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on December 2, 2012
Here is another great cookbook by America's beloved cooking guru, Jean Anderson. This time, she has given us a treaty on Southern side dishes and I, for one, can't wait to eat my way through this one. As always, Jean's recipes are spot-on, thoroughly tested, and work each and every time, and that's why I've collected her books over the years. So far, I've made her Open-Face Vidalia Pie, Mushroom Tassies, Chicken Jambalaya Casserole, Cheddar Biscuits, and Chocolate Chess Pie to the rave reviews of my family and friends. Her recipes are straightforward, and easy to make. Best of all, they're at the heart of Southern cuisine, which epitomizes comfort and down-to-earth goodness. Each and every time I reach for her book, I see new recipes that I must try, like her Creamed Celery with Pecans, Country Ham and Cauliflower Casserole, and Praline Cheesecake. Her headnotes are filled with cooking tips and interesting trivia and are written in a beautiful conversational cadence that makes me feel as if Jean is sitting at the kitchen table, talking to me as I cook. This book is certainly going on my holiday gift-giving list this year. It's ideal for both novice and well-seasoned cooks who love good, honest, and true Southern flavors.
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on November 24, 2012
Many pages in my copy of From a Southern Oven: The Savories, The Sweets from the ever-reliable Jean Anderson are already flagged with bookmarks. How can I resist trying pecan-stuffed pork chops, country ham and cauliflower casserole, Chesapeake deviled crab, shrimp and artichoke hearts au gratin, tomato pudding, the intriguingly-named sweet potato schnitzel? Those are just some of the entrees and vegetables, but there are also recipes for breads (rice muffins that use up leftover rice), appetizers (pecan-cheddar pennies) and -- be still, my heart -- brilliant desserts: chess pie made with Ruby Red grapefruit, orange Christmas cake, coconut buttermilk pie. The tireless Anderson, the author of classic books on grassroots American cookery and Portuguese food, among many others, is that rare author who cooks like a dream and tells a story equally well. Each recipe is accompanied by a vignette that is not just a "filler" header for the recipe but contributes valuable information about its origins. Anderson was once a home extension agent, that unsung heroine of rural American. Her recipes are meticulously tested and will definitely work; you can depend upon it.
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on December 4, 2013
From a Southern Oven: The Savories, The Sweets, by Jean Anderson is the kind of cookbook that every serious Southern cook should own--even if they already own too many Southern cookbooks. This is the beautiful, useful kind of cookbook that delights me every time I pick it up. It seems there is no end to the recipes I want to make from this book.

The book is hardcover with thick, glossy pages. It begins with a few tips for using the cookbook and then launches into a primer on Southern ingredients. Anderson provides you with tips on purchasing and working with everything from persimmons to shrimp. The book is divided into part 1, savory, and then part 2, sweets. The savory foods are chaptered as follows: appetizers, nibbles, and snacks; main dishes (meat, fish, fowl, and more); vegetables and sides; and breads (yeast and quick). The sweets sections is chaptered as follows: pies and pastries; puddings, cobblers, crisps, crumbles and more; and cakes and cookies. Then the book finishes with a source guide so you can buy everything from tableware to grits easily. There aren't photos for each recipe, but what photos are included are full page and expertly done. This is a book that makes you want to cook.

The recipes are well written and should appeal to a broad audience. It strikes me almost as a superlatives" of the South cookbook. You will find the trademarks of Southern cooking here: Sally Lunn muffins, red velvet cake, St. Simon's deviled crab, Smith Island ten-layer cake, Vidalia pie, chocolate chess pie. These are the dishes one would think to include in a mini encyclopedia of Southern cooking, the ones that get handed down from one generation to the next. Each recipe begins with an interesting paragraph long introduction that tells you more about the origins of the recipe or what to pair it with.

This is a book for people who value and enjoy cooking from fresh, quality ingredients. The ham tetrazinni is a stellar dish because it uses fresh mushrooms and cream in place of a canned soup. I did see use of a few convenience items such as onion soup mix in a couple recipes, but the emphasis in this book is mostly on making things from scratch. Believe me, if you cook a few recipes from this cookbook, you'll agree they are winners. The red velvet cake is a moist delight with it's tangy cream cheese icing. The cheddar biscuits are a treat that you can make quickly again and again.

