Screen Doors and Sweet Tea By Martha Foose
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Screen Doors & Sweet Tea, by Martha Hall Foose, hardcover, 256 pages
The 10 Best Cookbooks for Summer
After flitting from Mexico to India and other equatorial points, this year the summer's warm-climate cookbooks centered on the American South. The best of many contenders is Screen Doors & Sweet Tea, a wisecracking, storytelling treasury of Southern dishes, both the well-known (cornbread, lady peas, juleps) and the slightly less familiar. Some, like Apricot Rice Salad, have an elegant, dinner-on-the-porch feel. Others (All for Okra and Okra for All), are resolutely egalitarian.
Foose has a marvelous gift for the pithy turn of phrase, and all of her recipes carry intriguing subtitles: "Proper Fried Chicken: My Thoughts, at Least," "Lunch Counter Egg Salad Sandwich: Ode to Waxed Paper," "Baked Macaroni and Cheese: A Vegetable in Some States."
As I see it, there are two ideal ways to enjoy this book: 1) Pick out your favorites, cook your way through them one by one, and gorge yourself silly; or 2) sit on the porch and read it while somebody makes you a julep. Either will do just fine.
June 1, 2008