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Ught it was delicious I even tried to mix it in the potatoes but it only made the potatoes taste funny Scattering it on the plate to make it look like I had eaten most of it didn t work well either I mostly had to eat itYet how come she knew how to cook liver when everything else was in cansHere is a tidbit that I want to add before I forget When my husband and I were in Puerto Rico we ate at a wonderful restaurant in Luuillo I think I have the town correct We tried many restaurants in the area but we did not like the food Well this restaurant had the best hamburgers so we ate there often always buying the hamburgers No one would tell us what made them taste great When I came home I met a woman who used to live in Puerto Rico and we became friends She suggested I put Sazon spice on the hamburgers So I found it on and now my husband makes the best hamburgers in the world ust like those in Luuillo BeachHere s an anecdote about my mom Every time any of us kids came to visit her in later years she would always serve her macaroni salad One year when we all came to visit one of us said where s the macaroni salad She flatly stated I didn t feel like making it Wow What a blow She had had Mud and Stars just finished reading Wayne Dyer s Pulling Your Own Strings We all hate Wayne Dyer nowAnd last of all My mom made great cakes but always from a cake mix and always with a tablespoon of oil added to the mix to make it moist I loved her broiled topping cake pineapple upside down and spice cakes but best of all were her chocolate cake with chocolate frosting Sometimes she would add black walnuts on top and this really made it delicious All of us kids were sitting around the table and Jerry our brother from her second marriage brought out her chocolate cake While we were eating it he said Iust realized that this is her last cake We all stopped eating and became silent Finished this with some difficulty because it was too long I d recommend that it be read over a short period of time If it would have been 200 pages shorter it would have had power That being said it was an interesting read mixing family stories and simple classic southern recipes This book was an absolute delight Rick Bragg writes lovingly about his mother and her southern cooking and shares amazing stories about his wackadoo familyI listened to this book on audio read by Bragg himself and I highly recommend it He has a charming narration and I found the book positively soothing This was the first Bragg book I ve read but I loved it so much I ve already reuested his other works from the libraryHighly recommended for readers who like foodie memoirs or tales of southern lifeOpening PassageSince she was eleven years old even if all she had to work with was neck bones peppergrass or poke salad she put good food on a plate She cooked for dead broke uncles hungover brothers shade tree mechanics faith healers dice shooters hairdressers pipe fitters crop dusters high steel walkers and well diggers She cooked for ironworkers Avon ladies highway patrolman sweatshop seamstresses fortune tellers coal haulers dirt track daredevils and dime store girls She cooked for lost souls stumbling home from Aunt Hattie s beer oint and for singing cowboys on the AM radio She cooked in her first eighty years than seventy thousand meals as basic as hot buttered biscuits with pear preserves or muscadine elly as exotic as tender braised beef tripe in white milk gravy in kitchens where the only ventilation was the banging of the screen door She cooked for people she d Eros Unbound (Great Loves, just as soon have poisoned and for the loves of her life It s funny how it s the little things in life that mean the mostNot where you live what you drive or the price tag on your clothesThere s no dollar sign on a piece of mind this I ve come to knowSo if you agree have a drink with meRaise you glasses for a toastTo a little bit of chicken fried And cold beer on a Friday nightA pair ofeans that fit ust rightAnd the radio upI like to see the sunriseSee the love in my woman s eyesFeel the touch of a precious childAnd know a mother s love Chicken Fried Zac Brown Band Songwriters Wyatt Durrette Zac BrownNot uite two years ago I read Bragg s All Over But the Shoutin and last year I followed that up with his Ava s Man and loved both of those memoirs I do still plan to read The Prince of Frogtown but I managed to be first in line for this one from my library so I read it while I had the
Chance To Think Of This 
To think of this a cookbook would be less than accurate although it does contain many recipes this is a memoir told through stories that convey the oy and hardships that this rather extended family goes through Maybe Mes recettes au baby-robot joy isn t really enough since some of their adventures are side splittingly entertaining and some are touching and some reminded me of stories my father told me Stillust as in life food is always better when surrounded by family and friends and those stories that live on from one generation to the next And that s what these recipes are surrounded by stories included in stories sometimes it s hard to tell whether the recipes are injected into the stories or the stories are told to better understand their place in family lore Food can be prepared as a gesture of Love Or Given As or given as prize awarded