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.

Festive Finds 2017

Holiday shopping season is upon us once again, and I love to share gift ideas for the food lovers in your life. As always, these are just some personal favorites – no one has asked me to promote any products.

Olive and Sinclair Chocolates from Nashville offer a great sweet treat for anyone, but I bet the boys will like it particularly. The set with brittles made with bourbon or cocoa nibs smoked in the smokehouse at Benton’s bacon and duck fat caramels is a real winner. Asheville’s French Broad makes and excellent sipping chocolate. Pair it with gourmet marshmallows from Nashville’s Bang Candy Company for a perfect cup of hot chocolate. For another sweet treat, I cannot get enough of Memphis’ own Shotwell Caramels, and this holiday pack is a perfect gift.

Maybe you’ve been to one of those olive oil stores for a gift, but why not make that gift totally Southern with a bottle of Georgia-grown olive oil from Georgia Olive Farm? Add some pecan oil from Oliver Farms, also from Georgia. Charleston’s Holy Smoke Smoked Olive Oil is another interesting twist. My gift to myself last year was this gorgeous 10-inch cast iron skillet from Smithey Ironware, made in Charleston.

Last year, I recommended Melissa Bridgman’s Bridgman Pottery cup subscription – now she offers an amazing bowl subscription, featuring her beautiful hand drawn botanicals on shallow bowls. It’s the gift that keeps on giving! Anyone can shop in style with this beautiful and functional bag from Henry Dry Goods in Lexington, complete with a fabulous monogram. For a gift that is beautiful and useful, head to Limelight Paper and design custom monogrammed napkins, cups and more. Memphis-based Skyros Designs offers these elegant placemats, made of linen but with a coating that makes them wipe clean.

But maybe the best gift of all is giving on behalf of someone you love to someone in need. There are so many great organizations to give to that will create special cards you can wrap up for your recipient or have it sent directly to them. Women for Women International is an amazing organization that works to raise women and girls out of poverty around the world. They have a whole selection ofgift donations.

And as food banks are under more strain than ever,Give-A-Mealthrough Feeding America to a family in need in honor of a family you love. And remember your local food bank with monetary donations or canned goods.

For some more ideas about my favorite fun kitchen finds, book and movies – check out The Spoon’s Store, powered by Amazon. Just click on the box on the right hand side of the page.

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