in the early 20th century.
“Their descendants are now interested in the kinds of foods their grandparents and great-grandparents ate,” says Shannon Pennefeather, managing editor at MHS Press. Some 40 nationalities, including Italian, Slovenian, Finnish, and Swedish, are represented. “Similar communities in Wisconsin and Michigan will appreciate this mingling of cuisines.”
Also out from MHS Press, Astonishing Apples by Joan Donatelle (Aug.) is the sixth book in the Northern Plate series, which celebrates the bounty of the Upper Midwest by focusing on a single ingredient. The book offers a guide to the various types of apples the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum and the University of Minnesota have been developing since the 1930s and also includes recipes such as apple bruschetta and cheddar-apple corn bread.
An October release from Amistad, Sweetie Pie’s Cookbook: Soulful Southern Recipes, from My Family to Yours by Robbie Montgomery and Tim Norman, her son, features the soul food Montgomery serves at her two St. Louis restaurants, the first of which opened in 1996. Montgomery, who lived in Mississippi as a child before her family moved to Missouri, worked as a backup singer for Ike and Tina Turner in the 1960s and later did session work for Stevie Wonder, the Rolling Stones, and others.
Today, her audience may be even wider: she and her family star in the reality show Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s, on Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network. But that’s not the only reason, according to Amistad editorial director Tracy Sherrod, that tourists arrive at Sweetie Pie’s by the busload every weekend. They come for the food: “Macaroni and cheese and fried chicken are popular everywhere.”
More Midwest Cookbooks for Fall
Wisconsin Supper Club Cookbook: Iconic Fare and Nostalgia from Landmark Eateries by Mary Bergin (Globe Pequot, Sept.). Supper clubs are an Upper Midwest tradition, and this book collects more than 60 recipes from 40 clubs in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, and Iowa.
The Birchwood Cafe Cookbook: Good Real Food by Tracy Singleton and Marshall Paulsen with Beth Dooley (Univ. of Minnesota Press, Nov.). For 20 years, the Minneapolis cafe has cooked only with ingredients sourced from organic and sustainable practicing farms in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa.
Mennonite Men Can Cook, Too: Celebrating Hospitality with 170 Delicious Recipes by Willard Roth (Good Books, Nov.). Church leader Roth, who grew up in an Iowa farm family, shares recipes he learned from his Mennonite mother and grandmothers, as well as on his travels.
Eli’s Cheesecake Cookbook: Remarkable Recipes from a Chicago Legend by Maureen Schulman, Tara Lane, Diana Moles, Jolene Worthington (Agate, Dec.). Recipes for 40 varieties of cheesecake, among them Hawaiian and cinnamon raisin, from this 35-year-old offshoot of Eli’s the Place for Steak.