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The New Southern Basics: Traditional Southern Food for Today Paperback – May 1, 2001

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Martha Phelps Stamps is an honors graduate of The Culinary Institute of America. The author of three cookbooks, her recipes have been featured in numerous magazines, including Southern Living and Victoria, and she has appeared as a guest on the Martha Stewart Living television show. She and her husband, John Reed, own and operate Martha's at the Plantation, a restaurant specializing in seasonally inspired regional foods and located on the grounds of historic Belle Meade Plantation. They live in Nashville with their daughters, Moriah and Sadie Anna, and their son John Mark.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Cumberland House (May 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1581822413
  • ISBN-13: 978-1581822410
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 7.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,615,980 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Damon Fowler on October 13, 1998
Format: Hardcover
This is one of the freshest and loveliest books on Southern cooking to appear in years. Martha Stamps approaches the food with the authority of the professional cook that she is, but she does so gently, with grace and a refreshing sweetness, and without intimidating the reader with her credintials. Writing in clear, down to earth prose with an unapologetic love for her subject, she never preaches. You feel as if you are sitting on Stamps's porch shelling peas while she talks about what we might have for supper.
This book belongs in the library of anyone who is interested in Southern cooking, or American regional cooking, or just good cooking period.
Damon Lee Fowler (author, Classical Southern Cooking).
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 22, 2002
Format: Paperback
This cookbook is wonderful!
I was looking for a cookbook that had the recipes that my Grandmothers, from Southern Illionis, would cook when I would visit every summer.

What you will find most amazing about this cookbook is that you will have many of the ingredients in your panty. (Even if it's not stocked with fancy foodstuff!)
My husband thinks the meatloaf recipe is simply the best and raves and raves about it! The cheese straws I made for a Thanksgiving were all devoured in one night! As did they love the pimento cheese. The beef stew is wonderful as is the pot roast, chicken and dumplings, chicken salad, and the maccaroni and cheese is great. I've made the beef stew. Oh my goodness, was it good! Oh and the recipe for Banana Nut Bread is the best I've ever made, per my neighbors, my doctor, his wife, and even my Mama. Forget about my kids, I make double and triple batches and it's gone within a few day! For a Christmas get together I made the fudge pie and bought peppermint ice cream.(I had been out all day and was so tired, it really is an easy dessert!) The men loved it even more than the kids!
If Mrs. Stamps ever reads these reviews: Please get another cookbook out with some "More Southern Basics".
When I use this cookbook I am always thinking about my Grandmothers. They loved their men and their children, grandchildren and great grand-children, and most of all they loved who they were - Women raising a family, being smart, yet furgal when it came to providing for those they loved. And so proud.
Can a cookbook evolve all this emotion?
Yes it can and it does.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By C. S. Paschke on January 2, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I have made some wonderful dishes from this book, but it contains its fair share of stinkers, as well. After having the misfortune of coming across several failed recipes, I've come to the conclusion that this must be the author's first attempt at transcribing recipes which she's been cooking from memory for years. This cookbook is riddled with errors and omissions -- it clearly has not been kitchen tested by the publisher. The cheese straws required additional butter, the oven baked pork chops don't tell you what to do with the flour mixture (it's for dredging the pork chops before browining), the Hoppin' John doesn't work with fresh blackeyed peas, even though it says it will (too much liquid), and the cranberry loaf just flat-out does not work (this was an expensive failure, as it contains two cups of walnuts). In addition,the book is also light on details such as pan sizes and exact cooking times.

That said, the maccaroni and cheese, greens with tomatoes, pumpkin bread, date nut cookies, white bread, cucumber sandwiches, and real french dressing were all successful and quite good.

This is a nice book to play with, but I wouldn't recommend cooking anything new for the first time when you're having company over. You also might want to cross-reference any recipes that catch your interest with recipes from other cookbooks or the internet just to be safe.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Carolyn Habryl on January 29, 2003
Format: Paperback
For a Northerner who can't cook (i.e. follow dirctions wellwhen cooking) and doesn't particularly like to cook, I LOVED this cookbook. Now you may be asking yourself why a self described non-cooking woman would by this book. It's very simple. I've eaten the wonderful food Martha Stamps cooks up at her restaurant at the Belle Meade Plantation. I'll also confess that initially I purchased the book just because I loved the tea punch and knew I'd never remember the recipe until I got home from Nashville.
What I found not only by eating at her restaurant but by actually reading the cookbook is that her passion for cooking is clearly evident. While the recipes can stand on their own, what
makes this cook book so special are the details about Martha and her family that accompany the recipes. It is clearly evident that cooking is not just a vocation for her but a passion. These recipes aren't just thrown together, they have a history to them.
Even if you buy this book for just one recipe - it's worth it.
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