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But Mama Always Put Vodka in Her Sangria!: Adventures in Eating, Drinking, and Making Merryby Julia Reed
Synopses & Reviews
Julia Reed is an indefatigable practitioner of the art of eating, drinking, and making merry. In her new book, she takes us around the world southern style. From the quenelle of La Cote Basque, New York City's legendary bastion of haute cuisine to the salt-crusted steaks of Madrid's Alkalde, Julia's taste was ingrained early on at her mother's southern table. She can tell you which Spanish Pimenton is the best just as she knows why you should never get rid of those earrings your aunt left you in her will. Reed writes about the bounty of a Southern garden and the burden of your mother filling the back seat of your car with corn and commanding you to haul it away. Over a glass or two, she talks about the best gin and tells the story of how her father drove around the Mississippi Delta armed with a thermos full of Gin Rickeys and how said thermos of libation eased his way when trying to sell grain bins to farmers in 98 degree weather. She gives her mother's recipe for spinach and artichoke casserole, topped with Ritz crackers, and remembers how her mother served it to diplomats and family members alike. Particularly, she remembers preparing a big Spanish meal one evening when as she began to make the sangria, a childhood friend asked where the vodka was. When Reed replied that there was no vodka in sangria, her friend said "But, Mama Always Put Vodka in Her Sangria!" and another great collection of essays by Julia Reed was born.
"Did you know that Bill Blass makes delicious meatloaf? Or that there are eggnog purists for whom nutmeg is forbidden? These tidbits sprout like wildflowers throughout Reed's singular sagas. 'The High & the Low' columnist and contributing editor at Garden & Gun magazine, Reed counts numerous notable chefs as friends and has compiled here food-focused curiosities sprinkled with a dash of travel, a pinch of sass, and a whole load of recipes — some surprisingly simple and others a trifle more complex. Among the offerings are a cold lemon souffle; 'the most popular bread pudding' in her adopted home of New Orleans; and, in a chapter entitled 'The Tyranny of Summer Produce,' succotash, cornbread, and other musings on the golden kernel. Reed's reflections and anecdotes are siren calls to the kitchen; an experience heightened by her delight in sharing tales of a Southern upbringing surrounded by good cooks. The Mama of the title is a late, close family friend; a major inspiration for Reed's free-spirited approach to top-notch dining. And that spirit hits like Chatham Artillery Punch: 'when it attacketh a man, it layeth him low and he knoweth not whence he cometh or whither he goeth.' (May)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
In her new book, But Mama Always Put Vodka in Her Sangria!, Julia Reed, a master of the art of eating, drinking, and making merry, takes the reader on culinary adventures in places as far flung as Kabul, Afghanistan and as close to home as her native Mississippi Delta and Floridas Gulf Coast. Along the way, Reed discovers the perfect Pimms Royale at the Paris Ritz, devours delicious chuletons in Madrid, and picks up tips from accomplished hostesses ranging from Pat Buckley to Pearl Bailey and, of course, her own mother. Reed writes about the bounty—and the burden—of a Southern garden in high summer, tosses salads in the English countryside, and shares C.Z. Guests recipe for an especially zingy bullshot. She understands the necessity of a potent holiday punch and serves it up by the silver bowl full, but she is not immune to the slightly less refined charms of a blender full of frozen peach daiquiris or a garbage can full of Yucca Flats. And then there are the parties: shindigs ranging from sultry summer suppers and raucous dinners at home to a Plymouth-like Thanksgiving feast and an upscale St. Patricks Day celebration. This delightful collection of essays by Julia Reed, a master storyteller with an inimitable voice and a limitless capacity for fun, will show you how to entertain guests with style, have a good time yourself and always have that perfect pitcher of sangria ready at a moments notice.
About the Author
JULIA REED is a contributing editor at Garden & Gun, where she writes the magazine's “The High & the Low” column. She is the author of Ham Biscuits, Hostess Gowns, and Other Southern Specialties, Queen of the Turtle Derby and Other Southern Phenomena, and The House on First Street, My New Orleans Story. Reed lives in New Orleans.
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