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.

My Food Philosophy

It sounds so over-the-top, to have a philosophy, but I think it makes sense, explaining how I look at food, at cooking, at eating.  I think I am like most people.  Some where in the middle between food snob and food schlub.  Sometimes I pull out all the stops, sometimes speed and convenience win out.

I love to eat at white-tablecloth restaurants, I love small, neighborhood places with good, simple, honest food, I love fresh, new cuisines from around the world.  But you’ll find me at the noisy, busy Mexican joint that serves decent, filling food at an affordable price; I frequent a simple mom-and-pop Vietnamese place that won’t win any stars, but offers fresh, different food at a reasonable price.  I love street food – corn dogs and funnel cakes at the Fair or rice flour pancakes with taro in Thailand or corn fritters in Burma.  The burrito joint where you follow the server down the line, pointing out exactly what you want on your burrito is perfect – now I get no guacamole or pico de gallo and salsa on the side – just like I like it.  I adore the Italian deli that sells fresh pizza dough with a variety of fresh and interesting toppings, the kind you take home and heat yourself.  But I also love a good delivery grease-bomb on occasion. And yes, I eat fast-food.  I shouldn’t, I try not too, but I do.

I often cook with no-hormone grass-fed beef, cage free eggs, and highest quality butter.  Little goes on my plate without a dash of Maldon sea salt.  But my favorite coffee cake recipe starts with a box.  I eat popcorn with butter-flavored spray and garlic seasoning as a snack several days a week.  I love to experiment with new ingredients – I grocery shop like some women shop for shoes, but the best farmer’s market is 20 minutes away and only on Saturday mornings part of the year, so I can work a chain superstore like you wouldn’t believe. I take pride and comfort making a good pot of soup, making my own stock, carefully dicing mire-poix, lovingly preparing fresh herbs.  But a standard at my house is tomato soup made with tinned tomatoes, frozen chopped onions and and jarred minced garlic. I have been known to make my own roux for creole dishes, but frozen Cajun soup veggies, canned beans, and Tony ChaChere’s make Monday red beans and rice a pretty frequent occurrence in my kitchen. I love to serve beautifully designed nibbles with drinks before dinner.  Amazing cheeses with homemade chutneys and, creamy dips with freshest baby vegetables, sought-out salumeria with my own foccacia.  But for myself, I still love Ro-tel, a classic from my youth of melted Velveeta cheese and Ro-tel brand tomatoes and green peppers from a can served with tortilla chips from the bag.

My most memorable meals involve exotic locations and spectacular food.   But my last meal request would be a grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup – American processed cheese food, soft white sandwich bread and soup from a can.

So that’s what you’ll find here.  Sometimes I am inspired by amazing ingredients.  Sometimes I am inspired by something so simple and convenient it’s a wonder to me.  But there is always inspiration.  Just being in the kitchen makes me happy.

ABOUT ME

My name is Perre Coleman Magness and I built a career in public relations before opening Perre Magness Events, an event planning and management firm.  I  hold a BA in International Relations from Trinity College in Connecticut and a Masters in Anthropology from the University of Oxford in England.

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.

Contact me at perre@therunawayspoon.com

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