Holm Family Cookbook

Some eat to live, we live to eat!

Book Reviews

“Once in a blue moon a book is created that captures the intimate feeling of a particular family while appealing broadly to the sentiment of the placement of a family within the larger community.  The Holm Family Cookbook revels in the equanimity of shared experience through the universal appeal of food—wonderful home recipes presented by real grandmothers and aunties. It blasts the stereotypes of ethereal “California cuisine,” by providing examples how immigrant Danish food culture has been layered with Mexican, Californio, Yankee, and other culinary expressions at one California ranch community.  The results are surprising and wholly honest.  The Holm Family Cookbook is California.” 
~ Dr. P. Christiaan Klieger, Senior Curator, Oakland Museum of California


“This book is a wonderful view into the history of a pioneer family in the Livermore Valley told through a rich selection of heritage recipes.  The scope of stories, remembrances and recipes makes this a captivating read for the foodie and the historian. Very enjoyable in its simplicity about food woven into the fabric of life and how this is relevant to us all.”
~ Carolyn Wente, Fourth Generation Winegrower


“This is a history of a family through food and photographs. The photographs show who the people are and when we talk about people, we’re talking about a huge extended family with photographs spanning generations. The food recipes are just as revealing as the photographs because they tell you what people ate for supper. I’m sure many recipes were verbal, then written down or clipped out of newspapers, and passed on generation after generation. What tells you more, the photographs or the food? I don’t know, but this book is a delight.”
~ Bill Owens, Photographer, Hayward, CA

“I hope we are what we eat and drink because this is the story of life well lived by several generations. This incredible collection of photos and stories is woven around the story of original California pioneers and is one of the best records of the life that I knew in Livermore. And, if you don't cook, then this book will tell you how to mix a mean cocktail too. Truly one-of-a-kind.”
~ Tom Concannon, descendant of a founding California wine family

"This book is an extraordinary chronicling of the food and history that has made the Livermore Valley a wonderful place to live.  Congratulations to the Holm families for gathering and sharing it with all of us.”
~ Chris Draa, Executive Pastry Chef, Diablo Valley College"

“Our community of Solvang—now a favorite spot to visit in California—was settled by transplanted families of Danish farmers and craftsmen, people much like the Holm clan.  By the time celebration of  Solvang's centennial gets underway in 2011, I hope we will have a local cookbook as appealing as this one.  In the meantime we look forward to adding The Holm Family Cookbook to both our Scandinavian and western Americana cookbook sections.”
~ Katheryn A. Mullins, The Book Loft, Solvang, CA

"A friend once said that if there was just one recipe in a cookbook you wanted to try, then the cookbook was worth buying. Well then, The Holm Family Cookbook is a fantastic investment for its 240 pages of culinary delights. And with the book cover touting: “Some eat to live, we live to eat!,” how could I not want to open it, seek out a meat dish and accompanying side, uncork some wine, turn on the oven and start chopping.  With but days into the book, I’ve provided Mae’s Lemon Pie, Sophie’s Danish Cookies, Warm Spinach and Basil Salad, Hot Stuffed Green Olives, Boiled Raisin Cake and Raspberry Trifle for dinner parties. Our friends are not through tasting yet. Waiting in the next-to-bring list for gatherings are Killer Bread, Granny’s Potato Salad (without eggs, no less), Granny’s Iced Tea (sun tea based with frozen lemonade added), Persimmon Pudding and Pumpkin-Pecan Cheesecake. And when the grandkids come next they will sit down to Breakfast Casserole. But there’s more to this cookbook, dedicated to two Holm grandmothers, than these tasty winners. The Holm Family Cookbook is worth reading simply for an intriguing history lesson about the Tri-Valley. Three recent generations of Holms share their experiences with memories, anecdotes and photos but their story really began when Grandma Holm’s fore bearer, a Danish sea captain who landed in San Francisco Bay in 1853 and went eastward to work as a carpenter and farmhand. His first purchase of land eventually grew to include 360 acres in Pleasanton.  Sprinkled throughout are references to their Danish heritage with mentions of local involvement in schools, the Livermore Rodeo and summers at the family ranch where Stockton Red onions grew and milk cows’ cream went by train to the Tomales Bay Creamery. A page is even devoted to the 1906 earthquake and the damage it caused in Livermore. There are numerous cookbooks in our bookcase from countries we have visited; most were purchased to provide quick and easy memories of our travels. The Holm Family Cookbook will eventually join them for our children to peruse when they want to recall their roots in the Tri-Valley or try someone else’s home cooking." ~ Sarah Warnick, onetime Lifestyle editor for the Tri-Valley Herald (Sally Tockey), a cookbook collector and longtime foodie who loves to try new recipes. Marketing Manager and Member Board of Directors, Pleasanton’s Museum on Main