I'm currently reading through the cookbook titled Paula Deen's Kitchen Classics and found this quote in the forward that I really liked and agreed with, although I'm not really a Southern cook, per se. More like a Mom cook, but even Susie, born and bred south of the Mason-Dixon line, agreed that I am definitely not a Yankee cook. "I don't think there is such a thing," she sniffed.
Anyway, here's Paula's thought on down-home cookin' and it reminds me a lot of what Julia would likely say about French country cooking, and Dorie Greenspan too: "Southern cooking comes from within. We show our love to someone through the kitchen, through food. We bake a cake or a pie as a welcoming gift or a show of support in tough times. Southern cooking is comfort food. It's flavorful and filling and makes you feel good.
"It does not require a sophisticated palate. It's poor-man's food. Kids don't have to acquire a taste for it. They love it from the start. Southern dishes do not require split-second timing. They do not 'fall' in the oven. We don't go in for ornate presentation, either, or sculpted desserts. We just heap food on the plate."
That's what it's all about, isn't it? Country food is country food, no matter what country you're in. Just make sure you heap it on the plate.
copyright (c) 2005, Random House, New York
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