Carlye Jane Dougherty is the owner of Heirloom Bookshop, which sells rare and vintage cookbooks in Charleston, SC. Each month Carlye explores our readers' favorite Southern Community Cookbooks.
To be given a compliment is one thing, but to be given a high compliment by a Southern lady is a completely different affair.
Given this, you can imagine the intrigue at Southern Living when we came across Becky Luck’s submission for April’s Community Cookbook and the compliment she paid to Carolina Cooking: “If I could only have one cookbook in my kitchen, I would be hard-pressed not to keep Carolina Cooking.”
Those are strong words of praise for a cookbook in a Southern kitchen and especially strong when they come from a kitchen with a cookbook collection of over 150 books! Sufficed to say, we were excited to find out what made Carolina Cooking so special.
As Becky pointed out, Carolina Cooking is a “go-to for normal food recipes.” We can confirm this cookbook is full of just such recipes. Seven-Up Pound Cake, Pickled Okra and Chicken Divine name just a few classically delicious dishes contained in this book, which was published in the early 1990’s by the Telephone Pioneers of America (Bell South.)
Women from all over North Carolina submitted their best recipes to compile this gem of a community cookbook. However, they also take the recipes a step further and invite us into their kitchens by sharing household hints and tips at the bottom of certain pages which are “called out” by a charming little telephone icon.
For example, page 483 features two versions of Japanese Fruit Pie and the page ends with the “call out” tip: “To add variety to your pastry, add ½ cup finely chopped nuts, add ½ to 1 cup of shredded cheese or substitute orange juice for water and add grated orange rind to taste.”
These little tips and tricks are exactly the sort of knowledge passed verbally in private kitchens from mother to daughter that make a certain family’s Japanese Fruit Pie the favorite at community pot lucks.
Look in our April issue for recipes like Cheese and Sausage Quiche from Carolina Cooking.
What are some of your favorite recipes and tips from cookbooks over the years? Send in your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org to win a chance to be our next featured community cookbook.