for a task well done it can be partaken of in simple utilitarian need and the object of delight and it can be a reminder of other times and other people In darker times when need overwhelmed their cupboards there are stories of men fishing for river catfish with their bare hands what they called noodling follow And what a picture that must have been Living in a time and in areas mostly undisturbed by progress these recipes don t have any calories assigned to them Chances are if you need to know then you might want Chances are if you need to know then you might want look elsewhere if you re ust looking for recipes Most of the recipes included won t be found in any heart healthy sections there s a lot of bacon grease and Crisco cracklin meat grease but then most of these recipes got their start years before any of us were born some are from Civil War era and others from around the time of the Great Depression Poverty abounded then and there but poverty is still than abundant in plenty of places on this planet Reading this is truly about the association of memories with the food we were served by our family that we prepared and cooked with our families through the years and how those memories are shaped by that food and as years pass that food is also shaped by those memoriesI loved this not as much for each recipe but Margaret Bragg the author s mother cooks the way my father and my grandmother cooked all from memory by weight and feel and a smidgen of this and a dash of that It felt like being in my grandmother s tiny kitchen making bread beside her She knew when a thing was done by the look or the smell Bragg made me feel as I was there if not a part of the family then a warmly welcomed guestDon t make the mistake of not reading the recipes skip over the ingredients if you must but there are some lovely gems of wisdom and love in the sharing of those stories even some having to do with cooking Use brown eggs when you can get em she warns They re like real eggs Rick Bragg shares his love of his family uirks and all their stories and his mother s recipes from fried chicken to roasted possum to pecan pie There s a sense of love in his amusement pride in these stories of generations reverence to a way of life and loveRecommendedMany thanks once again to the Public Library system and the many Librarians that manage organize and keep it running for the loan of this boo. Them pre date the Civil War handed down skillet by skillet from one generation of Braggs to the next In The Best Cook in the World Rick Bragg finally preserves his heritage by telling the stories that framed his mother's cooking and education from childhood into old Out out to Aunt Juanita my kind of woman And of course Mama These are her recipes never written down but handed down through the years There is even a recipe here for possum which Mama hates and won t eat but Aunt Juanita claims it cured her stomach ulcers years ago after she ate a whole possum all by herselfI did love this book and these people and this goes on my favorite shelf My only mistake here was getting this from the library Taking it back will be a little like turning the whole family into Social Services I ll have to buy a copy now put it on my shelf and give this family a permanent home My favorite author The only one I buy while they are still warm from the presses and keep to read again I love this guy s family The author tells about his grandmother and mother who make old fashioned southern cooking These are not health conscious recipes As a matter of fact grease and fat factor heavily into most of the recipes Each chapter tells a story pertaining to his favorite foods and then at the end of the chapter are the recipes It is worth reading the entire recipe as he writes them in his mother s voice and not in traditional recipe form I might even make a few of them although I think I will skip possum and suirrel An Author and a Sister to Bragg AboutWhat a fun read While Rick Bragg shared his mother s recipes he also had many stories to tell not ust stories about his mother but about other people as well Some were laugh out loud funny but so were the recipes not that they were not real recipes but you won t catch me making any of them In other words she was not the best cook in the world or even the county where she lived well maybe she was as some people love country cooking Maybe it should really be called back woods cookingWhat is back wood cooking To me it means making poke salad He will ALMOST tell you how to cook poke salad yes cook Poke is poisonous so I personally would never try to cook it He claims that it is also nutritious but once it has been boiled and re boiled a few times and sueezed to death I think the vitamins and minerals went down the drain in the sink And as far as I am concerned you can throw the poke down it as well We have it growing here so I Personality Selling just cut it down and throw it in a compost pile She also makes crackling cornbread which could be good I believe crackling meat is pork fat and Alexa thinks so too You cut it into 2 inch cubes fry it until the cubes are golden in color and add the cubes to the cornbread recipe Yum You won t need butter on it as the fat is enough Then I think you use the left over fat to fry other foods I think it is then called lard And these days lard is in vogue I bought a smallar of it to cook with and