My Collection of Cookbooks

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My wife had an extensive collection of cookbooks.  When she passed away most of them went to our daughters.  I kept a few (which the daughters will get eventually).  I will be posting about the ones I kept from time to time.  Your comments are welcome.

My New Indoor Grill

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This is an Electric grill with a tempered glass cover.




It has a  16″ by 12″ non-stick  grill plate with an embedded heating element.  It has an adjustable, detachable thermostat. I have grilled 4 bone-in pork chops at one time with  ease. 


It has a non-stick drip tray that is  removable. 


Cast Iron Cookbooks

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If properly cared for, cast iron is by far the most inexpensive cookware – it lasts for generations – not years.  It is also very versatile.  It can be used on the stove top, in the oven, over a campfire etc.  When properly seasoned it is non-stick.


The small (8″ by 5″) “CAST IRON COOK BOOK” is loaded with modern as well as traditional recipes with illustrations.  It also covers the history of cast iron cooking in the ‘New World’.    It details the beginning of iron working in the colonies.  It also tells how to care of your cast iron.


“big mama’s Old Black Pot”  not only is filled with recipes for ‘old-fashioned. calorie-laden, country-style cooking’  but also nostalgia and illustrations.  “Big Mama” was born in 1880 in Keatchie, LA.  She had the task of raising six boys and three girls alone which she did with great success.


The “Dummies” series of books is like going to a chain restaurant.  Whether it is Cracker Barrel or McDonald’s you usually know what to expect.   “Cast-Iron Cooking for DUMMIES” is no exception.  It is well researched and well written.    It covers ALL phases of cast iron cooking from selection, care and cleaning, to cooking.  It also has many tips and recipes.  It also has some humor.  Some non-stick cookware can emit fumes which can kill your pet bird – cast iron does not.  The book points out: “However you can still kill a bird with a cast iron skillet if you drop it on him.”

Louisiana Cookbooks

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Louisiana cooking is more than just Cajun and Creole.  However, it is the Creole and Cajun cooking of the southern section of the state which is so famous.


I really like the Justin Wilson cookbook as compared to the other Justin Wilson book I own (see Celebrity Cookbooks).  This book was written in 1965.  Although Justin was an accomplished cook, his (then) wife Sara was said to be the cook of the family.  The recipes are largely Cajun with some Justin Wilson humor thrown in.  It is not dull and dry like his 1990 book which was co-written with his (then) wife Jeannine.


“Cajun Men Cook” was published by a community service club called “Beaver Club of Lafayette” (Louisiana).  Recipes were furnished by members and non-members alike.  There is  history, food experiences and stories all about the Cajun experience.    The book even tells you how to build and use a Cajun microwave.  This book is a delightful read with outstanding Cajun recipes.


Roy F. Guste, Jr. is a New Orleans native trained  as a chef in France.  In 1975 he became the fifth generation of his family to head the famous Antoine’s Restaurant in New Orleans.  His great-great grandfather, Antoine Alciatore, founded the restaurant.  Mr. Guste appears to be qualified to write the book “The 100 Greatest Dishes of Louisiana Cooking”.  In spite of the ‘greatness’ of the dishes, Mr. Guste stresses the simplicity of Louisiana cooking.  He claims to most you need to make any recipe in the book is four saucepans,  a skillet, a kitchen fork, a wooden spoon, a spatula, a small whisk, 2 knives (paring and chopping), and a chopping board.  OH, and, of course the ingredients.

Celebrity Cookbooks

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These types of cookbooks tend to be more entertaining than useful.  Yet, some useful recipes can be found in them.  CB1A

These books are very similar (they had the same authors and publisher).   Both books have a lot of pictures (black and white) and information about the shows and the characters.  Both books were published in the early 1990’s – long after the TV shows had aired.


The Edith Bunker cookbook was published not long after the series “All in The Family” debuted in 1971.  It is mostly recipes but they were written in a typical Edith Bunker style such as “stirring for dear life until it thickens”.


I always enjoyed the humor of Justin Wilson, the wannabe Cajun.  This cookbook is mainly recipes – none of which I found spectacular.

2 Quart Cast Iron Saucepan

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My latest addition to my cast iron cookware is a two quart cast iron saucepan.  Actually it is made much like my four quart dutch oven, including the dimpled lid.


It is shown here in front my three quart stainless saucepan for comparison.


Both pots work equally well on my induction “hotplate”.


Also, the lid is a perfect fit for my #5 (8 1/8″) cast iron skillet.


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This coleslaw makes a great topping for my Down South Barbeque  when served on a bun.

First shred enough cabbage to make four cups and enough carrots to make 1/2 cup.  Combine and set aside.


For the dressing combine 1/2 cup each of sour cream and mayonnaise,  1/4 cup each of vinegar and sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon each of celery seed (NOT celery salt) and onion powder.  Mix well.


Pour over the cabbage mixture and stir thoroughly.


Refrigerate for two hours then stir again.  Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.  For a low sodium coleslaw use low sodium mayonnaise.

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