Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Southern books, local teaching and more

Click over to today (or heck, go old school and open a print newspaper) and you'll find:

The Southern cookbook roundup. There are so many great food books this year that we didn't know where to begin. So my Raleigh counterpart Andrea Weigl and I picked through the stack of 2013 Southern cookbooks to highlight our favorites, including Ed Lee's "Smoke & Pickles" and John Currence's "Pickles, Pigs & Whiskey." And this morning, I got one more in the mail that you should consider: "Essentials of Southern Cooking," by Damon Lee Fowler (Lyons Press, $35). On the first flip through it, I spotted a dozen dishes I want to read more about. 

In my column, I talk about the influence and impact of CPCC culinary instructor Jeff LaBarge, who is retiring. You probably encounter LaBarge's teaching every time you sit down in a Charlotte restaurant. 

I know a lot of fans of Betty's Pimento Cheese at Harper's, as sassy as Betty Sasser herself. In You Asked For It, Robin Domeier scores the recipe, and shares a bunch of ideas for putting it to work in your holiday entertaining. 

Bread fans in Raleigh will already know about La Farm Bakery and chef Lionel Valinet. Andrea Weigl shares a little of Valinet's story and you can meet the man himself (and get samples of his bread) at a book signing at 2 p.m. Sunday at Park Road Books. 

In this week's Q&A, I try to sort through some of the fears about nonstick cookware. 

Finally, in One Great, I shared an easy ham and potato soup - and issued my own plea for recipe help. With my kitchen undergoing a complete overhaul, I have no place to try out One Great recipes for the next six weeks. If you have a recipe that fits the column -- short, easy to do and interesting -- send it on and I'll run it. 

Also in food:
A gingerbread that is both gluten-free and vegan.
A coconut version of dulche de leche
A roundup of good holiday cocktails
A homemade version of Duke's mayonnaise