Screen Doors and Sweet Tea: Recipes and Tales from a Southern Cook
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Screen Doors and Sweet Tea: Recipes and Tales from a Southern Cook

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  489 ratings  ·  64 reviews
Gifted chef and storyteller Martha Hall Foose invites you into her kitchen to share recipes that bring alive the landscape, people, and traditions that make Southern cuisine an American favorite.

Born and raised in Mississippi, Foose cooks Southern food with a contemporary flair: Sweet Potato Soup is enhanced with coconut milk and curry powder; Blackberry Limeade gets a li...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published April 29th 2008 by Clarkson Potter
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Jenny (Reading Envy)
This is a great read of southern traditions, stories, and recipes. Most of the food is rather traditional, as evidenced by my choice of recipe sampling including deviled eggs and three bean salad, a church potluck/pitch-in/covered-dish staple! In this cookbook, everything has a clever name. Deviled eggs are actually "Sold My Soul to the Devil-ed Eggs."

Like any good southern cookbook, there are also cocktails. Wow, are there cocktails. Pull down the mailbox door, sit on your porch, and drink in...more
Melissa Delbridge
This book is fantastic! Martha Hall Foose's stories are marvelous, and the recipes are simply out of this world. If you have a chance to hear her speak or to attend one of her demos, do it! Plenty of yummy food and hilarious stories. I've had her Blue Cheese Pecan Bread, her Catfish in a Paper Bag, her Deep Shade Blueberry Cobbler with Homemade Buttermilk Peach Ice Cream (holy cow!), and her Hoppin' John. My personal favorite was the Sunflower Squash -- sorta like a squash flavored hushpuppy. If...more
I love food. It's a borderline obsessive thing. I like to eat, I like to go out to new restaurants, I love to cook. At the reference desk, I always have various food blogs open in the background. I'm always making something new and bringing it in... and of course, I'm always on the hunt for good cookbooks.

Martha Hall Foose won a James Beard award in the American Cookery category for this book. And I completely understand why, and I've only just made one recipe! (Cornbread Crusted White Chili -...more
this was a cute book, with great little stories before each recipe. as far as a recipe book goes, i wouldn't really use it. being a southern girl myself, the few southern recipes i would ever want to cook are recipes that i would get from my southern friends and family. know what i mean?

for instance, at Thanksgiving, my Mom makes an amazing turkey dressing. it's not too dry or crumbly, so delicious. my aunt Diane makes (to her family) an amazing turkey dressing. her family likes that it's not t...more
Jul 26, 2009 Marian rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: cook
Good recipes though the pithy little southern comments got annoying pretty early. However, Great recipes and tips from how to fry perfect okra to the elusive lady bean salad pictured on the cover. This summer I'd just like to see a tomato that looks that good here in TX.
With family living in the Deep South I have actually had several of these recipes, and certainly heard of many others. I purchased two copies of this book, one for me, one for my sister who is moving south this summer.
It is rare when a cookbook conveys not only recipe and technique but soul and humor as well. Many have recipes that we enjoy making but that we wished had more of the author's reflections on the subject at hand. Even more are long on 'personality' and short on interesting and functional recipes. Screen Doors and Sweet Tea by Martha Hall Foose (Clarkson Potter/Crown) smacks of great recipes you willwant to make more than once and stories you will want read aloud while making them.

The trail of a c...more
I learned a few things about cooking that I did not know from this book. Don't use extra virgin olive oil when making homemade mayonnaise. "It is unrefined and contains monoglycerides that may cause the emulsion to separate."

When you have soaked your dried beans before cooking "and find the skins have completely slipped off the beans, that means that they were too old to begin with. Throw them out." They will be tough when cooked.

Many of the recipes are fried and most are fairly high calorie and...more
Jan 10, 2012 Margaret rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: cooks, mississippians, southerners, people who like to eat
Fantastic cookbook with recipes from a Mississippi chef, writer, and bon vivant. Reading through this cookbook today actually made me weep; food can trigger such strong memories, and recipes have the same power. I wanted to be 8 years old again in the Mississippi Delta, at a family reunion, sneaking deviled eggs off the big platter while the aunts set everything out. It's a book of memories if you grew up in the South and are a certain age. The recipes are a mixture of old-fashioned standards (e...more
I'm extremely picky about my cookbooks, especially Southern ones. But this one is excellent! Most of the recipes are classic Southern dishes with a modern flair. I cannot wait to make the sweet tea pie. I like that she changes some recipes to make them easier for today's cook (e.g., the caramel cake recipe) while still remaining true to the history and nature of the dish. Usually I read a cookbook and mark two or three recipes to try. I want to make 2/3 of the recipes in this book! I also just m...more
The sweetpotato curry soup was probably the best soup I've ever made. I've used a half a bottle of brandy on the milk punch recipe (and felt really southern drinking it). I've made the delicious and adorable polka-dot shortbread for a birthday gift, and the rich and creamy buttermilk peach ice cream for a treat! All winners,(though the ice cream needed more peaches and less buttermilk) the cobbler will likely be next, then I might need to focus on less fattening fare for awhile. I would love to...more
It was the title that reached out and grabbed me first as I wound my way through the library shelves on a sunny Saturday afternoon. It wasn't quite warm enough to brew up a batch of sweet tea but that wouldln't stop me from reading about it! While these southern recipes sound delicious, especially the Blackberry Limeade (otherwise known as Amethyst Elixir), what really captured my attention were the descriptions and little stories that accompanied each recipe. Choose it for the recipes and savor...more
some great recipes!
I had to read this book solely based on the title and cover photo! I enjoy reading cookbooks as much for the stories behind the recipes as I do for the recipes and this was one of those books. Each recipe has a tongue in cheek sub-title (i.e "Sold My Soul to the Devil" Deviled Eggs) and I love that sort of play on words. I'm not sure how many of the recipes I will actually cook, but it was definitely a good read for fans of this sort of cookbook.
Mar 15, 2010 Anina rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: foods
Inspired me to start making mayonnaise and consequently copious amounts of both tuna-pasta and egg salad within a 24 hour period.

