A sweet treat arrived in my mailbox today. I have been waiting for the cookbook, "Victuals", to arrive for a few days. Published several months ago, author Ronni Lundy aims to show Appalachia some love with stories and recipes that showcase all that is good and true about this region.
The book covers the typical topics of beans, corn, and greens, but also the deep history and traditions that go along with these foods. Summertime moments spent breaking beans underneath a shade tree in my Mama Bird's front yard came to mind while reading this book. Getting a, "mess", of beans on a newspaper spread in your lap to work with, all the while talking and working. Also, the white cornbread from my Grannie Lucille's kitchen. Not the sweet, yellow kind found in most grocery stores. Cornbread with flavor, and a bit of bitterness, that I don't find much anymore.
I could go on and on about the food in this book, but I should also point out that it is as much a history book as a food book. History that points out the negative stereotypes that go along with Appalachia. Not only do we have the stereotypes working today, we also have socio-economic problems plaguing this region. It's refreshing to read something so positive, and so true about a region so fine.
It doesn't hurt that many of the photographs look like they were taken down the road from my own farm.