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Food books seek to highlight Midwest immigrant experience

Dec 4, 2014

Credit Peggy Wolff

The smell of freshly baked bread can trigger memories of home, especially around the holiday season.

Peggy Wolff is the author of Fried Walleye and Cherry Pie: Midwestern Writers on Food. She’s part of a project called "Little Big Books.” 

It's a series of four small cookbooks, each on one subject – bread, pie, vegetables and barbeque. The idea behind the books is to highlight the Midwest immigrant experience through food.

“These were the flavors they savored. These were the tastes they were accustomed to from their homeland,” says Wolff.  

Not Since Sliced Bread: Ethnic Loaf Recipes from the American Midwest is part of the project. It contains 12 recipes from bread makers from Kansas to Nebraska to Michigan and beyond.

In her book, Wolff features Maureen Abood, a blogger living in northern Michigan. Abood’s pita bread recipe comes from her Lebanese grandmother.

Molly O'Neil, former New York Times food columnist, is the founder of the project “Little Big Books.” It’s part of her larger campaign called “One Big Table.” O’Neil has turned to Kickstarter to raise the money to get the books published.

Peggy Wolff will be in Michigan on Friday, December 5. At Just Imagine in Chelsea there will be a meet-and-greet with Wolff, Michigan writer Bonnie Jo Campbell, and Ann Arbor’s Le Dog owner Jules van Dyck-Dobos from 3-4 p.m. Then at 6:30 p.m., Peggy and Bonnie Jo will be talking about Midwestern food and writing at Zingerman's Cornman Farms.