September 17, 2014
The B.T.C. Old-Fashioned Grocery Cookbook by Alexe van Beuren
My rating: 5 of 5 spoons
So much more than 'just' a cookbook, "The B.T.C. Old-Fashioned Grocery Cookbook" is filled with stories and history, some that just make you laugh out loud! I love the tidbits at the beginning of the recipes. Some of us ladies were chatting during potluck at church Sunday about dressing vs. stuffing, and I had to share from this book. All the Southerners fully agreed that it's cornbread dressing (NOT stuffing) and it never goes inside the bird!
There are so many great recipes in this book, many of which I grew up on. I love Chess Pie and while this recipe will make a good pie, I recommend switching the tablespoon of flour to cornmeal (straight cornmeal, not the cornmeal mix) and adding a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. I know, I know. Vinegar in a pie? Trust me on this one, it's fabulous! So many classic Southern recipes are in here such as Red-Eye Gravy, Apple Salad, Red-Rind Pimento Cheese, Cornbread Dressing and Fried Pies. I grew up on Fried Dried Apple Pies. My mom would dry apples in the summer, and then all through the fall and winter, she would take some out, cook them with her own concoction of spices and sugar and fill the pies with that. Oh, my! Part of me feels like that's the only real fried pie, but part of me is definitely wanting to try her recipe for peach pies! Along with some old favorites are some newer recipes that definitely weren't on our table growing up, but sound great such as Roasted Fennel Mashed Potatoes, Crab-Meat Stuffed Mushrooms, and Watermelon Salad with Feta.
The only drawbacks I found in this book is some of the recipes have a lot of ingredients (for instance, her recipe for sausage gravy has 14 ingredients. I'm a bit of a purist in some things, and this would be one of them. I'm going to pass on all the ground anise, dried mustard, Tabasco, etc and just stick with sausage, oil, flour, salt, pepper and milk. It tastes great!), and too many recipes have alcohol in them. I might occasionally buy a cooking wine at the grocery store, but I don't drink, and I'm not buying beer, tequila, rum, etc. That, however, is a personal thing and does not lower my rating. I'll work around it when I can, and just not make that particular recipe if I can't. Give this book a try. I think you'll be very happy you did!
I received a copy of this book through the program Blogging for Books for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.