Like grill books,
Mexican cooking books, and beach entertaining books, Southern
cookbooks are usually published in late spring. There's a
good reason--because that's when the rest of the country starts
warming up enough to feel at least a little bit, once in a while,
like the South.
I've always found that to be a wry bit of timing, because if you
eat enough Southern food you can pretty much be assured that you
will not fit in your summer swimsuit. Still, I'm excited about this
year's crop of books, which all seem to have come out at the same
Three are from North Carolina. Tupelo
Honey Cafe is a New South book, with upscale, fresh,
good-enough-to-go-out-for recipes that take peaches and pecans in
new directions. From the eponymous grocery and café chain
Foster's Southern Kitchen, which makes more reference to
traditional fare. Then there's the New Southern
Garden Cookbook from Sheri Castle, which doesn't feel like a
Southern book so much as a seasonal eat-local cookbook that's just
one long "Summer" chapter.
Finally, there's Martha Foose Hall's A Southerly
Course, a sequel to the award-winning Screen Doors and Sweet
Tea. This one's for the readers among us, as Hall's quirky,
literary charm is hard to resist.
It's hard to choose just one. I guess that's why the
"Southern" section of my library has its own whole shelf now.
Almost time to buy new bookcases...again.