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COOKING IN THE SOUTH WITH JOHNNIE GABRIEL
Foreword By Paula Deen
$24.99 Thomas Nelson
www.thomasnelson.com

Because of living in the South as I have for many years, I have come to appreciate the wonderful home cooking that distinguishes this region. When I first began experimenting with Southern cookery, I thought it would be difficult to reproduce the tried and true dishes I had come to love but I found that it was easier than I thought. And those same simple to make yet satisfyingly delicious recipes can be yours for the asking if you open any page of COOKING IN THE SOUTH WITH JOHNNIE GABRIEL.

No stranger to good food, Mrs. Gabriel and her husband Ed have been in the business for over 20 years, beginning as bakers and eventually becoming owners of a full-service restaurant in Marietta, Georgia where they’ve garnered four Best of Atlanta Awards. With the encouragement of her cousin Paula Deen, the outspoken and delightful Southern cook, she finally decided to share some of her mouth-watering recipes with the public in this, her first cookbook.

“Appetizers and Beverages; Scrunptious Starts” leads the way with recipes for “Barbequed Shrimp”, “Toasted Pecans” and several tried and true cocktail recipes. “Breads and Breakfast: Early Rising” will supply you with great ideas for everything from “Cornmeal Muffins” to “No-Cook Strawberry Jelly.” And the hits just keep on coming with recipes for everything from “Mama’s Pimento Cheese” to ‘She-Crab Soup” and from “Skillet Fried Chicken” to ‘Bourbon Marinated and Lightly Smoked Pork Tenderloin”. Because Mrs. Gabriel began her illustrious career as a baker, there are naturally more fabulous dessert recipes than you can shake a stick at like “Toasted Coconut Cake”, “Key Lime Pie” and “Chocolate Buttercream Frosting” just to name a few.

Along with the food comes a bit of storytelling, which is only fitting for a cookbook from the South. These include “My Cousin, Paula Deen” as well as tales of the Gabriel’s experiences opening their restaurant. She even shares canning tips with us, which are mighty helpful, especially if you are a novice in this area. I think after reading this marvelous cookbook I’m ready to take a road trip to Marietta so I can sample Johnnie Gabriel’s wares up close and in person and I have a feeling that after you check out this cookbook, you might just want to tag along.

FIRST COMES MARRIAGE
Modern Relationship Advice From The Wisdom Of Arranged Marriages
By Reva Seth
$14.00 Fireside Books
www.firstcomesmarriage.com

Having been married and divorced, I must admit that my notion of finding the perfect man has diminished over time, although it has never disappeared completely. Even though my Prince Charming fantasy never translated into real life, I still find myself wishing that this perfect man would appear and wondering why he hasn’t. If you can relate to this conundrum then you might feel the need to shake things up a bit and there’s no better way to do that than to read FIRST COMES MARRIAGE, Modern Relationship Advice From The Wisdom Of Arranged Marriages by Reva Seth.

Although the idea of an arranged marriage, which is the subject this book explores, would seem archaic to most women living in the 21st century, it still exists in many cultures and countries around the world. And as strange as it sounds, this tried and true path to matrimony has many benefits according to Ms.Reva, whose years of research include interviews with over 300 women in such marriages. It’s not that the author advocates that we all enter into arranged marriages but she does explain why those who do so, suffer only a 5-7% divorce rate while those who marry strictly for love have only a 50% chance of staying together.

One of the reasons for this can be traced to the modern woman’s expectations when it comes to marriage. Many of us believe our husband should be everything to us: best friend, fabulous lover, great father and all around super hero. We are waiting for Mr. Right, a man who will solve all our problems and bring us the happiness we are longing to find. But while we date and wait for this perfect specimen to sweep us off our feet, are we doing a disservice to ourselves? Ms. Reva, who married her second husband after only seven dates, thinks so and throughout this insightful and fascinating book she explains how the lack of these expectations gives arranged marriages the upper hand. Rather than being based on physical attraction and a toss of the dice, those who enter into arranged marriages do so because they are looking for a partner whose common interests and beliefs enable them to build a life together, allowing love to grow in an unhurried way. Full of great insights and thought provoking arguments about modern love, this compelling book will certainly give you something to ponder while you wait for your prince to come.

