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Our house smells so good, and my husband and I have food dreams about what we’re cooking.
What inspired you to make a slow-cooker cookbook? Southerners love the Crock-Pot and other slow cookers more than anybody. Many Southern comfort foods are easily adapted to slow cooking. It seems like this style of cooking and the meals that come from it always have wonderful childhood memories attached. Is that the case for you? Almost all of the 65 recipes in this book are cherished family recipes that I’ve adapted for the slow cooker. This is family cooking at its best, and this is the type of food so many people can relate to. It’s feel-good food. You mention Southern food is experiencing a renaissance. How have you seen that, and how has that impacted this book? I’m excited to see more people are finding the joys of Southern cooking—country cooking. In the past it’s been highly regional, and it still is, but more and more people outside the South are finding they love Southern food. A large part of that is due to more restaurants opening in other cities, from Los Angeles to Chicago, with very strong Southern themes. Chefs are relocating to these cities from the South and carrying the tradition of great Southern food and cooking with them. How do you best utilize your slow cooker in the warmer How do you combine new ways to approach Southern food with your love for old-fashioned eats? The book features recipes that are classic dishes like my mom’s Potato and Onion Soup. But I experimented with some of my other recipes like the Barbecue Ribs with Raspberry Sorghum Barbecue Sauce. It’s definitely a combination of classics and recipes with a spin, but not so much spin that a home cook couldn’t make them. All of these recipes are geared for cooks of all levels. How do you rework a recipe for the slow cooker, and do you hope this cookbook inspires readers to experiment with their own family recipes? Not every recipe is adaptable for slow cooking. For example, I wanted to include a macaroni and cheese recipe, and I just couldn’t get it to work. There are some ingredients, like macaroni noodles, that don’t do well in the slow cooker because they’re delicate or are meant for quick cooking. But many ingredients
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like dried beans, meats, and even desserts work great. I tested these recipes repeatedly, and I wanted them to be as foolproof for the home cook as possible considering there is a lot of variation within slow cookers themselves. What’s one tip you would offer novice slow-cookers? Get to know your slow cooker. If you have a 2-quart cooker and prepare some of the recipes in this book, they’ll turn out very differently than if you made them in a 5- or 6-quart cooker. Different slow cookers run at varying temperatures. Older ones tend to run considerably cooler than newer ones. Get to know your cooker and experiment in it as much as you can. I’m also a huge proponent for browning meats before placing them in the slow cooker. Searing meat and sautéing vegetables first gives a dish so much more flavor. What are some of the most surprising things you’ve learned from your slow cooker? Breakfast items turn out really well. I love cooking recipes overnight. Our house smells so good, and my husband and I have food dreams about what we’re cooking. I’m also a convert of making my own chicken stock after I discovered how easy it is in a Crock-Pot.
months? I wrote this book in June, July, and August in Virginia when it’s stifling. I’d have two or three slow cookers going at one time, and my kitchen stayed cool. A slow cooker doesn’t heat your kitchen like an oven does, and you can make lots of things that are great in the summer like vegetables, barbecue, and shrimp. And for busy families, there’s nothing better than walking into the house and having dinner ready. All you have to do is grab a plate. I use my slow cooker at least three times a week, even in the summer. How did growing up in West Virginia inspire your cooking? My whole family is from the Blue Field region of West Virginia, and I spend as much time there as I can. The food is really representative of Appalachia, and that’s where my roots are. A very unique style of cooking comes out of that region. It’s very heavy on preservation because only certain types of fruits and vegetables grow in that mountain climate.
AVERY DRIGGERS /
recipe and photos reprinted with permission from copyright
© 2013 . published by ten speed
THE SOUTHERN SLOW COOKER by KENDRA BAILEY MORRIS, press , a division of random house , inc .
Tips and inspirations for preparing your favorite Southern comforts
orn in West Virginia and raised on mama’s slowcooked corn pudding, author Kendra Bailey Morris knows it takes a village, some church socials, and a few
family reunions to create a cookbook this steeped in tradition. The Southern Slow Cooker is filled with recipes that Southerners have feasted on for generations, prepared in a way that hasn’t changed much since—and for good reason. Easy, flavorful, and soul satisfying, these “set it and forget it” recipes make for the perfect meal to come home to after a long day.
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taste of the south