Woman holding the cookbook "Small Victories" in kitchen
Credit: Joe Lingeman

Let’s Eat! June’s Cookbook Club Pick Is “Small Victories” by Julia Turshen.

updated May 26, 2020
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Hi, friends! It’s me again: your resident cookbook club guide. I hope you’ve had a fruitful journey with Jamie Oliver’s 5 Ingredients this month. I’ve really enjoyed how straight-forward the recipes are from this book — it almost feels utilitarian, but with a creative flare. If you weren’t able to snag a copy of the book, I highly recommend trying out this recipe for creamy mushroom chicken, this recipe for seared Italian beef, and this garlic mushroom pasta. And while you’re cooking the next couple of days, why not tune into one of his shows on Amazon Prime? (I’m personally watching Jamie Oliver’s Food Escapes – French Pyranees.)

So here we are: It’s almost June. We’re halfway through the year, and what a year it has been. I don’t need to tell you things have been hard (you know this already). So, to kick off summer and focus on some achievable victories for 2020, we decided to explore Julia Turshen’s Small Victories for the month of June! Read on to see why we chose this book, and how to follow along.

Want to follow along with Kitchn’s digital Cookbook Club? Here’s how to participate.

  1. Get the book! You can buy the book here or look for it at your local library; while many libraries are currently closed, you may be able to access a digital copy. Also consider buying from your local bookstore!
  2. Join Kitchn Cookbook Club Facebook group. This is our private space for all of you to talk about the book, ask questions, and chat about what you’re cooking. Click here to join! It’s very active.
  3. Share a recipe review on Instagram and tag with #kitchncookbookclub. Make a recipe from Small Victories. Post a photo of your dish on Instagram, with a short review of the recipe in the caption.
Credit: Joe Lingeman

Why Small Victories Is Our June Cookbook Club Pick

For the last month or so during the pandemic, Kitchn editors have talked about how our readers and friends are feeling a little burnt out from cooking (and here’s a guide if you’re feeling that way). It’s understandable — many people are probably cooking and meal planning more than they ever have right now. But in the same breath, we’re also noticing that many cooks are calling out the things they feel proud about in the kitchen — how they were able to stretch their groceries a little longer, or that they made their first-ever loaf of sourdough bread. These moments in the kitchen feel so essential in a time where everything feels imbued with uncertainty.

And it’s these moments that inspired our cookbook pick for June. Julia’s 2016 best-selling cookbook is all about celebrating the small achievements so that you can “become a comfortable, intuitive, and inventive cook.” Each recipe includes a “small victory” moment. For example, Julia recommends using “old eggs” (at least a week old) for her green eggs with (or without) ham recipe because older eggs are easier to peel. Brilliant!

So for June, let’s continue to call out our own accomplishments in the kitchen. And while you’re at it, make the most delicious turkey meatballs you’ll ever have (page 168 in the book). Small Victories has been one of my favorite cookbooks to come out in the last five years, and I hope you’ll feel that way too before July.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

Get the Book

Have you cooked anything from Small Victories before? What about Julia’s most recent cookbook, Now & Again? Are there any favorites? Let me know in our Facebook group. I personally have my eye on the “Happy Wife, Happy Life Chocolate Cake” which I’ve heard so many great things about, and I need a good excuse to make a cake. Happy Cooking!

Ariel Knutson, Features Director