But this is more than a cookbook. In Mother's Kitchen is a testament to the many ways a mother can shape a child's life through cooking. For whatever ails you, Mama has a cure she can whip up, such as Deena Chafetz's Chicken and Matzo Ball Soup. Food also conveys cultural traditions: Lidia Bastianich remembers how as a child in Italy her mother taught her to shape gnocchi, which she now makes here with her grandchildren. Taking Avocado and Grapefruit Salad as an example, Alice Waters relates how the kitchen is a place to instill not just flavors but also values, like the importance of eating seasonally and locally. Food brings us together for celebrations, when mothers lavish time preparing special dishes, such as Sara Moulton's Turkey Tamales with Cranberry Relish.
And, as each daughter learns a recipe from her mother, she gives something of herself to the dish, subtly tweaking it to fit the new generation's tastes and improving it with techniques learned over the years. With the world-class group of culinary minds involved, there are plenty of innovative twists on old standards, like Potato Salad with Mint and Artichokes, Little Grits Cakes with Deviled Crab, Chilled Pumpkin-Coconut Soup, Pear Riesling Trifle, and Apple Brioche Pudding. In Mother's Kitchen makes a perfect gift for Mother's Day or for any family member throughout the year to celebrate the bonds that bring us together around the table.