The Southern Living Party Cookbook A Modern Guide To Gathering By Elizabeth Heiskell

Written by Anuradha Sowmyanarayanan |
Published on:


 ELIZABETH HEISKELL is well known for the earlier book titled OF WHAT CAN I BRING? She is a chef, seasoned caterer, culinary instructor and a regular food contributor to the TODAY show. This book is a predecessor of 1972’s SOUTHERN LIVING PARTY COOK BOOK. “”The reward of a thing well done is to have done it.””-Anonymous. Elizabeth’s style of presenting this book is prodigious. Whoever holds a hard copy of this book, can surely be hosting a perfect party at all levels &that will remain forever in the memories of the guests. To start with, the book opens up with beautifully arranged contents, the various sections &division of the book eases the readers to easily follow the directions of the author. Very organised way of dealing with different gatherings, its purpose &needs, its time &situations, for whom &why the party is being hosted, all helps the readers to connect themselves with the scenario &the author also provides suggestions for substitutes & improvisations.

Many of the recipes conclude along with a NOTE,

that furnishes the major tip to avoid getting trapped in the risk zone. There are about 12 party rules in the book dealing with practical issues and following which will add a remarkable touch to the party. The author has also given an auto biographical touch to the book by including her experiences of preparing the dish, her mother’s accuracy &grandmother’s perfections in teaching the techniques of the recipes and handing down the same to her.  ”All good things that exists are the fruits of originality.””- Anonymous. This the author demonstrates in every aspect of this book with focus points on minute detailing while choosing ingredients, investing  in equipments, time to prepare &how to serve. Meat thermometer, wooden salad bowl, non- stick 8 inch pan, mason jars, melamine, metal and wood are the great choices for serving tailgate, will have many advantages, when used in preparing a particular dish.

The longest time taking recipe in this book is JACK’S FRIED CAT FISH with 21 hours. The name of the recipe & how it is derived is stated with a brief info &the author never forgets to acknowledge the creator of the recipe. Under “”thanks giving dinner”” MINNIE’S SWEET POTATO PONE is a fine example for this. Sidney’s potato salad in page 222 explains about Sidney &the use of the word ‘violently’ in a recipe.

This book becomes more special just because it carries along with it the emotions of the host, when organising a party &even encourages them to enjoy the party to the fullest by giving necessary aid in the form of pre-preparations, last moment adjustments, which will surely help the host to relax. The author shares her insight on her host when she attended a party in (page 119)

COME BY FOR A DRINK Y’all is the easiest party to host comments the author. Champagne primer, its production methods, importance of capital “”c’” and many technicalities find place in the book. I quote from page 78 of the book “”There isn’t a better way to start a party than to greet guests at the door with a silver tray filled with ice cold champagne. The party mood is instantly set. The stress from a tough day or even a fuss with your spouse on the way over instantly dissolves.”” a more sincere attempts to make the guest feel special.

BLACK-EYED PEA CAKES throws light on the authors like towards peas. She invariably utilises many vegetables in the recipes so as to have nutritious food, there by breaking monotony.  Oyster roast in page 259, is a wholesome delight to the lovers of oyster without even missing a single element. In the words of the author the very purpose of hosting sun down parties “”the whole point is to stop and notice the good that is all around us.”” is quite touching. In page 117 of this book the author ensures that not a single neighbour is left out in the party, if so, then, I quote “”Snow balls are so fun and festive during the holiday season. These make adorable teacher’s gifts or sweet treats for the mail man or your favourite neighbour. Package them in clean plastic boxes and tie them with a festive ribbon.””

Parties go on well, on &on, then comes the after party etiquette, in page 217 the author warns “”keep…………………………… cleaning begin.”” Don’t miss those lines &make sure to read it before you host a party. ””succulent centerpiece”” in page287 with model photographs is a thorough way of making the readers to learn the art. The author is keen in providing individual attention to the guest and thereby to their preferences &taste, In page 346 of the book, how to arrange coffee bar table or cart, how the guest can mix &match and choose what they like, are clearly stated. This book is a complete package for all the gatherings sourced from generations and can be cherished in the years to come.

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This book is from the best selling author Elizabeth heiskell. It a colourful &well organised book on recipes for all gatherings.

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Author: Anuradha Sowmyanarayanan
I'm a blogger with two years of blogging experience. I do book reviews, compose poems and write articles on food, art &decor.
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