WE CAN’T STAY TOGETHER FOR THE DOGS
Doing What’s Best For Your Dog When Your Relationship Breaks Up
By Jennifer Keene
$22.00 TFH Books
www.tfh.com

Breaking up is hard to do especially when there’s a custody battle involved. And although the new book WE CAN’T STAY TOGETHER FOR THE DOGS Doing What’s Best For Your Dog When Your Relationship Breaks Up isn’t about a custody battle involving actual children, the struggles are the same when it comes to the family pets.

Author Jennifer Keene has seen more than her share of doggie custody battles during her years as the owner of one of Portland, Oregon’s largest pet training facilities. Many dog parents actually go to court to determine custody of their four legged children and she finds that the question that’s most often overlooked is- What’s best for the dog? As you might imagine, letting him remain in his original setting is often best but even the most familiar of surroundings will feel lonely when his pack breaks apart. Shared custody presents its own set of problems and sometimes owners decide it’s necessary give Fido away to another family. But any way you look at it, the decisions are never easy and are bound to be stressful for both the people and the dogs.

In this insightful book, Ms. Keene breaks the process down into simple steps that provide a road map for the route to safe and sane pet parenting. She begins with the basics “Know Thy Dog” wherein she describes the signs of stress that could indicate how your dog is reacting to the breakup. Knowing yourself is important as well, because this will determine who is most responsible when it comes to the exercise, care and feeding of your dog. After that, each chapter delves more specifically into topics such as “Fighting Over Fido”, “Set Yourself Up To Succeed”, “Part Time Parenting”, and “In The Dog House: Living Arrangements”. Full of practical advice and common mistakes to avoid, these chapters are followed by great information on training, grooming and veterinary care. All in all, this well rounded and superbly written book will be an incredibly helpful tool should you be (sadly) faced with the decisions involved in splitting up the pack.

SISTER SALTY, SISTER SWEET A Memoir of Sibling Rivalry
By Shannon King Biro and Natalie King
$12.95 Running Press
www.sistersweet.com

It is said that every story has two sides and somewhere in the middle lays the truth. And in the case of the memoir SISTER SALTY, SISTER SWEET, written by Shannon King Biro and Natalie King, it is easy for the reader to see where that middle ground resides even when the authors don’t.

This humorous and at times painful story of sibling rivalry is presented in diary fashion and in alternating chapters, wherein sisters Shannon King Biro and Natalie King echo one another in fact but not feelings. Shannon, who reigns as the precocious only child during the first four years of her life, loves being the shining star in her parents’ firmament. But when Natalie is born the spotlight shifts from her to the beautiful baby who is everything Shannon is not: quiet, well behaved and enchanting and she realizes that she has to act quickly if she’s to keep her mother’s attention. This is accomplished in various ways from Shannon’s playing with matches to developing OCD behaviors like having to pee every five minutes and obsessing about death. And although this does garner the attention she craves, it does nothing to rid her life of the new sister who has obviously come to stay.

Natalie remains in Shannon’s shadow for much of the story and as the girls grow up they learn to survive one another through Barbie games where Shannon’s dolls are always superior and some dangerous stunts played out with the neighborhood kids. Although Natalie does most of the surviving, she keeps her feelings to herself, all the while compiling a list of resentments, which continues to grow daily. She rarely challenges Shannon’s behavior but as the girls become teenagers this changes. And after a series of unfortunate events befall Shannon the sisters do begin to understand one another a little better, allowing the parallel universes of their childhood to merge onto a more centered playing field. .

Supporting this entertaining romp is a cast of characters, which includes Gabby, their bingo obsessed grandmother who keeps a jar of holy water in the microwave and Pappy, their errant, part-time musician of a grandfather who lend some humor to the sometimes intense sibling rivalry that is heralded here.

www.Dishmag.com / Issue 85 - September 2018
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