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rotuts

Deep Run Roots by Vivian Howard

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My library just got the book.

 

Deep Run Roots: Stories and Recipes from My Corner of the South ir?t=egulletcom-20&l=am2&o=1&a=031638110

 

Its Vivian Howard's Cookbook, its a companion to ' A Chef's Life '  which if you have not seen it is not a Kitchen-Cooking show  etc with emphasis on North Carolina Cooking

 

and culture.

 

F.D.:  Im not a cookbook reviewer in the sense that i make several Rx's and evaluate them before I comment.

 

I do read a lot of cookbooks , so I have an average idea on what's a bit different and unusual.  Ill never be able to help anyone with baking or cooking times etc  Sooo ...

 

this is a large tome.   561 pages on quality stock.     the pictures complement the RX's and keep you interested in them.   this is not a coffee table book

 

VH has talked a lot about creating this book on her show.  

 

I like the book.  there are many Rx's that seem just a little bit unusual to me.  They reflect her area of the county not mine :

 

Sweet Potato and Turkey Shepherd's Pie    pp 318

 

Sausage-Stuffed Honey Buns   pp 376

 

Pecan-Chewy Pie   pp 137

 

Fried Yams with Five-Spice Maple Bacon Candy    pp 326                              and of course :

 

Pork Shoulder Steaks in Red Curry Braised Watermelon     pp  95

 

I like the book . no doubt this winter i will make all of the above, and the Watermelon item next spring.  

 

it also seems to have a well thought out index and is not a simple afterthought mis-mash.

 

 I hope you see it in a bookstore if they still

 

exist in your area , or your library system gets a copy.


Edited by Smithy Adjusted link to be Amazon-friendly (log)
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P.S. :

 

on pp 160 Chef VH has a page on Sausage Wisdom : Sausage in the book is pretty much Pork based,  Its North Carolina after all.

 

under Substitutions she says :  """  Some of you might ask : " well , what about turkey sausage --- can's I use that ? "   My answer is to sigh and say ' Sure.

 

just don't go writing  bad reviews of my book when you've called on a turkey rather than a pig. " """

 

I bought the book.

 

suprise.gif


Edited by rotuts (log)
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I received my copy of Deep Run Rootsir?t=egulletcom-20&l=am2&o=1&a=031638110 yesterday and have already spent a few enjoyable hours reading it.  As @rotuts points out, it's a big book - I was a little surprised at just how big.

 

I haven't started cooking from it so no recommendation there but if you enjoy reading a cookbook, I absolutely recommend taking a look at this one.  If you find essays and background information in a cookbook to be unnecessary fluff or filler, then steer clear. Vivian says the book is as much a storybook as a cookbook and I've very much enjoyed reading it.  I'd like to plow through and read the whole thing before I start cooking from it but on the other hand, I'm savoring each chapter and am tempted to slow down to make it last longer.  

 

It's organized into chapters by ingredient, beginning with an informative essay, a collection of advice or tips that Vivian calls, "Wisdom", then some classic, Eastern North Carolina recipes before moving into recipes where Vivian has added a more modern twist, as she does in her restaurant.

For example, the first chapter,  Ground Corn, starts with recipes for Mom's Cornpone, Grandma Hill's Hoecakes, Lillie's Fried Cornbread and Foolproof Grits before moving into Charred Spring Vegetables with Creamy Scallion Dressing and Hushpuppy Croutons, Grits & Greens with Hot Sauce and Pork Rinds, Pimento Cheese Grits with Salsa and Chips, Cheesy Grit Fritters and Spoonbread with Sausage Ragout. 

While the chapters are organized by ingredient, some recipes appear in unexpected places.  Fried Green Tomatoes are not in the Tomato chapter but in the Peach section, in a recipe for Fried Green Tomatoes with Curried Peach Preserves and Whipped Feta.  I think it makes the chapters more interesting to read but less useful if you are looking for, say, salad ideas.  There is a "Recipe Guide" at the front of the book to address that issue with a listing of recipes by type and the index in the back seems to be useful for finding things.

