Thursday, October 22, 2009

Stir, Laugh, Repeat Review by Matthew Smith

By Matthew Smith "Roger Mexico" (TN USA) -

I like this little cook book. With that said I will admit from the outset I am biased since I am Southern. These recipes hit close to home, and I enjoy the Southern influence. It is that comfort food that can get me into trouble if I am not careful.

I also enjoyed the anecdotes and tips that came with each recipe as well. It gives the book a personal touch. I don't know how exactly to explain it, but it is not as dry as normal cookbooks. It gives the book a personality.

Before I go on I will describe the one slight problem I had with this book, and that was the absence of a table of contents. This makes the book a little more difficult to navigate. It also means you are going to have to remember or mark where your favorite recipes are, or you will just have to thumb through every time you want your favorite dish.

With that said when I review cookbooks I tend to place much more emphasis on the actual recipes rather than the organization of the book, and these recipes are easy to follow and understand. I put a lot of emphasis on readability and ease with these types of cookbooks, and Martha Cheves has done a wonderful job creating the type of cookbook that anyone can use and enjoy. I have come across some cookbooks that ended up flung across the room way before the last ingredient was added. Whether you are a ranked amateur or a complete novice, there is something in this book you will enjoy.

I will say this though; I almost gave this book a three star rating because the author has a recipe for fried pickles in the book. My wife and son love fried pickles, but it is the one fried food I cannot stand. So for making me endure nights filled with the stink of fried pickles I almost went with my gut reaction, but instead I will recommend this lovely book. The book does have some healthy recipes in there as well, but if you are like me and love your comfort foods and Southern dishes then this is the book for you.

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