Sweet Tea and Tacos

Savoring Time-Honored Cookbooks

March 25, 2024 Sweet Tea and Tacos
Savoring Time-Honored Cookbooks
Sweet Tea and Tacos
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Sweet Tea and Tacos
Savoring Time-Honored Cookbooks
Mar 25, 2024
Sweet Tea and Tacos

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Rekindle your love for timeless culinary classics as we leaf through the pages of beloved cookbooks that have seasoned our stovetop stories. From the ever-reliable "Joy of Cooking" to the delightful pie recipes in "Pie Every Day" by Pat Willard, this episode promises a hearty serving of nostalgia paired with practical kitchen wisdom. Discover how these cherished guides have not only been a foundation for cooking techniques but also a connection to a community that shares a passion for dependable and delectable dishes.

Embark on a flavorful journey through the diverse landscapes of cultural cookbooks, where each recipe tells a tale as rich as its ingredients. We'll celebrate the way cookbooks like Danielle Walker's "Against All Grain" series artfully accommodate dietary needs without sacrificing the essence of cooking. From the narrative-driven "Deep Run Roots" by Vivian Howard to Melissa Martin's "Mosquito Supper Club," we'll reveal how these collections document culinary heritage. This episode is a tribute to the boundless inspiration found in the pages of both vintage and modern cookbooks—join us at the table for a feast of the senses.


Joy of Cooking
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joy_of_Cooking
Mastering the Art of French Cooking
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mastering_the_Art_of_French_Cooking
Pie Every Day by Pat Willard
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1270711.Pie_Every_Day
Southern Biscuits by Nathalie Dupree
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/
southern-biscuits
5--- How to Grill by Steven Raichlen
https://www.barbecuebible.com/books/how-to-grill/
Against All Grain by Danielle Walker
https://againstallgrain.com/books/
Deep Run Roots by Vivian Howard
https://www.vivianhoward.com/deep-run-roots
Mosquito Supper Club by Melissa Martin
https://www.mosquitosupperclub.com/cookbook
The Art of Creole Cookery
https://www.amazon.com/Art-Creole-Cookery-William-Kaufman/dp/B0007E0XK2
The Making of a Chef by Michael Ruhlman
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33794.The_Making_of_a_Chef

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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

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Rekindle your love for timeless culinary classics as we leaf through the pages of beloved cookbooks that have seasoned our stovetop stories. From the ever-reliable "Joy of Cooking" to the delightful pie recipes in "Pie Every Day" by Pat Willard, this episode promises a hearty serving of nostalgia paired with practical kitchen wisdom. Discover how these cherished guides have not only been a foundation for cooking techniques but also a connection to a community that shares a passion for dependable and delectable dishes.

Embark on a flavorful journey through the diverse landscapes of cultural cookbooks, where each recipe tells a tale as rich as its ingredients. We'll celebrate the way cookbooks like Danielle Walker's "Against All Grain" series artfully accommodate dietary needs without sacrificing the essence of cooking. From the narrative-driven "Deep Run Roots" by Vivian Howard to Melissa Martin's "Mosquito Supper Club," we'll reveal how these collections document culinary heritage. This episode is a tribute to the boundless inspiration found in the pages of both vintage and modern cookbooks—join us at the table for a feast of the senses.


Joy of Cooking
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joy_of_Cooking
Mastering the Art of French Cooking
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mastering_the_Art_of_French_Cooking
Pie Every Day by Pat Willard
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1270711.Pie_Every_Day
Southern Biscuits by Nathalie Dupree
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/
southern-biscuits
5--- How to Grill by Steven Raichlen
https://www.barbecuebible.com/books/how-to-grill/
Against All Grain by Danielle Walker
https://againstallgrain.com/books/
Deep Run Roots by Vivian Howard
https://www.vivianhoward.com/deep-run-roots
Mosquito Supper Club by Melissa Martin
https://www.mosquitosupperclub.com/cookbook
The Art of Creole Cookery
https://www.amazon.com/Art-Creole-Cookery-William-Kaufman/dp/B0007E0XK2
The Making of a Chef by Michael Ruhlman
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33794.The_Making_of_a_Chef

Support the Show.

Dave:

Welcome to Sweet Tea and Tacos. I'm Dave.

Jen:

And I'm Jen.

