There is nothing like a classic family recipe, passed down from mother to child, father to son, aunt to niece and nephew. These are recipes that are good in and of themselves, but they’re great because they’re recipes that stick in our minds because our memories of them come from all of the family gatherings that they were served at. Southern Plate: Classic Comfort Food That Makes Everyone Feel Like Family is a book that is full of these recipes, all collected over the years from members of author Christy Jordan’s family. While most people couldn’t fill a book with their classic family recipes, when you have a big, Southern family (Jordan has 13 grandparents, to give some perspective!), it isn’t as difficult as one would think.
The book is arranged by both season and occasion, as the events that bring families together tend to run around these two categories. In the summer recipes, you’ll find everything from homemade banana pudding to deviled eggs to fried chicken, and all kinds of breakfast recipes, desserts and side dishes. In fall, you’ll find chicken stew, homemade caramel corn and fried fruit pies. All of the recipes are easy to follow and come with a brief description of how they made it into the book and what makes them memorable.
One of the other things to like about this book is that it is also filled with personal stories and life lessons, tales of family, Southern traditions and other odds and ends that make the book charming and pull you into the “story” enough to make you feel your own connection with the recipes. This sets the book apart from other cookbooks and, when compared to other set-in-the-South cookbooks, this one manages to infuse a lot of personality into the recipes in a way that doesn’t seem forced or cheesy. Reading through makes you want to cook – and makes you want to call over some of your own friends and family to enjoy the recipes you make.