“Southern Cooking for Company: More than 200 Southern Hospitality Secrets & Show-Off Recipes” by Nicki Pendleton Wood
Nelson Books, $26.99
Many local hosts and cooks on Saturday will do what folks across the South have always done — be hospitable. They will invite family and friends over for a Fourth of July get-together.
For those who aren’t detail-oriented, natural hosts, food writer Nicki Pendleton Wood offers plenty of ideas and outstanding recipes in her latest cookbook, “Southern Cooking for Company: More than 200 Southern Hospitality Secrets and Show-Off Recipes.”
In her cookbook, Wood collected both traditional and modern recipes, along with hosting advice, from successful hosts and cooks across the South. She suggests adapting the book’s advice to your own party style.
Recipes are divided into five sections: appetizers; brunch, breakfast and bread; main dishes; side dishes; and desserts. Among them are an updated version of Sausage and Spinach Pinwheels, Southern Shrimp and Grits, Authentic Texas Fajitas, Black-eyed Pea and Edamame Succotash, White Bean Salad and Bourbon Balls.
Keep guests cool this Saturday with a light, refreshing, cold dessert, such as Watermelon, Cucumber and Mint Sorbet. Wood writes that Perre Coleman Magness, of Memphis, Tennessee, says the sorbet also makes a memorable adult float by putting a scoop of sorbet into a Champagne flute and topping with sparkling wine. Or, mix some of the sorbet base half-and-half with tea.
Testing note: To keep the sorbet from freezing rock-hard, add a tablespoon of vodka to the mixture before pouring into an ice cream maker. It will be easier to scoop.
Cheramie Sonnier is a food writer and columnist. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter, @CheramieSonnier.