By Bob Heafner © 2015
Online: February, 2015
It's not often that anyone reviews a book they are this involved in, but here goes...
It has been 24 years since our first cookbook was published. We were so proud of it and all it contained. My daughter Margaret keeps her old copy in her kitchen and uses it often; Charlotte's copy is well worn and shows the hours of use she has given it over those intervening years. One of her nurses still regularly gets it out to look up a recipe.
Our new cookbook contains over 200 recipes including all those from our first cookbook and all that are online plus some new never before published recipes. There is a complete table of contents and a full index to assist you in finding your favorite recipes. It contains 190 pages and a wealth of mountain cooking knowledge.
I'm not a cook but after reading the latest edition of The Mountain Laurel Cookbook, I actually made a Strawberry Songer that was so good everyone who tasted it wanted second helpings. It disappeared faster than money through my checking account.
With the first cookbook I made the mistake of simply looking up recipes but that was my mistake. Susan had arranged the cookbook to take one through the whole process of country cooking from start to finish. She knew what she was doing!
By reading the cookbook from cover-to-cover, I feel that I can comfortably prepare everything from Molasses Stack Cake to Red Potato Smash. This is so much more than a recipe book; it is a "how to cook country" guide for the novice like me and new ideas for the accomplished country cook.
I would suggest to anyone getting this book that they start from the beginning and read it cover-to-cover. There are nuggets of wisdom from some awesome mountain cooks scattered throughout the cookbook.
Making light, delicious biscuits and the gravy to go with them are easy for me now. My favorites from the book are the old Mabry Mill Home Fries, Triple Sin Chocolate Cake, Wilted Greens, my Mom's Chocolate Pie, Squash Pickles and Strawberry Songer. I haven't made all these yet but it will happen by early summer and by following these simple directions I know they will turn out great.
If it can make a cook out of me, your chances are excellent.
I hope you will enjoy The Mountain Laurel Cookbook.