The Southern Sympathy Cookbook

I'm P.C., and I have studied food and cooking around the world, mostly by eating, but also through serious study. Coursework at Le Cordon Bleu London and intensive courses in Morocco, Thailand and France have broadened my culinary skill and palate. But my kitchen of choice is at home, cooking like most people, experimenting with unique but practical ideas.

I live, mostly in my kitchen, in my hometown of Memphis, Tennessee.

The Southern Sympathy Cookbook

In a break from our regular programming, I am very excited to announce that my next book The Southern Sympathy Cookbook: Funeral food with a Twist, will be released on Tuesday, January 16. The book is filled with recipes for everything from breakfast to snacks to casseroles and sweets and includes unexpectedly humorous obituaries and anecdotes alongside stapes of Southern funerals. Look for recipes for Biscuit and Gravy Casserole, Bourbon Pimento Cheese, Fried Chicken, Green Bean Casserole with Hazelnuts and Tarragon, and Browned Butter Pecan Pie.

Whether feeding a congregation, delivering a meal to a friend in need, or cooking with weekday leftovers in mind, home cooks will embrace these recipes, guaranteed to comfort and to please a crowd. There are over 75 recipes and 50 color photographs.

Find The Southern Sympathy Cookbook at your local independent bookseller, or online from one of these sources:

Amazon

novel.memphis

Barnes and Noble

Countryman Press

Wal-Mart

And please come see me when I sign books at

novel.memphis Thursday, January 18 at 6 p.m.

Lagniappe Gifts, Greenville, Mississippi, Tuesday, January 23 at 12 noon

The Fancy Little Flea, Germantown, Tennessee, Saturday, February 3 at 2:30 p.m.

Parnassus Books, Nashville, Tennessee, Wednesday, February 28 at 6:30 p.m.

Sweet Tea Bread

Sweet Tea is so ubiquitous and all encompassing in the South, we use it in just about any way we can. This light, delicately flavored quick bread is perfect for breakfast or an afternoon gathering, packaged up nicely with a ribbon or sliced on a silver platter.

1 family-sized tea bag

2 sprigs mint, plus 1 tablespoon finely chopped mint

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

¾ cup granulated sugar

Zest of one medium lemon

2 large eggs

1½ cups all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

¾ cup confectioners’ sugar

Put the tea bag and 2 sprigs of mint in a measuring cup. Add 1 cup boiling water. Steep for 30 minutes, then remove the tea bag and mint. Cool to room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Spray a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with baking spray.

Beat the butter and sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy. Beat in the lemon zest and 1 tablespoon of finely chopped fresh mint. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl.

Measure out ½ cup of the tea, reserving the rest for the glaze. Add the flour, baking powder and salt to the butter in the bowl in three additions, alternating with the tea and scraping down the sides of the bowl. When everything is well combined, beat on high for 5 seconds, then scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth into an even layer.

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Meanwhile, prepare the glaze.

Sift the confectioners’ sugar into a small bowl. Whisk in the remaining tea slowly, until you have a pourable glaze about the consistency of heavy cream. Drizzle the glaze over the cake with a spoon, spreading to cover the top with a few attractive drips down the sides. Let the glaze set for about an hour.

The loaf will keep in an airtight container for a day.

Makes one loaf

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