The Lady & Sons Savannah Country Cookbook

Paula H. Deen, Author Random House $16 (192p) ISBN 978-0-375-75111-0
In his enthusiastic introduction, John Berendt, author of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, writes: ""Authentic Southern food is not about pretension."" Sure enough, this book by the proprietor of The Lady & Sons restaurant in Savannah, Ga., doesn't put on any airs. A great many recipes unabashedly list prepared foods among the ingredients. As an appetizer, Garlic Cheese Spread includes an eight-ounce package of cream cheese and an eight-ounce jar of Cheez-Whiz. Shrimp or Lobster Bisque contains, in addition to seafood, a can each of condensed tomato soup and condensed mushroom soup. The restaurant's most popular dessert is Gooey Butter Cakes, which starts with a box of Duncan Hines yellow cake mix. Still, some of the recipes attain a high level of regional authenticity: Georgia Cracker Salad is made with crushed saltines, tomato, scallions, hard-boiled egg and mayonnaise; Southern Fried Chicken acquires its crispy coating with a batter of eggs and self-rising flour. Readers concerned about high fat content should skip this book. But those looking for some distinctively American comfort food--and in a mood for some decidedly anti-nouvelle regression--might want to take a peek. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/06/1998
Release date: 04/01/1998
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