My Newest Cookbook

As you might expect, I have quite an extensive collection of cookbooks.  I really like the die hard, everyday recipes that families collect, share, and pass down over the years.  So I have a lot of church, school, and organization cookbooks in my collection.  I also have an entire file box filled with handwritten recipes and newspaper clippings.  I spend a lot of time adapting these recipes as packaging sizes and foods change over the years.

I also have a lot of standard and specialty cookbooks.  I think every kitchen should have a Joy of Cooking cookbook (I have an older version and a newer version).  Even if you never make a single recipe out of this book, it is a valuable source of information on foods, cooking techniques, and ingredients.  If you want to know how to make a simple sugar cookie – it’s in there.  If you want to know how to roast or braise a pheasant – it’s in there.  If you need to know how to substitute for an ingredient – it’s in there.  And who doesn’t want to know these things?

Sidenote: One of my children was interested in pursuing a culinary degree and decided to take a high school foods class.  The teacher told the students that she “hated” the Joy of Cooking cookbook.  Why?  Because it didn’t have enough pictures.  Yikes.  Pictures are great teaching tools when it comes to cooking but if you want to learn all about peppers (I read this section the other day), you have to read about them.  It’s not enough to just look at pictures.  This child has now moved on to other interests.

I read cookbooks like novels.  I visit them over and over again.  I learn (and relearn) something new all the time.

So, imagine my delight when I received a delivery from UPS yesterday.  The Tom Douglas folks in Seattle sent me an autographed copy of one of his cookbooks!  Thanks Tom Douglas and team!

Here is a collage of the autographed cookbooks I have in my collection.

I didn’t mean to start collecting autographed cookbooks, but I guess that’s going to be my new hobby.  I love to visit cities and taste the local cuisine, and I have done this since I was a young woman in my 20s.  If you ask me about a city I have visited, I will most likely tell you about all of the food I ate there and the restaurants I visited.  When we go to a new place, we ask the locals for recommendations, steer away from chains, and often end up at small unassuming diner-like establishments with great food.

I love southern cooking and especially Low Country Cuisine.  In July 2009, we went to Savannah, Georgia, and stayed on Tybee Island.  That is the summer that Miley Cyrus was filming the movie, The Last Song, there.  We never did see Miley, but we did meet Earl Hiers.  Who is Earl Hiers?  He is Uncle Bubba, Paula Deen’s brother!

Our first day of vacation, we got up early and went to WalMart to buy our sand chairs and beach umbrella.  On the way back, we stopped by Uncle Bubba’s Oyster House to make reservations for dinner.  As I was talking to the hostess, my darling husband proceeded to strike up a friendly conversation with a gentleman who had walked out into the lobby.  I was standing there with my mouth hanging open (in my swimming suit with a coverup on, no makeup, no glasses, and NO CAMERA) as he was talking to Uncle Bubba himself.

After Uncle Bubba convinced us to purchase a disposable camera and a cookbook, we got a picture and an autograph.  Uncle Bubba was quite the salesman.  He was also very engaging and friendly.  He ordered up some chargrilled oysters from the kitchen, and we stood and sampled them right there.  Now that is southern hospitality!  That night (we were cleaned up for dinner), we enjoyed several orders of chargrilled oysters and shrimp & grits among other things.  My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

I have this picture sitting in my office.  I hope I learned my lesson about never going someplace without looking more presentable and having my big girl camera handy.

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