Have I mentioned before how much I love cookbooks? I love them. I read them. I get inspiration from them. I devour them. I will pour over a new cookbook like a good book. A cookbook given to me truly is a gift, not just a present.
At Christmas this year I received Heritage, a cookbook by Sean Brock. Sean Brock, for those of you unfamiliar with him by name, is chef/owner of HUSK in Charleston, and he has been a big driving force behind part of the huge food movement that has been building there in recent years and is now making waves everywhere. He is creative to say the least, especially in utilizing the bounty of Southern foods and the history behind them. He and I share a common belief that a large part of cooking is part of your growing up, part of who you are, your heritage. For me there have been several influences, but as I read his words I simply could not stop picturing my grandmother, Ruby, in her frilly apron over her small kitchen stove flipping fried chicken, or dropping biscuit dough into a pot of chicken and dumplings, turning squash fritters, and checking to be sure “the boys” were washing up for Sunday dinner. She in turn influenced my mom, who always prepared dinner, who influenced me, and I hope the trend will continue from here.
He writes something clever in the front of his cookbook called “My Manifesto” and it has some awesome words I wanted to share with my readers. It is lengthy and I am going to choose my favorites, but you are welcome to borrow the full version anytime.
In his words…
- Cook with soul-but first, get to know your soul.
- Be proud of your roots, be proud of your home, be proud of your family and its culture. That’s your inspiration.
- Cook in the moment. Cook the way you are feeling, cook to suit the weather, cook with your mood, or to change your mood.
- Listen to your tongue, it’s smart.
- He who dies with the biggest pantry wins
Heritage. Where we come from, what we are taught, traditions. Cherish yours, and the best food and life has to offer when we will open our eyes, and ears, and hearts, and soak it in.
Enjoy, the best of food and life.