February 2, 2015

The Pollan Family Table Interview + Giveaway

The Polan Family Table | The Naptime Chef

The Pollan Family Table: The Best Recipes and Wisdom for Delicious, Healthy Family Meals is perfectly named. It is not one of those books that offers a mere page or two of advice before diving into unusual recipes. Oh, no. It is more like a cookbook with a lot of wisdom and practical, delicious recipes thrown in. When I first cracked the book I was unsure of what to expect. Would brother Michael’s introduction be a diatribe about America’s tragic food policy? Would all the recipes be strictly diet/low-fat/no flavor? Thankfully, I quickly found the book was exactly the opposite, and so much more.

It turns out that not only is the Pollan family a close-knit family of home cooks. They are also a family of eaters. By that I mean, it is clear they love food, and they love to eat it together. Nobody I know would or could offer up these smart and thorough recipes and tips if they didn’t. Once I came to this realization I knew I was in for a real treat.

The first third of the book is devoted to all sorts of practical advice on how to keep your kitchen running efficiently, and its inhabitants healthy. While I have pages of advice I’ve written over the years, I always love to see how others approach their kitchens. The Pollans have a treasure trove of good advice and I definitely made a few notes! The rest of the book is recipes. The chapters are smartly divided into the major family food groups starting with Poultry and ending with dessert.  Within each chapter the recipes come with ample descriptive headnotes and detailed instructions. It is easy to see how each dish fits onto the family table.

I was lucky enough to interview the fantastic Pollan women about their book and here is our conversation:

1) Right off the bat one of my favorite things about this book is the chapter organization. You really hit on the main “family food groups” so to speak. How did you come up with the idea to present the book this way? And thank you for the wide variety of chicken dishes – always a family favorite!

First of all, our families love chicken too! We know first hand how hard it can be to put meals on the table. We organized The Pollan Family Table in a way that we thought would make it easier for people to plan their meals. For instance if you want to prepare “ chicken with a salad” for dinner— the reader can go to the chicken chapter and choose a chicken dish and then flip through the salad chapter and pick out a salad. It was important to us that our cookbook make preparing family meals as easy and as uncomplicated as possible!

2) I bet there were a lot of opinions about the recipes that were tested for this book. How did you decide on the final cut? They all look amazing!

The fact that our book was written by four authors one might think it was difficult to decide what would make the “final cut”. I think because we all grew up in the same household with our mother, Corky, cooking for us and exposing us to all of the same foods, our tastes are extremely similar. We pretty much agreed on everything.

3) Since Valentine’s Day is around the corner, could you share your perfect menu for a romantic family meal at home? I love making our Valentine’s Day dinner after the kids are asleep!

We would love to! We would start the meal with our Mixed Lettuce Salad with Three Vinegars, next, the Citrus-Roasted Chicken with Grand Marnier and for dessert, Aquinnah and Schuyler’s Chocolate Cream Pie with Chocolate Graham Cracker Crust. This menu is sure to warm the heart. It would be our perfect Valentine’s Day dinner!

Roast Chicken from The Pollan Family Table
4) This book is so chock full of practical advice and recipes. I have to believe there is more where it came from. What is next for the (very busy) Pollan family?!

We would love to write another cookbook. We have some truly wonderful holiday recipes—it would be exciting to put them in a book. In the meantime, we enjoy cooking together and are constantly thinking of new recipes and ideas and bouncing them off one another.

This book really, truly is one of those must-haves you’ll keep around in your kitchen for years to come. Even now I find something new every single time I open it. It is clearly written by a family which is what fills it with warmth that spills out of the pages and into your kitchen. If there is one book you need to start out the new year, this is it!

To enter to win a copy of The Pollan Family Table:

1) Leave a comment sharing a favorite family dish you look forward to sharing with your relatives each year.

2) Follow Kelsey Banfield on Facebook.

3) Contest runs from Monday February 2nd through Monday February 9th. Winner will be announced in the February 13th newsletter. Good luck!

All images above © The Pollan Family Table. Used with permission.