Cider Beans, Wild Greens, and Dandelion Jelly

by Charles G. Thompson
Print Email

cider-beans-cover.jpgAs I made my way through Cider Beans, Wild Greens, and Dandelion Jelly I was reminded of my paternal grandmother and the food I knew she cooked.  Southern Appalachia and the people who live there are in kind to where my father came from, to the food and customs.  Distant eastern cousins I’d venture to say. I found this book comforting in many ways.  It is not a book of high cuisine; in fact I think I can correctly say it’s all about low cuisine and that’s a good thing. Author, Joan E. Aller, a transplant to southern Appalachia fell in love with the place once she was there. Wanting to preserve a lifestyle that she saw quickly changing she set about collecting the best recipes southern Appalachia had to offer by traveling around the area and gathering up recipes, stories and histories from the area’s inns, hotels, bed and breakfasts, restaurants, taverns and cafes.

The book is a lovely compendium of the simple yet hearty and heartwarming food of the region.  Full of beautiful color photography and a written history of the region, this is a book to pick up and read often. 

ciderinside.jpgDishes like ‘High Country Breakfast Casserole’ served at The Buffalo Tavern Bed and Breakfast to ‘Appalachian Cider Beans’ (a personal favorite) come with an explanation, a story, before the recipe begins.  To wit cider beans are traditionally served at the local gas station which become de facto social centers.  Locals gather at the closest gas station, eat, and catch up on area news.

The recipes I tested all worked just fine; they were straight-forward and easy to make.  A few of my favorite dishes were the ‘Pork Chops Southern-Style,’ ‘Corn Pone, Tennessee-Style,’ ‘Grilled Okra with Pine Nuts’ and the ‘Appalachian Cider Beans.’  A fun chapter in the book is ‘Beverages’ where recipes for ‘Southern Sweet Tea,’ ‘Mammy Williams’s Dandelion Wine’ and ‘Southern Milk Punch’ (vanilla ice cream and bourbon!) can be found.  The final chapter is ‘Country Store’ and has recipes for pickles, relishes, jellies and jams.  A whole lot of good southern cooking is delightfully packed into the pages of Cider Beans, Wild Greens, and Dandelion Jelly. If you are looking for some good southern comfort food grab this book and start cooking.  You won’t be disappointed.

 

Charles G. Thompson is a Los Angeles-based freelance food writer, whose reviews and stories can be found at his blog 100 Miles, an exploration of local sustainibility.

Add comment


Security code
Refresh

 

restaurant news

Jessica and the Chocolate Factory
Los Angeles
by Jessica Harper

ChocolateOreos 2662I went into Edelweiss Chocolates in Beverly Hills, not to buy chocolates but to buy their white Jordan almonds which I always keep handy in a silver sugar bowl.

“That’s it?” the lady behind the...

Read more...
Hemmer Brothers Burgers, Sioux Falls, SD
Mid-West
by Scott R. Kline

ImageHemmer Brothers Burgers in Sioux Falls, South Dakota is easy to drive by as it is placed inside an office building on bustling S. Phillips Avenue. But make sure you find it. They make a nice...

Read more...
OTD Bush
San Francisco
by Amy Sherman

otdbush1.jpg You may have eaten at Slanted Door or even at Out The Door either at the Ferry Building or at San Francisco Centre, but you're going to want to try OTD Bush in the Fillmore. In addition to many...

Read more...
Bistro du Midi
Boston
by Kitty Kaufman

bistromidiBistro du Midi is all about location. Facing the Public Garden and adjacent to the Four Seasons in Boston, it lives on Boylston Street not where you live, at least not where I live. But it's where...

Read more...