This is a wonderful compilation of Southern recipes. It is the kind of book I stuff in my satchel to leaf through on lunch breaks or to peruse while waiting for an appointment. I know I'll be impressing my family and friends for years to come with the delicious, thoughtfully prepared dishes in this terrific, truly Southern cookbook.
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on November 25, 2012
I'm thrilled to have yet another terrific Jean Anderson cookbook, particularly because "From A Southern Oven: The Savories, The Sweets" is a sequel to her wonderful (and my favorite) "A Love Affair with Southern Cooking" of a few years ago. Her intent in this book is to prove that not everything that comes out of a Southern oven is achingly sweet. And there are as many (or more) savory dishes in this book as there are sweet. I've already tried one of each--both quick and easy. The "Pecan-Cheddar Pennies" (her take on the cheese daisies that so many of us in the South love to serve with cocktails) are the best I've ever eaten. It's the "secret" ingredient (ground pecans) that makes them particularly yummy. And in the sweet section I tried the "Moldy Mice"--little butter cookies rolled in powdered sugar that literally melt in your mouth. They, too, have a secret ingredient, but I'll let you discover that for yourself. This book is full of great recipes I can't wait to try!
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on December 3, 2012
Jean Anderson has another home run in her newest cookbook, From A Southern Oven. I tested some of Jean's recipes previously as a food editor at Gourmet Magazine and have always admired her knowledge, tireless research and ability to deliver recipes that work and taste wonderful. She not only "Talks the Talk, but Walks the Walk" and her legacy continues with this cookbook. The Key Lime Cheesecake is sublime and my guests could not stop going back for more of her Oysters Johnny Reb. Definitely put this one on your Christmas gift list .
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on November 29, 2012
I'm always thrilled when a new Jean Anderson cookbook is available and "From a Southern Oven" is an exciting addition to my collection. I love to open her books and enjoy each page - the recipes, expert advice, and history are beautifully written and a joy to use. I haven't found another author as thoughtful and complete. I know that when I'm working with a recipe, her advice will guarantee success. Southern Oven's "Gingery Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Walnuts and Dried Cranberries" was a favorite at our Thanksgiving table and the "Sweet Potato Schnitzel" jumped off the serving dish - the grandchildren loved them! I know my new "Southern" friend will provide many happy meals in our Wisconsin home.
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on October 29, 2012
Discovering the culinary intricacies and idiocyncracies of cultures right within the United States can be just as fascinating as learning about ethnic delicacies from around the world. Jean Anderson does an excellent job of introducing the reader to all of those ingredients which are staples in Southern cooking but may not be everyday familiar pantry items elsewhere, such as grits, persimmons, molasses, hickory nuts, cornmeal and crawfish. No calorie counting allowed here. The recipes presented are rich and lush with a bounty of ingredients and prepared with tips and techniques handed down from one mother and grandmother to the next generation. Beautifully illustrated, these dishes are homey, stick to your ribs cooking. We especially enjoyed the personal reminiscences that are included at the top of every recipe. From a Southern Oven inspires a new appreciation for the aromatic and delicious dishes being turned out by Southern home chefs.
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on November 24, 2012
This is a stunning book! I intend to prepare every recipe in the book. Jean Anderson writes with a voice as clear as bell. She's cookbook writer, historian and kitchen wizard all in one. You always know that any recipe bearing her name will work. Her recipes are obviously tested thoroughly before they are printed . ( Not a given in this age of ghost written celebrity books). Her writing style is precise but interesting. Even if you aren't a cook, this book as all Jean Anderson cookbooks makes great reading. But I encourage even non-bakers to try these recipes. The directions are so clear, I truly believe anybody can have good results.

Any new Jean Anderson cookbook is a time of celebration. All my friends and relatives will be be receiving this one for Christmas. And Jean is always kind enough to mail really nice personally autographed messages . Just go to her a message with the name(s) of the people you want her to send the autograph to.

This is a natural to gift along with her beloved LOVE AFFAIR WITH SOUTHERN COOKING. Anderson's book is real Southern cooking at it's best.

UPDATE: I've made a major dent in the sweet recipes with stunning results. I've never had a failure with a Jean Anderson recipe. I know every one of them has been thoroughly tested. Now, I'm on to the savories. I'm going to have some happy friends and relatives this Christmas when they receive this book ( and LOVE AFFAIR WITH SOUTHERN COOKING) for those who don't already have it. Now I can concentrate on cooking. My Christmas shopping is complete!

Thank you, Jean Anderson!
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on July 14, 2014
full of great recipes and little stories(I like the stories as much as the recipes) I cant wait to try them. I am so glad I purchased this book. I collect cookbooks and am very glad I bought this one.
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on January 20, 2015
The recipes in this book are simple, but have all of the necessary ingredients to make them really good, the stories with the recipes are very entertaining and I thoroughly enjoyed them, they added a story.
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