It seems odd to use "Gourmet" (Gor-may) and "Redneck" in the same title to describe a good cookbook, but it really is the name of my newest cookbook from "L.A.", and that would be "Lower Alabama" -- not Los Angeles.
What started out as a joke recipe for John Paul Richardson turned into a cookbook of almost 500 recipes, some of which are real recipes and others that are not-so-serious (I hope!). For instance, there is a recipe for Roasted Camel (recipe # 135) and another for Roasted 'Possum (recipe #123). Some of the more serious recipes are for Mississippi Mud Cake; Rum Cake; and Granny Richardson's Peanut Brittle which I will make very soon!
Richardson got pretty creative with some of the recipes, renaming a pork and mushroom dish as "Psychedelic Pig". I know that recipe will have some of the hippie types searching out THAT one.
This cookbook had my full attention right from the get-go! How could it not with a 4-page introduction. I started reading aloud to my hubby and we were both in giggles and tears within a minute. It is so different from all the other cookbooks in my collection, but this one is a one-of-a-kind that should be in every cookbook collector's library.
Two things that set it apart: the paragraphs in the 4-page introduction are not separated by a space as they usually are in other cookbooks. I felt compelled to continue reading to see what else was different. I then noticed there is no index of recipes though there is a table of contents broken into sections that are familiar, such as "Barbeque", "Meats, Meat Dishes, and Chili" and "Beer, Wine, and Shine", just to name three of the 15 sections.
Most intriguing of all is that each recipe has a number in the title such as 208 Seafood Gumbo; 209 Alabama Gumbo; 210 Chicken Gumbo; 211 Mumbo Gumbo (no meat); 212 Cajun Gumbo, etc. If you find a recipe you want to try or go back to later, you'll have to write down the number somewhere or page through until you find it again! I've never noticed this indexing method in any other cookbook.
As you can see in the photo, this cookbook has a coil binding so will easily lay flat while cooking from it.
If you're wondering if there is a recipe for snake, you are right -- there is! But I won't be trying that one, or the one for Chitlins and Hog Maws, or Mexican Swamp Rabbit. There are plenty of good-sounding recipes to try though and I will try them.
If you would like to order one for the Redneck Gourmet in your life, (this would make an excellent Father's Day gift) just go to www.paulrichardsonbooks.webs.com for the ordering info.