Saturday, April 21, 2012

This Book Room: Farm Fresh Southern Cooking

Farm Fresh Southern Cooking: Straight from the Garden to Your Dinner Table

This is a post like no other! Jason and I are both here to tell you our thoughts on this book, provided to us in exchange for our honest review by To make things easier, his comments will be all be italicized, while mine will be not {unless I'm putting emphasis on a specific word, but the majority of my words will be just regular, boring words like these words here).

I thought, I can't review a book and not have Chef Jason join with us with his thoughts! He was a very willing participant. If he could, he would spend all day reading cookbooks. Seriously.

"You mean, you cannot review a cookbook."

"Ba-abe." (mad because I'm typing what he's saying)

"Do you have any more thoughts so far?"

*Shakes his head*

Okay, so usually, we start with a summary. Here's a summary of the book courtesy of

Is there anything better than a kitchen countertop spread with the spoils of a Saturday morning at the farmers' market? Every trip yields some new assortment of old favorites and newfound treasures. One week, you're tempted by the sun-warmed heirloom tomatoes and the Mason jars brimming with orange blossom honey. Another week, it's the slabs of milky Havarti cheese and the Red Haven peaches heavy with juice, enticing you to spend just a little more than you planned. Kentucky pole beans, silky ears of sweet corn, and sacks of stone-ground buckwheat flour may find their way into your basket on another visit.

Whether you shop with a list or purely on impulse, you'll always find the truest taste of home at the local farms, roadside stands, and produce markets in your community. These are the places that offer up the native flavors of the South and all its seasons. They are your portal to the fields, the waters, and the vines where your food is cultivated. Get to know the origins of what you eat and the people who produce it. Tammy Algood's Farm Fresh Southern Cooking celebrates this experience with delicious recipes that will enhance the natural flavors of your latest market haul and stories of the South's most dedicated growers and culinary producers.

Our thoughts
Whilst skipping the appetizer page that just lists all the appetizer recipes....

"You're not going to read them all?"

Jeez, he's testy today.

"You like this recipe, huh, babe?"


I slap a Post-It note on the opposite page, since the opposite page is the right-hand page, which is where Post-Its go. We Post-It note cookbook pages with recipes we like, so they're easy to access later.

"You Post-Ited the wrong page."


"This recipe looks yummy, too."

I read the title: Pea Picking Salsa. The title doesn't thrill me, and neither does the picture.


After reading a few more pages, very sloooowly, I start flipping the pages (previously Jason was the page-flipper).

"If we keep going at this rate, it's going to take forever," I say while flipping quickly.

"You don't know how to read a cookbook."

Likely not... at least not the way Chef Jason does.

The cold summer peach soup catches my attention, but Jason makes a face, then once again criticizes where I place the Post-It note.

"I'm honestly going to think you Post-It noted the spotlight on peaches."

"You're fine, honey."

Preston decides he wants in on all the action and starts trying to bite us. This is his way of playing. It's not very nice of him, and he gets shoved unceremoniously off the ottoman.

Jason is enamored by the garden vegetable soup recipe and says, "Oh my goodness." He grabs the Post-It note and says, "Look, I'm Post-It noting the right side of the book."

Noticing what I'm writing, he says, "This review is about how I think you Post-It note the wrong page."


Preston has re-joined the party, apparently in a better mood.

"Preston's licking my toes."

"I feel like this cookbook is very... adventurous."

"It's very Southern. Where would we find crawfish?"

"Yeah, I don't think I want to eat crawfish though."

"Holy mother of sides!" I say when seeing the list of sides. There's a lot. That's probably good as we're always in need of a few good sides.

Jason spots a sweet and sour coleslaw recipe that he promptly Post-It notes. We love coleslaws.

The names of the recipes are a bit interesting, too. There's one called Freckle-Faced Carrot Casserole. We don't Post-It note that one, but we do Post-It note Orange Hugged Carrots. Just like with coleslaw, we're obsessed with carrots. We also like the parsnips and turnip recipes. These are such good veggies, but it can be difficult to find top-notch recipes featuring them.

Jason gives me a kiss. Awwww.

"Tomatoes with cornbread stuffing." He says it happily, then proceeds to read the entire recipe. He shifts his body to get more comfortable. (Do you all enjoy this play by play? I find it fascinating myself, although this may be the longest review ever and not entirely about the book).

Jason spots a hash brown recipe that intrigues him. "They're diced, not shredded," he says, referring to the potatoes. He does not Post-It note the page, though. Possibly, he's just too caught up in his reading.

I give him a kiss. It just makes me so happy when he's so happy. And he's very happy when reading a cookbook.

Fearful now because I'm clearly typing everything he's doing and saying, he now just points to pictures and recipes he likes.

"Oooo." The basil biscuits do look delicious and are worthy of the Post-It note he places on the page.

The cheddar muffin pan biscuits catch my eye, particularly because of how few ingredients are needed. I love a recipe with not a lot of ingredients. It just seems easier to make, then.

The breads section is so far our favorite. Hot cheddar cornbread looks delish as does hot water ham cornbread.

Clearly, we like our cornbread.

I do have to tell ya'll that it's really the conversations that I'm not typing that are hi-larious. But all would not be appropriate for this blog.

"Look at these pictures," Jason says in glee. He's very excited about the grilled cheese recipe. We really just love our simple, comfort foods.

"Lots of fishies. 'Cause there's lots of fishies in the South." I'm so eloquent. But really, there's many fish recipes in this book.

"Ooo, desserts, that's the best part," I say, after skipping rapidly through the entree section.

"Now type that."

Jason gives me a look after seeing that I typed, "Now type that." I keep telling him he doesn't need to see what I'm typing. He clearly disagrees.

We come to the end of the book.

"I like it." Jason says of the whole book, then leaves.


The book is now peppered with Post-It notes. Heavily peppered. And while the book does focus on food easily found in the South, really, any food is found pretty easily within the US. And clearly, we really think we should live in the South. We found more cornbread recipes in the breakfast section and went nuts over them.

Readers, definitely be on the lookout for recipes from this book to be featured in "In the Kitchen with Jason."

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