No other cookbook provides such a vivid portrait of our state while satisfying even the most discerning tastebuds. Putting to rest the myth that Iowa's cuisine is bland and boring, Puckett reveals its distinctly delicious foodways—as mouth watering and unexpected as they are wholesome.

"…a rarity among cookbooks…more than distinctive recipes…a compelling portrait of Americans gathered around their dinner tables…enriched with photographs of pies and cakes and people and places that make us want to jump in our car and drive to Iowa and eat there forever."—Jane and Michael Stern

"This book may shock the food snobs of America because Iowa's down-home cuisine is not dull after all."—Des Moines Register

"…a combination oral history and cookbook which should delight aficionados of Americana."—Cookbook Digest

"Puckett tapped into the culture of America's Middle West and the result is a book that will give Iowans cause for pride."—World of Cookbooks

Bonnie's Zucchini Casserole

1 medium zucchini, sliced, parboiled, and drained
1 large whole tomato, diced
1/2 medium onion, chopped and sauteed in 1 tablespoon butter
1/2 green pepper, chopped
5 to 6 slices fried bacon, crumbled
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup buttered bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a greased 1-quart casserole, spread alternate layers of zucchini, tomato, onion, green pepper, and bacon. Sprinkle with grated cheese and top with bread crumbs. Bake in preheated oven 20 minutes. Makes 4 servings.

Rhubarb Custard Pie

3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup half-and-half
1 and 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 cups chopped rhubarb
1 9-inch unbaked pie shell

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, mix eggs and half-and-half. Add sugar, flour, salt, and rhubarb and mix thoroughly. Pour mixture into unbaked pie shell. Place pie in over and bake 15 minutes; lower heat to 350 degrees and bake 30 to 45 minutes longer, or until set. Makes 6 to 8 servings.


5 well-packed cups riced potatoes
1/2 cup (1 stick) margarine
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon salt

Use Idaho russet potatoes. Boil, then mash and rice potatoes. Add margarine while potatoes are still warm. Cool until room temperature. Add powdered sugar, flour, and salt. Mix with your hands, knead well, and then roll into a log. Cut and measure into 1/3-cup portions and make a round ball of each portion. Press it down by hand and it will be easier to keep round while rolling out. Dust the large canvas-like cloth lefse "board" (or pastry board) with flour. Press dough down, turn over, and press down again. Roll as thinly as possible using a rolling pin with a pastry sleeve into 14-inch circles to fit the lefse grill. The secret of making thin lefse is using a covered rolling pin. For the last roll across the dough use a grooved lefse rolling pin, which marks the dough slightly and makes it thinner. Using a lefse stick, roll dough onto stick and transfer to hot lefse grill or griddle. You must use a lefse stick or holes will be made in the dough. (Some cooks use a thin spatula instead.) Bake a minute or two, then turn with lefse stick or spatula. Turn when lefse bubbles and brown spots appear. Fold each lefse into half or quarters. Cool between towels and store in plastic bag. Spread with butter to eat. Some people sprinkle the lefse with brown or white sugar and then roll it up. Makes about 18.

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Pages, art, trim size
310 pages, 52 photos