I do understand the meaning of Memorial Day, that it's a day to honor those who served and died in our wars. However, we've also made this weekend the kickoff to summer. That means it's also the perfect time to discuss Mary Kay Andrews' new book, The Beach House Cookbook.
Andrews' preface is charming. It's her life story as it connects to the beach and beach houses. And, each recipe begins with a story that's as chatty as that preface, welcoming readers to summer and beach and summer foods. Between the pictures, the chatty descriptions, and the titles of each section, readers will recognize a chance to relax. If you don't think of cooking as relaxation, you may after reading Andrews' recipes. It there are a number of ingredients, most of them come from the seasonings. She's tried for beach simple.
Mary Kay Andrews has recipes for a Low Country Boil, a Fourth of July Dinner, a Lazy Weekend Brunch, a Beach Picnic. And, the recipes are from the South - Savannah Red Rice, Fried Okra Cakes, fried chicken and potato salad, garlic shrimp, pimento cheese. And, of course, there are biscuits. Andrews has a story to tell about those as well. There are stories and gorgeous photos of food that are guaranteed to make you hungry.
Andrews even has interesting names for some of the dishes, ones that you probably recognize if you're from the South, such as Pig Candy, which is brown sugar-spiced bacon. The one recipe I can attest to is one I've made before, but with the recipe in front of me, I made it again for a potluck at work, and it was a hit. I hadn't heard it called "Trailer Trash Dessert" before, though. But, it consists of layers of ice cream sandwiches, hot fudge topping, caramel topping, whipped topping and chocolate toffee bits. It's the perfect ending to a beach lunch or supper.
The Beach House Cookbook is bright, cheerful, and filled with delicious looking Southern food. It's just right to take to the beach, or to make easy recipes so you can pretend you're on vacation at your own beach house.
Mary Kay Andrews' website is www.marykayandrews.com
The Beach House Cookbook by Mary Kay Andrews. St. Martin's Press. 2017. ISBN 9781250130440 (hardcover), 254p.
FTC Full Disclosure - The publicist sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.