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May 31, 2007 06:02 PM

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.

You may wish to bookmark this thread, as it contains links to all the other threads on this cookbook.

Here's the thread for recipe planning, links, and previous picks and pans:

Here are the links for full length recipe reviews. Please select the appropriate one.

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Happy Cooking!

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  1. 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.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Non Cognomina

      You are right Non--I have the new edition. I didn't participate before in this exercise, but I love reading this cookbook and I have had it for a while. Now, maybe I'll actually cook from it this month. Great pick!

      1. 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.

      2. 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).

        1. 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!

          7 Replies
          1. re: Rubee

            I'm 'fixin' to do some recipes this week... but I'm on vacation for the following two... so my report as usual will be late! :P I'm doing the corn puddin' and Apple Sauce! :D


            1. re: Dommy

              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)

            2. re: Rubee

              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.

              1. re: Rubee

                I have to confess, I decided to stick to cooking from Lucques this month, rather than switching - I've been buying too many cookbooks lately!

                  1. re: Ora

                    Thanks - I'll take a look - I seem to be obsessed w/ Lucques right now though. Appreciate the links.

                    1. re: Ora

                      Update: It seems that the first three links are obsolete. The last one seems to be OK as of this date.

                1. Here's a link to a documentary about Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock's friendship. There is a short clip of it also.

                  1 Reply