Image courtesy of The Southern Living Community Cookbook
Nothing seems to unite a community together more than food. From potlucks to progressive dinners, Southerners love to get together and enjoy a meal. Sheri Castle, the author of The Southern Living Community Cookbook: Celebrating food and fellowship in the American South, read every single recipe in Southern Living from February 1966 until February 2014 (over 45,000 recipes).
In the Community Cookbook, released October 2014, Sheri writes that they are more than just cookbooks – they are also “histories, storybooks, souvenirs, and heirlooms.” She also tells the reader that the first community cookbook was written in 1864 in Philadelphia to raise money for Civil War field hospitals. Through the years, the creation and sale of community cookbooks has been a way to raise funds for civic causes.
The introduction in the book is short and sweet consisting of only a few pages. The rest of the book is full of recipes submitted by Southern Living readers, as well as dishes from cherished community cookbooks, notable chefs, and food writers.
Other Highlights Include:
- Chef Recipes from the likes of Matt and Ted Lee, Julia Reed, Lee Chase, and John Currence of Oxford, Mississippi who shares a recipe for his favorite Oyster Dressing
- A slew of Southern Living Classics like Hoppin’ John Salad, Boarding House Meat Loaf, and Layered Cornbread Salad
- The Southern Tales & Traditions sidebars that are scattered throughout the book tell heartwarming tales of the South’s rich culinary heritage
- An entire chapter dedicated to “Pickles, Preserves, and Pug-Ups” with useful recipes for Dilly Beans, Pickled Peaches, and Yam Jam – all the basics for a truly Southern pantry
- Since dinner in the South is not complete without dessert, the “Desserts and Sweet Treats” chapter includes decadently delicious recipes for Lemon Tea Bread, Classic Cheese Pie, and Hummingbird Cake.
My opinion? It’s a very nice cookbook. I wish that there was a picture for every recipe. (There are photos of the majority.) I think it would make a nice gift for those who enjoy good, old-fashioned Southern recipes. (That is everyone, right?)
I have been wanting to make meatloaf for a while, so I made the Boarding House Meatloaf. Paired with some mashed potatoes and green beans, it is a terrific comfort meal. The sauce had a nice, tangy flavor to it which I really enjoyed. I am delighted to be able to share the recipe from the book with you.
- 1 1/2 lb. lean ground beef
- 1/2 green bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 3/4 cup uncooked regular oats
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 1/2 small onion, chopped
- 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
- 3/4 cup ketchup or chili sauce
- 1 Tbsp. cider vinegar
- To prepare meatloaf, preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease a 9- x 5-inch loaf pan.
- Stir together beef, bell pepper, onion, eggs, oats,ketchup, and salt in a large bowl. Shape into a loaf, and place in pan.
- Bake at 350° for 45 minutes. Meanwhile, make sauce.
- To prepare sauce, melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat Add onion and bell pepper; cook 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in ketchup and vinegar; simmer, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes or until sauce thickens slightly.
- Remove loaf from oven and pour off pan juices. Spread half of sauce evenly over meatloaf; bake 25 more minutes.
- Serve hot with remaining sauce.
***From the kitchen of Barbara Ruth McGowan
Recipe reprinted with permission from The Southern Living Community Cookbook by Sheri Castle, Oxmoor House 2014.
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 306 Saturated Fat: 5g Cholesterol: 135mg Sodium: 973mg Carbohydrates: 20g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 10g Protein: 28g
You can find The Southern Living Community Cookbook: Celebrating food and fellowship in the American South at your favorite book store or at Amazon.com.