SCREEN DOORS AND SWEET TEA
BY MARTHA HALL FOOSE
Review by Barb & Ron Kroll
Screen Doors and Sweet Tea - Recipes and Tales from a Southern Cook
(Clarkson Potter) ISBN 978-0307351401 0307351408
Martha Hall Foose combines Southern food recipes with humorous and sentimental stories about local people, traditions and Southern U.S. cuisine.
Screen Doors and Sweet Tea is the next best thing to a trip to the Mississippi Delta for a home-cooked meal of Southern food.
The 150 recipes in this 248-page cookbook demonstrate that Southern cooking is more than fried chicken and grits. The simple recipes are easy to follow. Each chapter begins with a list of recipes.
In sidebar notes, Martha Hall Foose suggests alternative ingredients (e.g., substitute flounder for pompano), explains how to identify fresh fish (eyes should not be cloudy or sunken), and how to make maraschino cherries.
Interspersed with the Southern recipes are interesting anecdotes and quotes. One sidebar explains that Johnny Appleseed planted apple trees because he was a bootlegger who invested in hard cider stills.
Appetizing color photos by Ben Fink depict Southern food recipes, ingredients used to make them and Southern U.S. scenes such as hot tamale trucks.
In her Southern cookbook, Martha Hall Foose gives tips in column notes and introductions. Examples include how to make your own tomato juice from fresh roma tomatoes whirled in a blender, and how to tell if a watermelon is ripe. (Ripe watermelons scratch easily with a fingernail.)
She also provides advice like discarding the lemon rind after squeezing lemon juice into tea. (The pith infuses bitterness into tea.)
Cantaloupe daiquiris. Buttermilk bacon pralines. Frozen cucumber salad. Duck and sausage gumbo. Turtle soup. Fried catfish and hush puppies. Molasses baked beans. Succotash. Cheese grits. Cornbread sticks. Pecan rice. Pain perdu. Southern Comfort caramel. Buttermilk peach ice cream. Sweet tea pie.
- Mailbox happy hour and pick-up party food
- Luncheons, salads and dressings
- Gumbos, soups, dumplings and a bisque
- Dishes from the backyard and kitchen
- Field peas, greens, sides and the like
- Hot from the oven
- The sweetest things
Born and raised in the Mississippi Delta, Martha Hall Foose was the executive chef at the Viking Cooking School.