 

The chapter essays, header notes and recipes are all written in a consistent,  authentic voice, the same voice that Vivian uses in the PBS series "A Chef's Life."  If you like the show, as I do, you will like the book.  If you find her annoying in the show, you will likely be annoyed by the book as well.  It's clearly her book and not a celebrity chef-ghost-written product.  There are many recipes that were featured in the show and quite a few new recipes.  In the show, we're introduced to one of the home cooks doing recipe testing for the book and the credits list several more, giving me some confidence in trying the recipes.

 

The photos were shot by the fellow who is the director of photography (in his words, cam dude) for the show, who had never shot a cookbook before.  Someone in an Amazon review dinged the photos for not being clear.  I'm not sure what that means, I find they contribute very positively to the experience of reading the book.  While there are abundant, beautiful photographs that illustrate both the essays and recipes, in at least one case, I wish they had either more or different photos - the recipe for Sweet Potato Onion Bread is illustrated with 5 photos of ingredients being added to the dough but no photos of the dough being shaped or of the final product.  That's an exception, as there's a photo of almost every finished dish.

 

Like @rotuts, there are quite a few recipes that call out to me, including the Pork and Red Curry Braised Watermelon that he mentioned.  On my list so far:

Jalapeño Peach Chicken - this starts with the recipe for a Jalapeño Peach Glaze that should yield several jars to can

Sweet Potato Onion Bread

Fried Chicken Livers with Balsamic-Marinated Figs

Roasted and Fresh Tomato Pie

 

A number of the blueberry recipes appeal to me, like the blueberry chutney, a salad of blueberries, cucumber, pistachios and yogurt, Crab Hoecakes with Blueberry Corn Salsa, and a Blueberry, Buttermilk and Lime Parfait that has layers of a blueberry jelly, buttermilk panna cotta, lime curd and buttermilk whipped cream assembled in half-pint jelly jars.  Like the watermelon dish, that will likely wait until next summer.

 

I'll probably try the simple fresh sausage recipe since it's used in several dishes that interest me, like the Spoonbread with Sausage Ragout.  I will not be making the Tom Thumb sausage - a local speciality of fresh sausage stuffed into a pigs appendix and aged for a week or 2 but the Dirty Faro and Rutabaga Relish that it's served with sound pretty good.  

 

I'll post back after I try some recipes.

 


Edited by blue_dolphin (log)
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@blue_dolphin  

 

a far more erudite review than mine.

 

on pp 361 VH , under " Sausage is my Soapbox " suggests :

 

""  If stuffing and hanging sausage is not your thing , support the tradition by ordering some air-dried sausage or a Tom Thumb from ..... ""

 

indeed.   I hope to do that.   Im not going to make a Tom Thumb  from scratch   ( Rx pp 368 )

 

you will need to take a look into the book to find out.

 

unfortunately  two of her suggestions for mail order :

 

http://www.thecountrybutchershop.com

 

and

 

http://www.nahuntapork.com/shipping

 

one does not take phone orders for out of state    and the other's site is more or less a Go there place or a Call away.

 

Im determined to get a Tom Thumb  sent to me !

 

talk about phantasmagoric !

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I'm looking forward to having a look at a copy of the book. I enjoy the PBS series for its content and for its pace.

 

 

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Damned enablers. I WILL resist. 

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28 minutes ago, Anna N said:

Damned enablers. I WILL resist. 

 

Nah, you'll cave! I think I might also!

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3 minutes ago, NWKate said:

 

Nah, you'll cave! I think I might also!

D

 

3 minutes ago, NWKate said:

 

Nah, you'll cave! I think I might also!

 Funny, Kerry just said the same thing.

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19 minutes ago, Anna N said:

D

 

 Funny, Kerry just said the same thing.

Kerry is the most evil of the enablers. And she looks so innocent, too!

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but an enabler of High Epicurean Standards  

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55 minutes ago, Anna N said:

D

 

 Funny, Kerry just said the same thing.

 

...great minds think alike!

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Yikes !

 

pp 59  Warm Banana Pudding

 

om pp 58 you see those Bananas

 

om pp 60 :   first  ; roast the bananas  [ed.: in their skins ]

 

that's the pic on pp 58

 

Im more or less 6 months out of Phase

 

ie Blueberries  ? High Bush or Low Bush  ?  From Maine ?

 

but bananas   ......


