My Family Table - John Besh

Released November 2011

Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth

Until I came across My Family Table, I thought I was the only person in the world who didn't enjoy the craze of cooking shows on television. The only show I will watch, and if I miss it I'm not heartbroken, is Alton Brown's Good Eats. I learned to cook by watching my mom and certainly by watching my grandmother. In both cases, they taught that family should eat together and that homecooking is always best.

In My Family Table, Chef John Besh teaches a few simple basics to have on hand so that no matter how busy, you can have a homecooked meal. I totally agree. I keep stock in the freezer, along with cooked chicken or beef that I can quickly throw into soups. We grow a garden and freeze as much extra produce as possible for the winter. Yes, it's time consuming, but it's well worth it.

Each chapter delves into harder recipes that cover everything from breakfast foods to desserts. Chapters open with a brief glimpse into Besh's life. I'll admit one local item threw me off. He mentions scuppernong preserves at one point and I was baffled. I've never heard of such a thing and ended up looking it up. I'm betting the closest I could get locally are wild concord grape preserves. I have wild grapes growing in my front garden, so once they produce enough, I'll simply make my own. Otherwise, I'm intrigued and plan to order some online because no store in this area carries it.

The very first recipe I'll be making is going to be perfect for this weekend. We have family coming for a cookout and hummingbird cake is something I've never tried. The recipe looks easy and will be perfect for a family gathering.


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