“It wasn’t the meal or the service or the array of lilies round the cross or the organ playing or the pastel dresses or hats or anything in particular that made those Easter Sundays memorable. It was all of it together. Getting up early, the hunt for candy, the fight for the bathroom mirror, the walk to church, my father dozing off during the sermon, the smell of my mother’s skin, the mystery of God. And then food, good food. All of it together, all of us together, the whole ball of wax. It felt comfortable and perfect and as if everything was as it should be.
“Tough to recognize a moment you’ll long for one day when you’re in it. Sure is.”— Holly Harden, Good Food from Mrs. Sundberg's Kitchen (2014)
Holly Harden has been a writer for Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion, as well as for one the more popular parts of the legendary show’s Web site, “The View From Mrs. Sundberg’s Window.” Now, to be sure, the recipes included in her new book sound scrumptious, but even if you’re not a foodie, what will linger with you long afterward are not just the taste of the comfort food she describes but her tactile evocation of small-town life in the Midwest. She leaves you, as here, not only with a smile but with a catch in the throat. Remarkable stuff, a perfect blend of art and heart.