At A Glance
Title: The Dairy Good Cookbook: Everyday Comfort Food from America’s Dairy Farm Families
Author: Edited by Lisa Kingsley; Foreword by Carla Hall
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Release Date: June 2015
Cover Price: $25
Target Audience: People curious for a look into farm-family cooking; dairy fans of all varieties
Milk was a very important part of my childhood. We had milk breaks in 1st and 2nd grade every afternoon, and ripping open that little carton was easily one of my daily highlights. I’d almost always ask to have milk with dinner, after previously having some for breakfast and those wonderful afternoon breaks, but my (eminently wise) parents would gently remind me that I had already had my fair share of dairy for the day.
Even now as an adult, nothing truly beats an ice-cold glass of milk, and I would be a mere shell of my current self if I couldn’t have cold cereal, my go-to late-night snack that basically got me through college (and beyond). Thankfully, I am not alone in my taste for dairy, and with The Dairy Good Cookbook, America’s dairy farmers get a chance to show you all the varied ways they use and enjoy their products.
Fair warning: If you’re lactose-intolerant or have removed dairy from your diet, you may want to skip the rest of this review—this book is probably not for you. (Also, you have my sympathy: I would be nothing without cheese.)
Structured from sunrise to sundown with an additional chapter for special occasions, The Dairy Good Cookbook is packed with over 100 recipes that will please any dairy-lover’s palate. They range from simple comfort food contributed by the farmers themselves, like Caraway Cheese Soup from Wisconsin farmers John and Kim Koepke and Pink Arctic Freeze from Sarah VanOrden in Ovid, N.Y., to recipes from award-winning chefs and restaurateurs, including a yogurt baked cod from Top Chef contestant Carla Hall and a creamy pea soup from James Beard Award winner Sandy D’Amato.
Breed and farmer profiles keep the book readable while also reminding you of the time and energy dairy farmers (and their cows) put into their work. Peter Krumhart and Dean Tanner’s food photography brings the recipes to life, and the inclusion of farm and animal photos makes the volume feel complete. Who wouldn’t want to make a Vanilla Iced Mochaccino while also getting to see a cute photo of a Holstein getting a scratch from a youngster?
Of course, an entire cookbook of dairy-based dishes can start to wear a little thin—you can only use a yogurt sauce so many times a week—but Kingsley does an admirable job keeping the recipes varied. Plus, many of them, especially the entrées like Blackened Fish Tostadas with Watermelon Salsa, only feature a sprinkling of cheese, so put aside any worries that the book is filled only with heavy meals.
There is also a handy chart at the front of the book that explains how each of the 12 featured dairy products in the book are actually made and how to properly incorporate them into your cooking. It would have been nice to see this fleshed out a little more to incorporate some info on the milking process and dairy-cow husbandry, but that is definitely outside the scope of a cookbook.
All in all, The Dairy Good Cookbook is a solid addition to your cookbook library, featuring myriad ways—some expected, some surprising—to work dairy into your diet. It also reminds you to be grateful not only for the animals who produce the milk that we transform into a wide variety of versatile and delicious dairy products, but also for the farmers themselves, who work tirelessly to ensure that you can find milk in every grocery store across the country.
The Final Word: Pick up a copy of The Dairy Good Cookbook to never wonder what do with the dairy products in your fridge ever again.
Get more milk-based recipes on HobbyFarms.com: