The 9:00 a.m. session at this year’s Southern Kentucky Bookfest featured Kentucky and Southern cookbook authors.
Bobbie Smith Bryant, a native of Calloway County, Kentucky, where she grew up on her family’s farm in the “Black Patch” of Kentucky—an area named for the unique tobacco curing process, talked about her first book Forty Acres & A Red Belly Ford: The Smith Family of Calloway County published in 2011 which has been made into a documentary film Farming in the Black Patch and recently premiered on KET. In her newest book Passions of the Black Patch: Cooking and Quilting in Western Kentucky she includes 200 family recipes with stories and photographs of hand-crafted heirloom quilts made by family members. She read an award winning story about her “Papaws Fried Chicken” made with love and patience in an iron skillet and served with buttery mashed potatoes. Her recipe for “snow cream” rekindled some of my wife’s childhood memories.
Maggie Green, a native of Lexington, Kentucky grew up as part of a large family near the University of Kentucky where she graduated in food and nutrition before studying at the Culinary Arts Management Program at Sullivan University in Louisville. She’s a licensed dietitian She began working at the Joy of Cooking Kitchen in 2000 and was a key member of the 75th anniversary edition of the Joy of Cooking published in 2006. Her Kentucky Fresh Cookbook published by the University Press of Kentucky includes 200 recipes arranged by season incorporating Kentucky produced food. Her recipe for “Banana Bourbon Walnut French Toast” and “Bourbon Mint Slushies” have got a lot of attention. She gives advice on everything from how to grill fish to how to butterfly and split a chicken. She owns the Green Apron Company and coaches would be cookbook writers. She commented that her version of oven baked “chex mix” had drawn thousands of hits to her web site which also includes interviews with cookbook authors.
Angela and Paul Knipple worked in IT for Federal Express before transitioning full time to the kitchen. The impetus came when visiting a local favorite Mexican restaurant in Memphis where the owner/chef would come out and greet newcomers. They wondered what the story was behind these first generation immigrant owned restaurants in the South. For their new book
The World in a Skillet: A Food Lover’s Tour of the New American South published in 2012 by the University of North Carolina Press they spent three years eating their way through the South collecting recipes and stories. Bosnian immigrant Merima Kreso, who moved to Bardstown in 1995, is profiled along with her recipe for “Merima’s Chicken Breast Stuffed With Spinach and Feta.” Their newest book Farm Fresh Tennessee is hot off the press. They explained their formula for a “McBomination” a combination McDouble merged with a Spicy Chicken Sandwich which shows their late night creativity.