Thursday, May 28, 2009

A Gracious Plenty

A Gracious Plenty indeed. I have done a few cookbook reviews on my blog and I'm adding one more to my list.

The link above will take you to Amazon's website where the books is tragically no longer in print, but you can get it used. I would highly recommend buying this book, you need it.

It is a little ironic that I'm blogging about this cookbook now. It is a great resource for many different recipes, but especially great southern vegetable dishes. I have really enjoyed using it to cook simple and delicious okra, tomato, or almost any other southern vegetable. The irony is this year has been so tough for farmers, and my grandparents, the great source of our summer vegetables have had a horrible garden year. I always really appreciate what they send us, as a child I didn't know how blessed we were to receive "groceries" from Granny and PopPop. Now I absolutely cherish them and have tried to carry on the tradition by growing our own. And to think last year I canned tomatoes because we had such of a surplus!

This cookbook is great even if you must go to the farmers market to buy your own vegetables to cook. I cooked a great and super simple okra and sausage recipe that Daniel really liked. That is always the marker for whether a dish is successful or not. I will really eat almost anything, unfortunately I think most of my taste buds are dead. I can taste things, but I don't pick up on subtle notes of bitterness or the like. Plus texture weirdness doesn't bother me. Thankfully Daniel is not picky, but if he doesn't like something I probably won't fix it again. Most everything I have prepared from this cookbook has been a hit. The techniques are fairly simple, the ingredient lists short, and the recipes are fairly healthy. Yes sausage and bacon are used, but I'm not going to get in that debate now. I have several past posts on that subject.

I love that many of the recipes are probably similar to what my great grandparents cooked. One of my favorite PopPop lines is "if you'd come to Hebron 70 years ago talking about a canola (oil) people wouldn't know what you were talking about", this was during one of his favorite stories, rendering a pig. My grandparents grew up doing things very differently than we do now. And I'm certainly not saying all progress is bad, but these recipes are definitely worth preserving. If you can get your hands on one of these cookbooks please do and cherish it like I do!

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