I am going to make those buttermilk bacon pralines next.

This books is pretty awesome and does have some recipes I consider healthful (veggies) as well.

But I am still removing one star because of the detriment it poses to my health.

This is recommended for: people who like dairy fats.
I put this in my library queue based on a recommendation from somewhere online. I wasn't expecting that much (not a huge fan of Southern cuisine), but it's an amazing cookbook. Definitely going to have to buy a copy for myself. The recipes look fun and not too unhealthy (well, a little bit unhealthy) and the anecdotes and stories make the cookbook even more enjoyable.
Yes, I'm a wannabe Southerner. This is not my first confession. And I'll be cooking up some recipes in this one - Root Beer Ham (I've already got a thing for Coca-Cola Ham, but Aaron doesn't like Coke, so maybe I'll sell him on root beer!). There are others, and it just warmed my heart to see ambrosia in there - almost like my Gran and Mom make it.
Scottsdale Public Library
Ms. Foose writes some of the very best cook books that I have ever read. Her love for the south, specifically the Mississippi delta area, and it's cuisine comes across on every page and is contagious. The recipes are accessible, plentiful and varied, and the photography is exquisite. I highly recommend this book for any chef.

-- Meagan
Mary Kay
Ms. Foose really captures a sense of place in her wonderful cookbook. Each recipe has a story, and the book has beautiful pictures of food. This book is good enough to read cover to cover. I really love the sweet potato biscuit recipe- it is delicious and simple. However, the red velvet cake did not turn out red when I made it.
Beautiful pictures, yummy recipes, entertaining tales to go with the food. This is a great cookbook. I love cookbooks that give the story behind the recipes and this one does. I want to try some of the recipes, expecially chicken pot pie and coconut cake. Just waiting till the snow melts and the electricty comes back on!
Ashley Katsuyama
I wish there were more pictures and better descriptions. I can't even figure out what half the recipes are for because the names are so obscure, and there are no other direction as to what the end product is. However, the handful of recipes I've been inspired enough to make have all been keepers.
Bacon buttermilk pralines and the blackberry limeade are to die for! Those two recipes alone are worth the price of the book. Loved the casual presentations of sophisticated food.Really loved the friendly tone and wonderful stories sprinkled throughout the book. Southern cooking at its finest.
This is such an interesting cookbook/story book. I love the South with all its history and she tells stories throughout her recipes and to me that is what I enjoy about it! I am a church woman and she tells a story of how you become a "mother of the church" I am working towards that goal!
Martha's Southern family sounds fab, it was lovely hearing about her childhood - reminded me a bit of mine. I have yet to make non-baking things out of this, but I HIGHLY recommend the ginger molasses cookies. Everything else has been delightful as well.
Oh, this book is such a gem -- so much so that I must order a copy for myself. Equal parts cookbook and anecdotes, I highly recommend it, especially if you love Southern food. My only mistake, however, was reading it before lunch. I'm starving!
A beautiful book with real Southern food and great stories. This is a book to be perused lazily, with a tall glass of sweet tea and something crisp to snack the ladylike cheese straws Foose describes. A lovely, lovely book.
This cookbook is full of amazing recipes: first on my to-cook list is the curried sweet potato soup. We're talking good, old-fashioned Southern cooking with the occasional update to take available ingredients and skills available.
I'm trying to decide whether or not I should buy this book. The recipes are familiar, but often updated just a bit. They all sound delicious, and I really enjoyed the stories that she told to accompany each recipe.
I read this cookbook like a novel. I loved reading stories of people and food from her life mingled with southern recipes. It was almost like an autobiography. Haven't found many cookbooks like this one.
Denise Jo
This was not the best cookbook I have read. I didn't find one recipe that I would make, and the little anecdotes and stories were very bland. Sorry...Love sweet tea, but not this cookbook/book.
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“The word indulgent has become a popular catchphrase for dishes we should not eat for health's sake. I never use it to describe food, only poor parenting.” 3 likes
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