Thursday, January 13, 2011

Book Reflections: "Cooking in the South" by Johnnie Gabriel

Sometimes, I read books that elicit memories that take me back to certain points of my life and help me to identify with the writer. That was the case with Christy Jordan's Southern Plate. But when I read Johnnie Gabriel's Cooking in the South, I didn't think of the past. Instead, I'm excited for the future memories that I can create using these traditional, Southern recipes.

As I read through the book, I circled the page number of every recipe that I wanted to try. I have well over a dozen recipes on my "to do" list. I've already gotten started immersing myself in this cookbook. This Cherry Pork Loin was a warm welcome on a cold winter weekend.

I've made Crab Dip Supreme twice. The first time, my husband and I devoured every bit of it while standing together at the kitchen table. The second time, I made it for Christmas Eve and doubled the recipe since I was serving a larger group. As I uncovered the dish, my family circled, questioned, tasted, and enjoyed. It was quite a success and one that will definitely be repeated.

The cookbook is filled with recipes that will make a meal special. There are some fancier recipes for those of you who are feeling adventurous and want to make an impressive meal or dessert. Since Ms. Gabriel's business started as a bakery, the dessert section in Cooking in the South is filled with every Southern cake, pie, and cookie that you can fathom.

Throughout the pages, Ms. Gabriel writes about her life from her childhood to the evolution of her business from baking cakes in her home to running her full-service restaurant in Marietta, Georgia. Although I live in Georgia, too, unforutnately, I do not live close to Gabriel's Restaurant and Bakery. But, I'm hoping that one day I will be fortunate enough to visit and taste. But, until then, I'll settle for using Cooking in the South to bring Ms. Gabriel's restaurant into my own little kitchen.


  1. Kim this sounds so good. The girls that I used to work with and I like to try new places every month for our lunch outing. We will definitly put Gabriel's on our list! I can't wait.

  2. I'm jealous, Chrystal! I'm going to need a full report.

  3. You could always just come up and go with us :)

  4. Isn't Johnnie Gabriel related to Paula Deen? A cousin I believe.

  5. Yes, she wrote about it in the cookbook. Plus, she's been on the Paula's show, too.


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