I started to read this book and put it down for awhile. I'm glad I went back to it later. This is a book about food and family and what we inherit from those who came before us. It's filled with simple yet wonderfully wholesome recipes.
Suzan reminds us that these stories and recipes "offer more than directions for making the comfort food that sustained my family for four generations. They’re artifacts from times both good and bad--not vague references, but proof that we’ve been through worse than this and have come out okay.
When reading Cherries in Winter, you will feel a little less alone in these uncertain times. Suzan Colón’s book will make you want to head to the kitchen with a favorite relative in hopes that you, too, will learn a thing or two. Colón’s journey helps us remember to celebrate the simple things, like how, in the deep of winter, summer fruit can still taste its brightest. ((excerpts of a review by Kim Sunee))
As the economy tanked throughout 2008, magazine editor Colón began strategizing and was better prepared when she lost her job. At her mother's suggestion, she unearthed her grandmother's recipe file, and with it a greater sensitivity about a family history that spanned the hardest years of the 20th century.
The resulting book is half cooking memoir with recipes, some more practical than others, and partly family chronicle, some personalities more resilient and dimensional than others. The menfolk, including the narrator's husband and her forebears are mostly given their due (though the disappearance of Colón's biological father is elided), but the story reads as a substantial homage to a strong matriarchal line, from the author's own determined persona and voice to the prominent and similar roles played by her mother and her maternal grandmother.