Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Southern Cookbooks I

Killing time at Barnes and Noble means catching up on my cookbook reading. Now mind you, I'm not a cookbook collector. I am a cookbook user; I am a cookbook aficianado.

The Lee brothers made their name providing beloved regional foodstuffs to southern expatriates (beginning with the search for boiled peanuts on Manhattan's Lower East Side), which led to writing assignments on southern travel and foodways.
The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook is fun, lovingly written and practical. Matt and Ted Lee understand the ties between southern people, geography, memory and food. The best southern cooks always write about the personal and emotional connection to their land and their people.
They're also reasonable. For instance, the book has two recipes for greens - one traditional and slow, the other modern and zippy - because we don't always have leisurely hours to while away simmering collards.
I'd buy it just for the fig preserve recipe. But you must love men who also bow the knee to real pimiento cheese.

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