December 2009 Indie Next List
“Suzan Colon's account of discovering her grandmother's recipies following her loss of her job as a magazine editor is timely and heartwarming. I'm not a cook, but I'm inspired to be one after reading Cherries in Winter.”
— Karin Wilson, Page & Palette, Fairhope, AL
What is the secret to finding hope in hard times?
When Suzan Colón was laid off from her dream job at a magazine during the economic downturn of 2008, she needed to cut her budget way, way back, and that meant home cooking. Her mother suggested, “Why don’t you look in Nana’s recipe folder?” In the basement, Suzan found the tattered treasure, full of handwritten and meticulously typed recipes, peppered with her grandmother Matilda’s commentary in the margins. Reading it, Suzan realized she had found something more than a collection of recipes—she had found the key to her family’s survival through hard times.
Suzan began re-creating Matilda’s “sturdy food” recipes for baked pork chops and beef stew, and Aunt Nettie’s clam chowder made with clams dug up by Suzan’s grandfather Charlie in Long Island Sound. And she began uncovering the stories of her resilient family’s past. Taking inspiration from stylish, indomitable Matilda, who was the sole support of her family as a teenager during the Great Depression (and who always answered “How are you?” with “Fabulous, never better!”), and from dashing, twice-widowed Charlie, Suzan starts to approach her own crisis with a sense of wonder and gratitude. It turns out that the gift to survive and thrive through hard times had been bred in her bones all along.
Cherries in Winter is an irresistible gem of a book. It makes you want to cook, it makes you want to know your own family’s stories, and, above all, it makes you feel rich no matter what.
About the Author
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Suzan Colón is a contributing writer and editor for O, The Oprah Magazine. Her articles have appeared in Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, Rolling Stone, Details, and other magazines. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, Nathan.
Praise for Cherries in Winter:
"Cherries in Winter is a celebration of true wealth: love that sustains us through life's difficulties, and good food—especially in the form of recipes passed down through generations—that fortifies our bodies and souls."
—Giulia Melucci, author of I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti
"This delightful book is as bracing, honest, and nourishing as the family recipes that serve as the trellis for Suzan Colon's wonderfully told story."
—Alexander Lobrano, author of Hungry for Paris
"Delicious. Delectable. Truthful, funny, and poignant. Like a great recipe, Suzan Colón's Cherries in Winter is a keeper and a treat to share with those you love."
—Adriana Trigiani, bestselling author of Big Stone Gap and Very Valentine
"Suzan Colón's wonderful book reminds me of M.F.K. Fisher's classic treatise on surviving in the kitchen during hard times, How to Cook a Wolf. Colón's warm, poignant, honest voice and down-home, mouth-watering recipes make me want to go over to her house for dinner immediately."
—Kate Christensen, author of Trouble and winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award for The Great Man