Edited by rotuts (log)
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8 hours ago, blue_dolphin said:

Like @rotuts, there are quite a few recipes that call out to me, including the Pork and Red Curry Braised Watermelon that he mentioned.  

 

This recipe really piqued my interest when I saw it on the show.  I plan to make the Spring Onion Gratin sometime soon. 

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Me too Shel_B, that recipe really looks great.

 

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3 hours ago, Okanagancook said:

Me too Shel_B, that recipe really looks great.

 

 

Have you noticed that the recipe in the video is different than the written recipe?  That should give one thought  as to just what ingredients to use.  Also, now's not the time for spring onions, so when making the recipe I will need a substitute - maybe leeks from our garden which are very flavorful?

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6 hours ago, Shel_B said:

 

Have you noticed that the recipe in the video is different than the written recipe?  That should give one thought  as to just what ingredients to use.  Also, now's not the time for spring onions, so when making the recipe I will need a substitute - maybe leeks from our garden which are very flavorful?

I don't have the book yet.  Young leeks maybe with some store bought green onions as a sub for all garden green onions.  I love green onions and I can grow them really well here.  I need to start a list of recipes to use when the garden is in full swing because it is easy to forget about a recipe.

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@curls  

 

I hope you have a fine time.

 

i hope you are able to share your experience and pics ( if permitted ) of the food.

 

Good luck with that Tom Thumb !

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39 minutes ago, Okanagancook said:

I don't have the book yet.  Young leeks maybe with some store bought green onions as a sub for all garden green onions.  I love green onions and I can grow them really well here.  I need to start a list of recipes to use when the garden is in full swing because it is easy to forget about a recipe.

I notice that the link seems to imply that spring onions/green onions/scallions are all cut from the same cloth but I know that spring onions are not the same as scallions/green onions. I am surprised that a chef seems not to differentiate. I am sure they will both work but the results are bound to be different not only taste wise but also quantity wise.  Am I being picky unnecessarily?

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indeed :

 

http://archives.record-eagle.com/2007/may/21onions.htm

 

I think the key to her Rx is that they be early  

 

Ive planted  scallions  in the past when I had a garden , and that's what they said on the seed packet ( USA )  even a strain that was Red

 

the Red developed on the outer part of the shoots and the onion  ( what part ) was not red through and through.

 

all the scallions Ive ever grown Id let self seed.   at that point in the fall there was a bit of a bulb on the bottom.

 

Im wondering if non- bulbing G.O.'s are on the rare side in the seed world.

 

 

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Thanks for the link rotuts.  I thought they were all the same too but come to think of it this year I had scallions (no bulb but they grew quite tall and thick) and green onions which developed a bulb, but I harvested them when they were quite small.  I will look out for that next season.

 

AnnaN I don't think you are being picky because Vivian did say they were all the same.  What does the recipe call for in the book I wonder?

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@Okanagancook  

 

see if you can find some Red ones :

 

https://www.amazon.com/25-Seeds-Red-Baron-Scallion/dp/B017O4A9UA

 

these seem fairly expensive.  there are some small  obscure seed places that are well worth looking into

 

after all, if you are going to do all that weeding   ( and Im pleased it was mentioned in the Chef's Life show  its back breaking and exceptionally tedious )

 

have some fun with the results !

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The recipe for Spring Onion Gratin appeared in the first episode of this season's series Season 4, Episode : Onions .  It does not appear in the book.  In the episode, Vivian uses the terms interchangeably, but confirms with the farmer that the onions she is using will "bulb up" if left in the ground.  

 

This article from The Kitchn says that scallions, "are either harvested very young from the regular bulb-forming onions we are familiar with, or they can come from other varieties that actually never form bulbs," while spring onions, "come from the varietals that produce bulbs and are basically more mature versions of scallions. They are planted as seedlings in the late fall and then harvested the next spring, thus the word "spring" in the name."  From the video, it's clear that the ones that go into the dish haven't formed bulbs yet so I would think that in this particular recipe, scallions would be a good substitute if you don't want to wait for Spring.

 

Edited to add:

7 hours ago, Shel_B said:

Also, now's not the time for spring onions, so when making the recipe I will need a substitute - maybe leeks from our garden which are very flavorful?

I think a leek gratin made like this would be delicious but scallions would be more similar to the spring onions.


Edited by blue_dolphin (log)
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