KitchensI’m reading Kitchens of the Great Midwest which is a debut novel by J. Ryan Standal.  The novel celebrates some of the unique Midwest foods and also the strong bonds of family.  Eva Thorvald isn’t aware that the people she knows as her parents are really her aunt and uncle.  How they came to care for her came about through tragedy, but it worked.  Eva has an intense ability to recognize flavors and a very experimental palate.  The book has heartbreak, humor, and good food.  Do you know you can make money on side bets if you have the ability to eat platters of food heavily laced with hot peppers?  Have you ever wondered what the baking competition can be like at a county fair?  This is a book filled with venison, walleye, Caesar salad, bar cookies, and the most important ingredient—love.

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