Thursday, March 25, 2010
Mama Dip's Family Cook Book
One of the items on my personal "bucket list" is to eat at Mildred Council's restaurant at 408 West Rosemary Street in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Ms. Council's story is fascinating to me. She's the famous "Mama Dip", a mom, grandma and great-grandma, who has authored cookbooks, been on Good Morning, America, The Food Network and QVC. Although she admits to humble beginnings, she grew up with a great work ethic and has thrived with the support of her family and community. And since her fame, she's given back to her beloved community!
The cook book that I'm reviewing today, Mama Dip's Family Cook Book, is her second wonderful collection of recipes. The first was published by The University of North Carolina Press in 1999; it was entitled, Mama Dip's Kitchen. Today's book was published in 2005 by UNC Press; the ISBN is 0-8078-5655-x. You can contact The University of North Carolina Press at P.O. Box 2288, Chapel Hill, NC 27515-2288 (www.uncpress.edu).
Mama Dip's specialty is traditional country cooking. She starts the book by sharing the background of her childhood; fond memories of a Papa who loved and reared seven children by himself (after her mother died) in the midst of The Great Depression. She loves to talk about home and family, and how the community embraced and nurtured her family as she was growing up. (This is my kind of cook book!) Her story is inspiring; she is such a grateful and positive person that actually, I think meeting her is on my "bucket list", too! Hope she's in the area signing cook books when I get to her restaurant!
I realize that I haven't given many details about the recipes in the book, but take my word for it, if you were raised eating country cooking, or if you've ever enjoyed it at a home-cookin'-style restaurant, you'll love this book! There's everything that you might remember: Apple Brown Betty; Chicken Biscuits; Corn Pudding; Potato and Bacon Casserole and Baked Fudge to name just a few. The recipe that we're sampling today is one that I remember from growing up; Creamed Peas...we always had them in the spring with new potatoes. Here's Mama Dip's version:
Page 163 Creamed Green Peas and Onions
1 box (10 oz.) frozen small green peas, rinsed under cold water and drained
1 jar (12 oz.) cooked pearl onions, drained
2 TBSP butter
1 C chicken broth
1/2 C evaporated milk
1 tsp sugar (optional)
1 TBSP cornstarch
2 TBSP water
salt and black pepper to taste
Put the peas and onions in the pot with the butter, broth and evaporated milk and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes. Add the sugar, if desired. Mix the cornstarch with the water and add to the pot. Add the salt and pepper. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10-12 minutes. Serves 6.
I'll be at these swaps today: