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Blessedly, a change is occurring throughout the nation and particularly in the South. Today's homemakers are looking to get back in touch with the foods of character that previous generations took for granted. The cuisine celebrated in The New New Southern Basics performs that role, reaching back to a generation that took the time to do things right and recreating the basic southern foods in ways that accommodate the tastes and nutritional concerns of our time. Martha Stamps exalts the use of fresh ingredients and cooking from scratch, noting that this is more than a matter of style; it tastes better and is much more valuable nutritionally and economically.
The first edition of this book, The New Southern Basics, was published to much critical acclaim in 1997.
Posted March 16, 2009
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I grew up in the south, at the table of a great southern cook. I never learned to cook like my mom, who cooks mostly by feel. This cookbook author has helped me reconnect with southern cooking.
This author's cookbooks feature mostly updated southern recipes. The introductions are entertaining and informative, and we really enjoy the food we make from her cookbooks. For me, the strength of southern cooking is in the veggies and side dishes, and generally, her cookbooks reflect that for me. There are recipes for main dishes and desserts, but I tend to turn elsewhere for those.
I bought this book as a wedding gift. I have owned the previous edition for several years, This newer version has quite a few recipes not in the earlier New Southern Basics.
Expect recipes with fresh herbs and a few ingredients that aren't traditionally southern, like roasted red peppers and parmesan cheese. The author stays away from canned soup and the like in the recipes - no canned soup is in the squash casserole! She does recommend the same kind of short cuts I am likely to take in my own kitchen, like using jarred roasted peppers.
I particularly recommend the squash casserole, spicy kale (try it with collard instead of kale, too), mac and cheese, and the recipes that use butterbeans and black eye peas. There is a great recipe for pimiento cheese. And southern style green beans. I think I could go on and on.... But I hope you get the picture.