when it came in the mail I realized that I had paid 28 for a small amount of lard I mean 28 for 14 oz of pig fat organic Never again The lard at the grocery store was cheap but it was partially hydrogenated Not good His stories are hard to reproduce here as there is no plot to this book Lissa just laugh out loud stories Example A woman shoots her abusive husband Well that doesn t sound funny but it was And I don t know how this story has anything to do with food except that his false teeth were destroyed in the process so he would have to gum his food See I kind of ruined that story so I can t tell you any instead what I am going to do is tell my own stories and kind of mix his mom s recipes with my ownOne of his mother s recipes is Sweet Potato Cobbler What No way Cobbler is all about berries or peaches It is not about food that you dig up from the ground I have a delicious recipe for Sweet Potato Pie which crust is an acceptable one It has a Chantilly Cream Topping as in alcohol in the whipped cream real whipping cream not fake Other than this recipe of mine sweet potatoes should only be served with real butter on top And I haveust learned that the skin is delicious as well To think that I used to give the skin to our dog Bragg s mom also made Potato Salad as well Her recipe didn t sound good and I must say I can tell what a recipe will taste like Just By Reading Its Ingredients by reading its ingredients ability comes with age While I will never claim that my mom was the best cook I will make the claim While I will never claim that my mom was the best cook I will make the claim her potato salad and her macaroni salad were the best I have ever had And so was her pot roast I have tried to make these dishes but I could never get either right She used Miracle Whip in her salad and I always use mayonnaise which could be the problem and I have never tried to correct this habit Plus she never measured anything I wrote down her recipe one day but I had to guess at it As a result I could never get the recipe correct I could never get the pot roast right either and I had the amounts of the ingredients correct as in one box of onion soup mix My husband does all the cooking and he used her pot roast recipe and it is as good as hers Go figure I nominate him as the best cook in the world because well he is He takes any recipe he finds and makes it better Did I tell you that he used to be a cook at Rose s Landing in Morro Bay CA He thinks that that was the name of the restaurant But he was not a chef ust that it is in his DNA Well I digressed Anyway these were the only two dishes that I loved that my mom made and she didn t begin making them until she remarried when I was maybe 16 I don t recall what she made when I was younger than 8 At least she was great at making sweets ie cookies and cakes Just after my mom s divorce we had the worst cook preparing our meals I thought it was Mom that fed us horrible meals that I will tell you about shortly Then when I asked my older sister Jeanette to help me in remembering these meals she said that she made dinner for us and she didn t know how to cook Mom never taught any of us girls how to cook You see Jeanette told our mom that she would uit high school and take care of us if Mom left our dad She was 15 or so had finished her sopho year She did this so Mom could go to work in order to take care of us financially It was good that Jeanette had made friends in high school friends that remained in her life for all these years If she had not had these friends she would have gone crazy with the three of us a brother me and a little baby sister Well as she said she could not cook Here is what she fed usHot dogs and Pork n Beans in a can hot dogs in sauerkraut SpaghettiOs fried hash patties from a can liver with mashed potatoes and canned peas on the side Creamed tuna or something else She claims it was always hash on toast canned tamales hamburger patties Potato Cakes made by mixing mashed potatoes with flour and eggs then made into patties and fried And I remember those Gawd awful black eyed peas You name it if it came out of a can she could cook it But she knew how to fry liver Yuck Well she also made chocolate chip cookies which we all loved She would make hers large and I would feel cheated not realizing that I could grab two and they would then be eual to her large one And don t let me forget to tell you about our taffy pulls and other homemade candySo when Mom remarried we were done with Jeanette s cooking but then she had married and left us anyway Still I and my other siblings will always praise her for uitting school and taking care of us which allowed us all to get away from a bad situation I learned over three get away from a bad situation I learned over three ago that canned tamales still taste good not great but good But I never could learn to like liver I used to hide it in a napkin when Jeanette served it to us Then I would go to the bathroom and flush it down the toilet Or I would throw it under the table for my dog who tho. Flatbed truck But she can tell you the secrets to perfect mashed potatoes corn pudding redeye gravy pinto beans and hambone stewed cabbage short ribs chicken and dressing biscuits and butter rolls The irresistible stories in this audiobook are of long memory many of. The Best Cook in the World

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