June 2007 Cookbook of the Month: The Taste of Country Cooking
Welcome to the general discussion thread for the June 2007 cookbook of the month, The Taste of Country Cooking, by Edna Lewis. Use this thread to make general comments about this cookbook or to discuss the whole cookbook-of-the-month idea.
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The Taste of Country Cooking has such beautiful language to describe the smell and taste and sound of food. There is a description in the chapter of the book describing breakfast before starting a day of work on the farm and I swear I've lived that experience through her words. I recommend it as a delicious piece of autobiographical literature.
By the way, I believe this has recently been republished--just after the death of the author--with new forward and preface.
re: Non Cognomina
I just ordered the 30th anniversary edition from Amazon after your glowing reports. I'm surprised I have never heard of Edna Lewis....and I have cookbook mania. She's a fascinating woman and I'm looking forward to reading the book as well as making some of the recipes. BTW: The new preface was written by her editor, Judith Jones, and the forward is written by Alice Waters.
I have had this book for many years. I think I was led to it by an article by Craig Claybourne in the NY Times. I was lucky enough to eat some of Edna Lewis" food when she was chef at the Fearington Inn in North Carolina more than twenty years ago. The writing is wonderful as it describes a time and way of life long past. I will try to cook something from this wonderful book (definitely more than a cook book).
Okay, no reports yet? Where are all the Chowhounds who voted for this book. ; )
I plan on trying to start next week. I love reading this book - beautiful stories that really capture the feel of family and gatherings, and great tips (like storing corn upright with the cut side in water), and anecdotes like Uncle George and his bourbon. What a great book to curl up with and read cover to cover.
I do find it, however, one of the more unique books to cook through. While I appreciate the simplicity of buttered beans, stewed tomatoes, or sauteed parsnips, to me the beauty of these is how they go together with a bounty of other dishes as part of family gathering or seasonal buffet. Unfortunately, I'm usually cooking for the two of us. Also, being a city-dweller with no access to a home garden, or being able to can or preserve, this further narrows the recipes down.
I'm all set to start next week though, maybe with the sage-flavored casserole of pork tenderloin, green bean salad with sliced tomatoe, and blackberry cobbler!
I also plan to do the corn pudding this weekend; I had it for the first time at a "southern influenced" inn I stayed at (in NJ of all places) over Memorial Day. I'd never had it but it was quite good-- I want to get some really good corn to try it though --
This book *is* as much a reading book as a cooking book; many of the recipes are "simple" things that we do whenever we have the right ingredients around (though I'd love to try some of the wines or preserves, but don't trust myself with the sterilization and all)
One thing I lament from my youth is the flavor of the sauteed parsnips my grandma made in her cast iron pan. She grew those parsnips, and on occasion I had to pull and clean them. That taste cannot be replicated by parsnips bought from even the freshest of greenmarkets. For me, this books evokes bittersweet food memories.