Every family has their own set of holiday traditions, but these traditions don’t simply spring up from nothing. They’re influenced heavily by region, and not just by what part of the world your family is from. Influences can come from much closer to home, so regional differences can still be big from state to state and the traditions that are unique from state to state, and city to city are those examined by The All-American Christmas Cookbook.
The format of the book is simple: there is one Christmas recipe from every state. Many of the recipes are for desserts or sweeter treats, possibly because we expect the holidays to be a time of some indulgence and keep our traditions in this area. There are some savory dishes, however, including Baked Ham and numerous side dishes, so your menu won’t be limited if you want to make a themed holiday dinner with the help of this book. In fact, the book includes a section at the end to help you plan out holiday menus! In addition to the 50 state recipes, there are several recipes for homemade food gifts to make – another tradition that gets carried out every year by many families.
The cookbook has a retro theme that is carried out by its artwork and illustrations. There are few photos, but plenty of old Christmas cards, posters and general illustrations of the season. Don’t be put off by this if you don’t like “retro” recipes because the recipes, although familiar, are thoroughly modern. They’re all easy to follow along with, with well-written instructions and tips for completing each recipe. The recipes also all have some notes about their histories, either about their origin or simply some backstory on what makes them so popular.