A favorite cookbook of mine.

A favorite cookbook of mine.

About 14 years ago, I was shopping in a local San Diego bookstore and wandered up to a large table of discounted, hardcover books.  I picked up Nathalie Dupree’s “Southern Memories” published in 1993, brought it home and read it cover to cover over a week’s time. 

She is one of the South’s definitive experts on Southern cooking and has been relaying her love of those dishes, like Hoe Cakes, Fried Green Tomatoes and Hopping John to her beloved readers for years.  She’s also operated several restaurants, hosted a series for PBS entitled Southern Memories, not to mention authoring eight other cookbooks. 

I’d have to say that my fascionation with the South began in high school.  It’s really quite a silly story involving a summer cheerleading camp, so I won’t share it here, but over the years I’ve made some terrific friends with folks who have Southern roots and I’m just smitten with the accent, the front porches and the sweet tea.

My husband loves to point out that I’ve only visited Tennessee and Florida, so what’s with the bend toward all things Southern.  Alright, it’s probably the food (cheese straws), but I think it’s also that ever-present Southern Hospitality, of course the history, the music, books by Pat Conroy and delicious tasting country ham on homemade rolls.  Just a wannabe Southern gal at heart.

In your free time, read more about Nathalie Dupree on her web site at www.Nathalie.com.  She’s listed several of her amazing recipes.  You can read her blog at www.nathaliedupree.blogspot.com.