Friday, July 30, 2021

Southern Grit: 100+ Down-Home Recipes for the Modern Cook


Southern Grit: 100+ Down-Home Recipes for the Modern Cook is a cookbook full of southern (American) traditional recipes developed and curated by Kelsey Barnard Clark. Due out 10th Aug 2021 from Chronicle Books, it's 256 pages and will be available in hardcover and ebook formats. 

I grew up in Appalachia and this food is in my DNA. There is something so deeply satisfying and tasty about the cuisine which is also tied up for me with family reunions, hospitality, multi-generational cooking and comfort.  The author has a very casual voice and style of writing, but behind the (slightly) folksy tone, she's competent and efficient. These are *good* recipes, some from her own family's repertoire and for fans of southern cooking, there's a lot to like here.

The book includes a good general pantry, ingredients, and equipment lists and an introduction with basic tips for preparation, entertaining, and other hostess-y necessities. The intro section comprises about 15% of the total page count but does include a lot of useful info. The recipes are arranged in chapters thematically: small bites & drinks, greens (including a simple quick pickled salad which I remember very well from my grandmother's kitchen), potatoes grains & pasta, seafood, eggs & poultry, pork & beef, and breads & pastries. Recipes include a description yields and prep time. Ingredients are listed bullet style in a sidebar with measurements in American standard units with metric measures in parentheses (yay!!). Ingredients will be readily available in most well stocked grocery stores in North America. Nutritional information is not included. Alternative preparations and cooking tips are included in highlighted text bars in the recipes. Many of the recipes struck me as just that little bit fancier than "everyday" and would make good company/light entertaining, Sunday dinner type food.

The photography throughout the book is abundant, in color, and crystal clear. Serving suggestions are attractive and appetizing. 

Four stars. This would make a good selection for library acquisition, expat southerners hankering for food that feeds their souls, and home cooks looking for new cuisine to explore.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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