Dave:

And we're back. We've taken a little bit of a break. Life got busy there as things started to open up and we were kind of running 90 to nothing. So things are kind of, you know, we're getting back into a new phase with kids in different spots, and now everybody's kind of settled a little bit.

Jen:

Yeah, we got our son graduated from high school finally, yeah, so anyway, but don't think we've abandoned y'all. We're working on some new, new content.

Dave:

So yeah, we've got some stuff we're finally being able to get to. So today we're talking about cookbooks and we kind of we're talking about different ways to do this. And you know we had done like the top five spices at one point and that was fun.

Dave:

So we talked about maybe doing top five cookbooks, and then it's just you should see the kitchen table, because we are in a kitchen. As usual there's way more than five cookbooks at right now. So that just led to kind of what we're going to do is we're kind of getting through cookbooks. We've got a lot of cookbooks.

Jen:

We do.

Dave:

And there's some of our favorites we go back to and that's what we wanted to mainly talk about, right? But then as we were talking through it, we noticed, okay, well, there's some categories and things. And then we asked on Facebook.

Jen:

Yes, Kind of what we kind of. Well, not really a poll, but we just asked what were your favorite cookbooks and got a little feedback from people.

Dave:

So in just like a pot and pan, we talked about the pots and pans that you need, kind of when you're starting up your kitchen. Yes, and we were talking about the basic cookbooks and things like that. So, number one, if you had to have one cookbook.

Jen:

Hands down joy of cooking.

Dave:

Joy of cooking. Yeah, you kind of if you only had to have one and it's a all around, just has everything you could possibly need in it. Pretty much. And we were talking and it's really. That was before the internet.

Jen:

I hate to sound old, but yeah, I think it was first written in 1931.

Dave:

So it's been around a while, but for us we've had, we have two. Now we have your mom's version and we have ours, which is looking not terrible, but it's well worn Boy, well loved.

Jen:

Has it been well used. And this edition that's ours came out in 1997, which was about a year before we got married, so that was kind of perfect timing. And I mean we we have just referenced this thing so much.

Dave:

Yeah, and I was saying that my dad I don't remember him using anything but the joy of cooking. I'm sure he had other cookbooks and when he listens he'll probably go yeah, I used a bunch of, but I don't remember All I remember is the joy of cooking.

Dave:

I just have this memory of, well, it's time to cook, some of the grab, go, grab the joy of cooking, and you kind of had to hold it together because it was falling apart and and uh, yeah, you know, and it has everything. I mean it's it's a huge book and it has every possible thing If you're looking for something and there's going to be a recipe or two or three or four in there about how to do it. So for us that was kind of why we went to it We'd go and and, like we've talked about in previous episodes, well, let's go look at kind of a technique on how to do this Now, today, the internet has replaced a lot of that.

Jen:

Right, I mean we were kind of talking about how, like for for several generations, this cookbook was sort of almost like the internet of recipes, you know, because you could just go to it and find just about anything you need. Now you can just Google stuff and that's okay. Now you know to do some of that. But this, you know, you're gonna get a really quality, tested recipe. You're gonna get just good kind of information about techniques. Yeah, I mean it's just tried and true.

Dave:

Right. So I mean this would be one of those things would be right up there with a knife and a pan. I mean if you had a good knife and a good pan and the joy of cooking, you're in good shape.

Jen:

Absolutely well, and when we asked on social media, we got several responses that said theirs was joy of cooking.

Dave:

Joy of cooking, yeah I mean that's, and I'm sure that's the same for a lot of folks. So that's kind of. The first category is reference books.

Jen:

Right.

Dave:

You know, and then you know, for you can then drill down. There's other big reference books, and Julia Childs Mastering in the Art of French Cooking is a famous one, right, that was kind of big when she did hers and following up on what Joy of cooking did, but she kind of just focused on French cooking and so you kind of get into this niche or specialty reference books. I guess I would say you know, like you've got a pie one that you use a lot.

Jen:

Right. I have no idea if it's still in print, but if you can find it it is a real winner. It's called Pie Every Day by Pat Willard and it's got tons of great pie crust recipes, but also just pie filling recipes lots of good techniques. I mean, the hardback copy of mine is literally falling apart and it will open directly to the recipe that I've used most of the time, which is it's for sort of like a savory pie crust. It's like I don't know how you say it is Pat.

