With Valentine's Day quickly approaching, I thought it was time to share with you that I have recently fallen in love...with a newly acquired cookbook, Savannah Celebrations by Martha Nesbit (Pelican Publishing). I was first introduced to the book in October when one of my supervisors brought her copy to the office. At the time, I saw several recipes that I liked and even made one for the blog - Chewy Chocolate Cookies. I quickly added the book to my Wish List on Amazon and finally purchased it this month. I'm so glad I did!
In the two weeks that I've owned the book, it has really endeared itself to me. Like a child with a favorite blanket (or a pillow as is the case here in my house), I have lugged the book from room to room. I even took it to work one day just to keep it close to me. I've read through it almost every night and have picked out many recipes that I want to try - soon. And, even though I feel like I should have the recipes memorized by now, each reading is a new experience in that I find something different and tempting every time.
Portrait of a Hostess
Being a Georgia native, I'm drawn to cookbooks that celebrate Southern cooking and hospitality. Whenever I read cookbooks like Savannah Celebrations and those by Johnnie Gabriel and Paula Deen, I enjoy seeing the portrait they paint of the Southern hostess: classy, confident, and gentile. And, even though I am Southern and do live near Savannah, I'm as far from this character as you can get. I'm still uncomfortable with the role of "hostess". I consider myself more of a stager - preparing and serving the food and then slinking off into the background while everybody eats. But, I read these books and think, "Well maybe so; maybe I can be a great Southern hostess one day."
Maybe I'll start by having my kids call me Mother instead of Mommy. Hmmm...
But until then, I'll continue cooking recipes from Savannah Celebrations and will pretend that I'm at a picnic at Tara instead of sitting on my couch watching television and munching on Ms. Nesbit's Chipped Beef Spread and Shrimp Paste. Because beyond the tablescapes and the party menus, it is the food that is the most important aspect of any cookbook in my opinion. And, that's what makes this cookbook one of my favorites...period!