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Aug 31, 2009 02:02 PM

**September 2009 COTM: Southern Month**

Hey y'all, welcome to the September 2009 Chowhound Cookbook of the Month featuring:

SCREEN DOORS AND SWEET TEA: Recipes and Tales from a Southern Cook, by Martha Hall Foose (SDST)
BON APPETIT Y'ALL: Recipes and Tales from Three Generations of Southern Cooking, by Virginia Willis (BAYA)

We will use this thread for general commentary, recipe planning, links, and any other issues related to this COTM. You may wish to bookmark this thread for future reference, as it contains links to all the other threads for this month.

If you're new to Cookbook of the Month, the COTM archive thread explains how it all works:

Here are a few links which may be helpful for this month's COTM:

Previous Home Cooking threads on BAYA:

Online Virginia Willis recipes:

Previous threads with links to SDST online recipes:

The subthreads below are based on type of dish, rather than chapter name. At the beginning of each subthread, I've included the corresponding chapters from both books. I know that sounds clear as mud, but I figure we'll work it out as we go along!

Cocktails and Small Bites
Eggs and Dairy
Starches (Grits, Pasta, Potatoes, Rice
Vegetables and Beans
Baking (Biscuits, Breads, Desserts
Sauces (Condiments, Jams, Jellies and Preserves

Happy Cooking!

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  1. Thanks yamalam! The organization looks great.

    1. Thanks Yamalam! Tonight's the night..... Yay!
      I thought I'd start with an SDST recipe and intersperse with the BAY'A recipes I've been waiting to make at the end of the growing season.

      1. Question on bacon drippings- do you strain or no?

        2 Replies
        1. re: yamalam

          I usually don't strain bacon drippings. I suppose I would if a recipe called for a "smooth" finish, or whatever.

          1. re: Gio

            The cruddy stuff (if such it should be called) sinks to the bottom of the dish as it cools anyway.

        2. I have a minor complaint about a handful of recipes in BAYA, like the Funeral Grits on p. 154. The first paragraph is an instruction to preheat the oven. But in the next paragraph, you're instructed to simmer the grits for 45-60 minutes. That's a long time to preheat the oven!

          It's easy, of course, to figure out the correct order, but it would be kind for the cookbook challenged if it were clearer.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Karen_Schaffer

            There are several typos and errors in the book, Karen, which Ms Willis posted about in the first long thread of BAY'A reports. I found 3 myself, but as you note, anyone with a bit of kitchen savvy can readily figure out procedures. I imagine the editors feel quite dismayed to realize something has escaped them.....

          2. Good news! Both Martha Foose and Virginia Willis are super excited about being chosen as COTM, and they've agreed to take part in an expert thread. We're thinking of doing it towards the end of September -- by then you'll have had a chance to cook through a chunk of the books and hopefully have questions for the authors.

            We haven't done this before with COTM but I'm hoping it'll be a great adjunct to the discussions in these threads. If you haven't seen a previous expert thread, here's the one we did with Mark Bittman:

            7 Replies
            1. re: davina

              Wow, that is very cool news, Davina! Thanks so much for organizing such a great opportunity for chowhounds and COTM participants.

              1. re: davina

                That's great news! Thank you!

                I'll be doing lots of cooking from the books and posting this weekend.

                1. re: davina

                  That's really very nice to read. Ms Willis was very gracious when she popped in to the BAY'A threads earlier this year. I look forward to her input once again and Ms Foose's as well when more home cooks are participating.

                  1. re: davina

                    Great to hear from kitchens all over!

                    1. re: marthafoose

                      Thanks for your excellent book, I truly enjoyed it.

                        1. re: marthafoose

                          It may not be exactly what you want to hear, but I'm going to remember Charlotte "not compelled" for a long time.