I’ve had my eye on this cookbook for a while, and my sweet Southern husband picked it up for me this summer. His motives weren’t purely selfless, of course, as he knew he’d be able to take his pick of recipes for dinner. The photographs are gorgeous, and the stories are priceless. I’ve only tried one recipe so far, for summer squash casserole. It was a lovely compromise between the summer squash of my youth (barely cooked, barely seasoned) and that of my husband’s (much more cooked and seasoned). Fresh basil made the whole dish taste more summery. The recipe was a great way to do something a little bit different with the squash and zucchini that has been filling up our CSA boxes. I didn’t snap a photo, but I wish I had.
Matt and Ted Lee are brothers who are a little bit older than I am. They grew up in Charleston, SC, but their parents were from New York and they went to school in the northeast, so they spent a lot of time traveling up and down I-95, sampling different Southern foods. They started their food career by publishing a catalog of Southern foods for people who had moved away and missed regional specialties like boiled peanuts and country hams. The catalog turned into a food writing career, and the food writing turned into their beautiful cookbook.
The cookbook itself is beautiful enough to grace a coffee table, and interesting enough to read in bed before sleeping. What a way to inspire sweet dreams!
By the way, don’t be put off by the photo of the skinny Lee Brothers on the front cover. They may look like they would be blown away by a stiff breeze, but they know their stuff.