Potluck. What do you think of when I say that? Do you think cheap, disgusting, luke-warm food served in the rec hall basement?
Maybe it's time to reboot your definition. For the men and women behind this cookbook, Potluck is all about growing community, nourishing their neighbor by serving great food.
This hefty 300 page cookbook boasts a variety of dinner dishes that I can imagine serving up at a Potluck or at the family table, perhaps dividing a recipe if needed. And believe me, it's Southern to the bone. Sweet potato biscuits with ham on 'em, anybody? How about a slice of four layer Mango-Tango cake? I thought you'd say yes! Add some Crowder Pea Salad and a sticky-sweet Wendy's Friendship roll, and you've got it.
Don't let the down home simplicity fool you though... there are plenty of elegant dishes: Flourless Chocolate Cayenne Cake with Cinnamon Whipped Cream, for example. Gigi's Pavlova Meringue with Passion Fruit. Bacon Leek Tart in Puff Pastry. Crispy Herbed Goat Cheese Croquettes. Silky Butternut Squash Bisque.
Heartiness and flavor are the must-haves, whether cooking with local or exotic ingredients, and the dishes have already been Delicious Factor tested by the Potlucker Crowd, so all you have to do is see if you agree with them.
As the back cover assures us, "No rules. It's Potluck!"
I could joke that "No rules!" will probably get easier if you serve one of the recipes with gin in it. Or bourbon. Or tequila.
Just kidding. :) There ARE several liquor related recipes, but that probably won't be a problem for many cooks.
(I would prefer my Potlucks to be temperate and perhaps that's my bad experience talking, from this week with a family get together and a cooler full of cold beer. Alcohol has never improved a party I've attended. Sigh.)
So, just modify the refreshing beverages like the Spring Tonic.
Keep the cucumbers and the lime, skip the liquor, and let a drink actually bless your liver for once!
There are many food photographs in this book, and every cook knows that's half the enjoyment.... looking at the finished dish and savoring the idea of completing the recipe yourself. There's not a photo for each recipe, but there are enough that you can have fun flipping through and getting ideas.
That's exactly what my sister-Chef did when I gave her The Third Thursday Potluck Cookbook. She sat down and savored the reading. Along with the recipes, other foodie stories are included. There's a story about the incredible fig tree that produced enough fruit for one hundred pints of preserves, a recollection about The Peach Truck that drove through Georgia, thoughts on the allure of burgers, and as essay on how to make your own ketchup.
This is a cookbook that will compel you to, well, cook!
Thank you BookLook for my review copy!