Dave:

Brzee, pat Brzee.

Jen:

Pate Brzee.

Dave:

Whatever we're from the South, we have the leeway and we like it so much. We have two copies as a backup.

Jen:

It's one of those.

Dave:

We saw it one time in a soft back and we're like oh, you know what? We need an extra copy. We need a backup copy of that one. So we have two joys and two pie every day, and you have a biscuit, one we've talked about before, that's like that, the Natalie Dupre one, the Natalie Dupre one, the Southern biscuits.

Dave:

Yeah, and then for me, steven Reichlund's how to Grill. I think this was a gift from either your parents or my parents I don't remember who but it's a great. If you need to grill something, it's in there, and what I end up using it for is he's got a lot of rubs and sauce recipes and things like that, but it's literally if it's meat, there's a recipe how to grill it and I use it. I like to use it for like, how long do I need to cook this? What temperature do I need to cook?

Jen:

That gets me close.

Dave:

I kind of normally. Just you know, I might look at it as a idea starter for a rub or Some kind of sauce or something. But generally. I'm looking at how long don't need to cook this, what heat don't need to cook it at, and then I'm kind of maybe usually doing my own thing on Spices or whatever sure yeah. But yeah, that's a big one that I referenced so and then you kind of get into. You know, there's if you're eating Vegetarian or if you're eating grain-free, you're free eating kind of niche or niche.

Jen:

Yeah books like but, but along those lines. Now I don't have anything to recommend for vegan or vegetarian, but on the grain-free which I've eaten, grain-free at times is Daniel Walker has several good books, mm-hmm. The first one she came out with is called against all grain. It's just got a lot of good basic recipes that they kind of substitute you know for, for regular stuff like chocolate, cookies and right meatballs and just whatever, but it's all grain-free.

Dave:

Yeah, she's got several, but you know we were talking about this is that a lot of times we would go and buy like, okay, you know, you know I want to do some stir-fry, I want to do more that type of stuff. Well, you'd go buy one of these. You know, you'll see to the bookstores like five thousand Stir-fry recipes or whatever. Yeah and really prior to the internet. Yeah that was your source, whereas now you can just Google stir-fry recipes.

Jen:

Yeah, or if you wanted to do a curry, just you know something.

Dave:

Some of that's gone away but we've got a bunch of little, like We'll have a little 20 page Irish cookbook or a little Spanish cookbook or this or whatever. When you kind of drill down into these specific Quizzines, you know right, that are again for me I consider as a reference of okay, I want to cook the stir-fry with beef, whatever my options here, you know Right, yeah and that's kind of how we use cookbooks.

Jen:

And I remember when we interviewed Devon- About the biscuits she she did a lot of that said that that same thing, that you know she would get out several cookbooks, look at several recipes. I kind of compare one to the other or several to the others, and you know, just kind of take the best of Right and come up with her own right thing. And that's what we do a lot of times.

Jen:

Yeah, no no, not that we don't have our favorite recipes in some of these books, but, um, that's a good way to do it once you kind of get your sea legs as far as cooking and feel a little bit more confident. Don't feel like you just have to open up a cookbook and, you know, go buy it so Strictly, unless it's maybe first something. Baking Baking is more science, yeah, exactly, but feel free to improvise and, you know, change out the spices, right.

Dave:

If you don't have that ingredient, substitute something similar or whatever and you know it's, it's that it's like, hey, I want to do this, or hey, all of a sudden I found this at the grocery.

Jen:

Oh, you know what?

Dave:

or at the farmers market. How do I cook Kaya, kalalu or whatever this kind of interesting thing is? Well then, we pull out the joy as we start there Okay, right, joy.

Dave:

and when we find well, you know, a lot of these recipes are Italian. So let me go grab an Italian cookbook and then it gets me into this other little rabbit trail of the Italian, and then you know, and that's kind of how we end up doing stuff. So you got the reference, then you kind of got the niche reference, I would say, some of them, and this is to what, where it kind of separates into the next category for me, and that next category for me is kind of the cultural books cultural or regional regional, cultural and and here's the distinction for me we have an Italian cookbook or we'll have a Mexican cookbook or whatever, and it's just a bunch of recipes.

