We love the Mitford books here at the Schoolhouse! Clara gets the books on tape over and over at the library, and we even included a trip to Jan Karon's real-life town of Blowing Rock, North Carolina, on a camping trip several years ago. One of the best things about the series are the frequent mention of food and what's cooking--and The Mitford Cookbook and Kitchen Reader distills all of the best parts for the greedy reader (yes,that's me).
Now, this food is very, very Southern food. Lots of shortening, lots of butter. Lots of self-rising white flour, so you might not want to make these recipes everyday occurences. But oh, they are good!
Clara has adopted one has her own, and frequently makes us Cynthia's Heavenly Tea. I won't give the whole recipe away, in the interests of preserving Cynthia's secret recipe, but I will say that it calls for black tea, fresh mint, sugar, lemonade concentrate, apricot nectar, and almond extract. Even those who don't like sweetened tea (that's me too) will pronounce it heavenly (as long as they learn from my mistake and do not allow vanilla to be substituted for almond extract--yuck). Properly made, this tea will take you to heaven.