cover image Nathalie Dupree's Southern Memories: Recipes and Reminiscences

Nathalie Dupree's Southern Memories: Recipes and Reminiscences

Nathalie Dupree. Clarkson N Potter Publishers, $30 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-517-59062-1

Southerner Dupree ( Nathalie Dupree Cooks for Family and Friends ), a restaurateuse, columnist and television host, reflects, ``My South is the South where I ate fried fish for my wedding supper on the island of Ocracoke . . . the South is my soul.'' Here she feeds the body, too, with such favorites as ``Fish Muddle'' (a stew), fried catfish, microwave peanut brittle and other no-nonsense indulgences from south of the Mason-Dixon line. Pure pleasure has rarely been so immediately apparent in a culinary album: pictured plenty beams from almost every page, and it's unsurprising to find a ``Spring Garden Cake'' adorned with candied violets at rest in one photo under lavishly draped festoons of wisteria. Dupree's vision combines comfort with luxury as though there were no other choice; her taste is never pretentious, and her scruples about buttermilk, shortening and bacon are few and far between. But that's the South, and she doesn't reform it, leaving that chore to whatever Puritans may remain and inviting the rest of us to enjoy a full and flavorful repast. (Oct.)