Dave:

Okay, that's to me is a reference, but when you get into a cookbook then has a bunch of writing about the culture right and Some have way more than others.

Dave:

Right that to me kind of defines that more of a cultural cookbook, and then things like your Bell's best or your a junior league type cookbook or a church cookbook or an Association of something in the right in general, because it'll rear right, and those are things you find a lot In the in smaller communities. You'll find right and they do this fundraisers. Those to me are kind of cultural reference but I really like the ones. That Right about the culture right, they tell stories.

Jen:

Yeah they give background and just make it really really interesting, like I'm an old cookbook geek.

Dave:

I love older cookbooks. We've got one. I've got one. It's a reproduction Cookbook of the times picky and out of New Orleans.

Jen:

Yeah.

Dave:

Yeah, old recipes and it's hard to use today right but it's more of an inspiration. Yeah, and it's just interesting. It's just interesting, and these are books I'll read cover to cover. Yeah, that's the other, yeah, yeah, so I'm weird like that.

Jen:

Well, one and one of those that comes to mind that's in that category we actually have. It is the, the Vivian Howard Deep Run roots, and I love the stories that she has in there About growing, growing up and everything, and I mean plus.

Dave:

It's just a fabulous cookbook, right but and there's a lot of that that's going around. Now You've got hers, and when we've talked about before is the mosquitoes upper club. Yes, melissa Martin, out of New Orleans and she's a Cajun. She writes a lot about it, the, the culture, and not just in at the front of a chapter, but all throughout the chapter.

Jen:

That's what.

Dave:

I like, but then I love the old ones and these are kind of things that you would find at a used bookstore. Exactly or things like that. Here's one. This is one of my favorite ones. It's called the art of Creole cookery by William Kaufman and sister Mary Ursula Cooper. This was printed I did see. I believe it's 62, 1962, and William Kaufman was out of New York but loved to travel and cook, and sister Mary Ursula Cooper Was chairman of the home economics department at St Mary's Dominican College in New Orleans.

Dave:

Yeah, and I just love the old recipes in here and it's talking about Creole and and most of Martin has a lot to say about the difference in Creole and right and Cajun, but like we did one. There are recipes in here I've just never even heard of. And I mean we've lived in the South enough that we should have heard about some of this. Yeah, but there was one thing we made. It was a Paprika chicken.

Dave:

Mm-hmm and I mean it called for like an obscene amount of paprika, I want to say like a cup or more and we were like huh, is that right? No, but we made it and it was just phenomenal.

Jen:

Yeah Well, and then we discovered, and again, we should probably know about these, but, callas, you know, they're these donuts that have rice in them, and they're kind of like a bignet.

Dave:

They're kind of like a bignet.

Jen:

Everybody knows bignets. I mean, if you live anywhere near New Orleans you know bignets. But we had really never had any callas and so we've made callas and they're fabulous, they're fabulous.

Dave:

So if you've got some rice, you know it's a great way to use your leftover rice. Make some callas with it and it's really simple and they're really good.

Jen:

And then here's another one of my favorites.

Dave:

Oh, go ahead. Did you want to?

Jen:

No.

Dave:

And this is a very regional cookie. Oh very, very regional, and then from Southwest Mississippi. There were five printings of this and it's called From Rosebud's Kitchen. It's Rosebud Stevens and Jerry Clouard wrote the Ford. If you're familiar with Jerry Clouard, here's what I love about it.

Jen:

Well, and she had a column in the newspaper.

Dave:

She had a column in the newspaper.

Jen:

I don't know where all it ran. I know it ran in Mississippi papers and it may have run kind of regionally in the South but it was called Along the RFD, which is like the rural federal delivery route, you know, kind of like the mail route, and that was the column 200 and no 300 pages or something like that.

Dave:

In the way they've done this is the recipes are kind of written to the left and right side of the page and on the inside of each page she's written stuff about the culture, cultural things related to every recipe and it's just an incredible amount of cultural information. And she even has this really long thing on when they would butcher hogs. Right hog killing, Hog killing in this community, and I mean, it's just so much her memories about her mama making stuff and this and that.

Jen:

And how she would price it Living during the depression.

Dave:

Right.

Jen:

Just all kinds of things.

Dave:

And then you know, just a lot of great information, other than just a recipe.

Jen:

Right.

