I have a new crush in the world of cooking. And she is a older woman from the Mississippi Delta. I've only met her once but in between her offering me booze and giving me tips on pimento cheese, I fell in love. I am talking of course about Martha Foose. Her two cookbooks, Screen Doors and Sweet Tea and A Southerly Course, are simple, intelligent cookbooks that should be on everyone's shelf.
I particularly like the stories that accompany each recipe. Rather than just focusing on herself, these stories share a part of her culture and a sense of place from where the recipe developed or as is most often the case was passed down. You will read about people with names like Redbone or learn how to socially wait for the mailman. The recipes themselves range from the easy, yet sublime Bacon Crackers (ingredients: bacon and crackers) to homey cornbread, deviled eggs, roast duck, and of course that pimento cheese.
Recently, I used her basic deviled egg recipe and sexed it up with the addition of bacon marmalade, a bacon chip, and a thin slice of jalapeno. Although Ms. Foose wasn't there to comment on the dish, I have a feeling my love may have been reciprocated.