April 2 2010, 10:44 AM
There's always room for another cookbook on my shelves---assuming, of course, it's worth its salt. And determining that takes time and many test runs in the kitchen. For the last couple months, I've been smitten with A Well-Seasoned Kitchen by Denverite Lee Clayton Roper and her late mother, Sally Clayton. The book has the feel of a Junior League cookbook with beautiful pictures and classic dishes, but I find the fare more engaging. The homespun recipes are easy to follow but finely tuned and brightly flavored. Favorites thus far include the gooey overnight Bundt caramel rolls (perfect for Easter morning); the light spinach salad with lemon-pine-nut dressing; the springy, minted green beans with feta and pecans; and the savory roasted-chicken sausage and butternut squash (I used Italian sausage). Next up: rhubarb pie---the quintessential rite of spring. When Lee conceived of the cookbook, it was to engage her mother, who was slowly slipping away to Alzheimer's disease. Now, as a finished work, A Well-Seasoned Kitchen catalogs those precious moments spent in the kitchen, cooking, talking, and sharing family history. Bonus: A portion of A Well-Seasoned Kitchen's proceeds benefit the Alzheimer's Association Colorado Chapter. Purchase the book online, at the Bookies bookstore, or on Amazon.com.