Dave:

And that's why I really enjoy it. And she's funny too. But yeah, that's a great one. So those little cultural, regional cookbooks are some of my favorites and I'll just read the whole thing, and I won't even read the recipe, I'll just read the cultural stuff.

Jen:

But yeah, in those kinds you could probably find, like you say, in a used bookstore. Or go hunt through maybe your grandmother's cookbooks and see what you can find.

Dave:

There might be some hidden gems you know, and then kind of the last category for me is just food writing. Mm-hmm, right, and there's a lot of famous food writers that write about you know, there's a lot of different things they write about One of mine that was very.

Jen:

Influential.

Dave:

I would say Influential that's a good word for me. It's Michael Ruhlman, the making of a chef, and he was a writer. He's a writer and he went to the CIA.

Jen:

Right, he went to culinary school so that he could write about his experience. And it's just amazing. It is.

Dave:

It's amazing book. But there's Ruth Reichel, there's just tons of just food writers and if you're a foodie and you know it's an interesting genre of literature to read, and there's just lots of different in Julie Child's biographies mesmerizing. You know, there's a lot of stuff out there like that that can be enjoyable to read and help influence your cooking too.

Jen:

Sure.

Dave:

But it's interesting to me and we were talking about this. When I go to the bookstore these days, I just don't and we were talking about this where there aren't too many cookbooks that I get excited about anymore I don't know why that is, and you were speculating a little bit.

Jen:

Yeah, could be that, just you know. Well, I mean, my theory was that we I mean, goodness, we've been cooking for so many years. And I guess we're not desperate for cookbooks anymore.

Dave:

We're not desperate for cookbooks now and, as a matter of fact, we're trying to find some what do we do with? That you know, but like that mosquito supper club. That's the first cookbook I've probably bought in ages?

Jen:

Oh yeah, at least probably 10 years.

Dave:

Yeah, I mean it's just the internet has really made finding recipes a whole different thing.

Jen:

So now, when I'm looking for a cookbook.

Dave:

It's a. I'm looking for different things in it.

Jen:

Right, and it's gotta be something really, really special Right yeah, absolutely so.

Dave:

that's kind of our cookbooks Joy Cooking some pie every day, some biscuits.

Jen:

Anything by Julia Chow or Jacques Coupin.

Dave:

You know some good reference books and then maybe some drill down on some specific technique books, like maybe a grilling book, and then you know, those good cultural gems that are hard to find and are disappearing, you know.

Jen:

Right.

Dave:

And hold on to some of those. I mean this, this art of Creole Cookery. I think that was your mom's.

Jen:

It was, and I wanna say she had been a member of some kind of cookbook club like where they would send you a cookbook every month you know kind of like the record clubs used to do, and I'm pretty sure that book was from that.

Dave:

Yeah, I remember, yeah, but you know I've never seen anything like that.

Jen:

But yeah, I know, and it's got some incredible recipes and for the time period when it was written, you know, you would kind of think, oh, a bunch of casseroles and stuff. I mean just because that's what was going on in the 60s. It's none of that.

Dave:

No.

Jen:

It's fantastic. I mean, it's just some really stellar Creole and I would say Cajun recipes as well. Oh, absolutely.

Dave:

You know eight or 10 different types of gumbo.

Jen:

Oh yeah, you know yeah absolutely so.

Dave:

I mean, we're cookbook geeks. We hope you are too. If you're a cook, if you're a foodie, you probably are in some form. So let us know what other cookbooks are we missing out on?

Jen:

Right.

Dave:

I know we are. What are some of your favorites, Other than the Joy Cooking which we all know, and our friend Ann Aron has some suggestions, and whoever else? Yeah, let us know. What are some cookbooks we need to get a hold of.

Jen:

Yeah.

Dave:

Yeah, because we need, you know, more books.

Jen:

Hey, there's always room for one more cookbook, yeah always good.

Dave:

So that's it for Sweet Tea and Tacos today and we hope you enjoyed it. Let us know, send us an email If you've got a topic you want us to cover talk about. We've got some things we're working on, four or five plates spinning right in the air trying to nail down some and get these a little more podcasts rolling out here. But there you go. I'm Dave.

Jen:

And I'm Jen.

Dave:

From our kitchen Sweet Tea and Tacos. Thanks for listening. We'll see you next time. Put.

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