Discussion Questions for Dairy Hollow House Soup & Bread

July 22, 2011
By Holly Jennings

Red Beans and Rice from Dairy Hollow House Soup & Bread

Typically, prior to the potluck for each DCCC cookbook, I post a set of questions to stimulate discussion and to make sure we don’t forget to cover some of the most basic discussion topics at our meeting—such as, “Which recipes does everyone like best?” and “Will members likely cook from this book again?”, and so on. Except this time I forgot. Argh. Summer fun and weeding tasks got the best of me. I’ve decided to post them anyway in the off chance that one day someone may like to discuss this very same book and find this list of questions useful. These questions are meant to be used by anyone or any club that has been reading and making recipes from Dairy Hollow House Soup & Bread.

Crescent Dragonwagon is chatty, making this book as suited for the kitchen as it is at the bedside reading table. She gives you the reader and cook lots of information about food, life, cooking, and gardening, with much practical guidance. Do you enjoy this amount of text in a cookbook? Do you consider it an enhancement, enriching your experience of the recipes you prepared from the book? Or, regardless of the amount of text, do you tend to treat every cookbook the same, and beeline straight to the recipes?

Much of the abundant text in the book is meant to walk you the cook through the recipes so that you arrive at a successful result. When making recipes from this cookbook, did you find your experience in the kitchen frustration free and smooth-going, as a result of the author’s clear and detailed instruction? Or did you run into problems? Is there anything in the recipe instructions that you think could be clearer?

Did you get a sense of Dairy Hollow, and the Ozarks in general—it’s people, the place, and, of course, the food—from Crescent Dragonwagon’s writing?

What did you learn about making soups, salad, or bread that you didn’t know before using this book? Were you surprised by anything?

Did you learn any new cooking techniques or approaches to cooking that you’ll continue to use?

Did you enjoy the introductory sections of the book—the book intro, chapter intros, and recipe intros? In those sections of narrative text, do you feel Crescent Dragonwagon did a good job of describing the individual recipes, and of providing useful, practical information?

What skill level do you think this cookbook is geared toward? Does it assume a basic cooking knowledge?

Was cooking from Dairy Hollow House Soup & Bread your first foray into making a stock from scratch, homemade bread, or even a vinaigrette? And if so, do you think it is a good introduction for someone new to these foods?

In general, what do you think of the food? Did you enjoy it?

Of all the recipes you tried, including those prepared by others at the potluck, which are your favorites?

Do you think you will make recipes from this book again? If not, why not?

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