How Virginia B. Wood joined the Local Yokel Coalition and a chance to meet Bill Jamison and Cheryl Alter Jamison, the authors of A Real American Breakfast: The Best Meal of the Day, Any Time of Day.
I'll have to let Austin restaurateur/raconteur Eddie Wilson know I've been doing my part for his Local Yokel Coalition lately. Wilson's been all over KGSR recently with spots encouraging folks to shop at locally owned businesses. I heard the newest ad suggesting we all eat a burger at a local burger joint while I was sitting in front of the original Hill-Berts (3303 N. Lamar, 452-2317), devouring a delicious chili cheeseburger and an order of their thin, crispy onion rings. (The best rings in town for my money.) If you're not familiar with Hill-Berts, the friendly, hard-working Maldonado family has been serving great burgers since 1973 at their joint on Lamar where you can eat-in, takeout, or drive-through. They've got another popular location (5340 Cameron Rd., 371-3717) on the northeast side of town in case you can't make it to the central city... One of the best ways to eat locally is to grow your own! This weekend, aspiring or veteran gardeners are invited to attend an outdoor, hands-on gardening workshop sponsored by the Sustainable Food Center. "Starting From Scratch: Sustainable Food Gardening 101" will be held at the Alamo Recreation Center and Alamo Community Garden (2101 Alamo Drive) on Saturday, February 16, from 9am-1pm. Participants will learn how to plant a vegetable garden, handle various potting soils, spot suspicious bugs, and sift compost during the interactive workshop led by Skip Richter, Travis County Extension Agent for Horticulture. Fee for the workshop is $15 and reservations can be made by calling 236-0074.
A Real American Breakfast
It's no secret that cookbook authors Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison are among my favorite American food writers. I eagerly await the arrival of any new book they've written, knowing that it will be a well-researched and -documented collection of accessible recipes spiced with American culinary history and fascinating anecdotes. They're the recognized experts on American regional home cooking, as well they should be. The Jamisons' newest book arrived a couple of weeks ago and is perfectly in keeping with their exemplary standards. A Real American Breakfast: The Best Meal of the Day, Any Time of the Day (Morrow, $34.95) is a great book for someone like me, who loves breakfast foods, whether or not it's morning. This is an indispensable collection of coast-to-coast breakfast comestibles, everything from Dutch babies to Creamed Finnan Haddie, from Philadelphia Scrapple to menudo, fried green tomatoes to butterscotch baked pears. The recipes are divided according to various breakfast dishes, i.e., eggs, dairy, morning meats, heavenly hashes, fish, cereals, vegetable sides, morning cakes, wake-up drinks, etc. Each recipe comes with technique and ingredient tips and/or suggestions for variations as well as historical background information about its culinary provenance. The pages are also graced with historical breakfast menus and quotations from old cookbooks discovered during the authors' extensive research in the preparation of this book. As usual with the Jamisons' books, A Real American Breakfast is a really good read in addition to being a very useful cookbook. It's the perfect companion volume to their award-winning American Home Cooking (Broadway Books, $30). Both books are a must-have for anyone interested in American culinary history or anyone interested in mouthwatering American regional cooking. The Jamisons will be in Austin soon to promote their new book, teaching a class at Central Market on Monday, February 25 from 6:30-9pm. Call 459-3068 for reservations. I intend to be there, enjoying poached eggs over salmon hash, Carolina shrimp and grits, and some New Orleans milk punch!