11 April 2013

A Time To Cook

We have always loved Lee Bailey and have long lamented his passing.  At a time when "Southern" seems all the rage, one just needs to look back at Bailey's lovely collection of books to find the deep roots of the South.  Recently, however, we have found someone that just may be a likely successor to Bailey's easy style and Southern charm in the person of James Farmer III.

His new book is a cookbook, A Time To Cook.  In a market swamped with cookbooks claiming to be authentic Southern cookbooks, Farmer's roots reach deep in the red clay of the South.   We were delighted over at Lucindaville, to find the Church had elected a Southern pope since he chose Francis I as his name.  Jame Farmer can spot Francis I at a hundred paces.  He knows that cornbread cannot be made without an iron skillet.  And he tells a wonderful story about his grandparents having a contest to see who made the best cornbread using almost identical ingredients.   It is a wounder of cornbread that given the exact same ingredients, no two cornbreads would be alike.  A Southerner knows these things.

Every recipe has a story behind it.  Every woman that ever offered up a recipe is graciously thanked and given full credit, even if Farmer has tweaked them a bit.  We love our collards here, but we tend to like cooked down for several hours.   As a raw coleslaw ingredient?  Why not.

Collard Green Coleslaw

A small bunch (8-10 leaves without ribs) or ½ bag (8 oz.) washed and cut collard greens
½ medium head green cabbage
2 green onions
½ bunch flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper

In a food processor, process collard greens, cabbage, onions and parsley in batches until finely chopped, being careful not to over process.  Move each batch to a large bowl.

Dissolve sugar in vinegar in the microwave. Add  the greens and toss to mix well.

Add mayonnaise to suite your taste, and mix and moisten.  Season to taste with salt and pepper. 

When browsing his websites, we found this picture.  We have a similar flat whisk.

It  is a cherished possession.   My great-aunt Ruth used it to whip cream.  It was one of the most effective tools in the kitchen and seeing this bowl of whipped cream brought back memories from our Alabama porch.  You, too, can follow James Farmer III at his website

This boy can cook.  He can also garden, mix drinks and make lovely wreaths.   He is one to watch.  We are already waiting for the next cookbook!

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