16 November 2015

Southern Cooking Without a Tub of Lard

Describe Whitney Miller's New Southern Table cookbook in one word?  Normal.  As in, these are recipes actual, real normal non-professional chef families might get round to trying.  I can't tell you how often I've picked up a cookbook and wound up never using it because of the extraordinary number of ingredients that would require a special trip, or some painstaking preparation.

In this book, she'll throw in some weird ingredient occasionally, but from the look of the quality and "do-ability" of the recipes, it may become something you'll like enough to justify a special purchase. 

Miller travelled the world after winning MasterChef, so she was able to add international flavours to her great-grandmothers' Depression-era cooking recipes for this book.  It's not what you'd likely expect.  Would you pop some pickles into your potatoes for a new dill-y and delicious flavour?  There's a recipe for it that and it's remarkably similar to what we tried in Lindsborg, Kansas, at the Swedish Crown restaurant.

It's a thick, hardbound book with glossy pages.  Breakfasts, party foods, sides, soups, sandwiches and suppers are all covered.  The illustrations are very helpful and I think fairly represent what the finished product will look like.  Not too fakey-perfect. 

The only criticism I have (and I suppose it is not even that) is that the pages don't lie flat during cooking.  Easily fixed with a heavy plastic ruler here, but if they come out with a second edition or an update?  I would suggest they spiral-bind it. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


  1. Nice to have a book that can be used. I have several that I don't even open anymore because I don't want all the fuss of so many ingredients and so much time and clean up for just one person. Yes, I could probably freeze leftovers, but I already do that and my freezer is very small.
    I use a heavy metal ruler (if I can find it) or more often a heavy knife to hold pages open.

  2. Often I hold mine open with a mixing bowl, but presently I have FOUND the plastic ruler, so I will use that until it's lost again...

  3. Sounds like a winner! I don't like complicated recipes! Like you mentioned in your comment above, I often use a mixing to hold open recipe books as well--or a cookie jar, whatever's handy!


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