Cooking With My Friends

Kentucky Recipes Tried and True

by LaVece Hughes

  
   
   
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   Pikeville Medical Leader


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    Though the distinction is a subtle one, LaVece Hughes' new book, Cooking With My Friends--Kentucky Recipes Tried and True, is more about cooking with friends than it is about cooking with friends. Though it is a cookbook and contains an abundance of recipes, it is more concerned with the affinity that can be shared by those who prepare food and serve it to those whom they love than it is about the art of cookery. Ms. Hughes makes the case that no extraordinary skill is required in consulting recipes and putting together dishes, delectable though they may be. But doing this in the company of others (whether seen or unseen)--ah, that requires more than mere skill; that partakes of something akin to holiness. So the author depicts the cook as a kind of high priestess of the kitchen whose culinary ability is meant to serve the well-being of family members and cherished friends as a priest would serve communion to his parishioners. 
    And indeed to eat one of LaVece Hughes' meals in front of a crackling fire on a winter day is to be convinced of the aptness of her thinking. Preparing meals is, to her, not about merely providing a virtual hymnology of food; it speaks to the various kinds of satisfaction inherent in sharing good food with the people one holds dear. So while the book has its share of recipes for some marvelous dishes, it celebrates the little-considered role of food in human relationships--and the people who prepare it. 
                        — Charles Semones

    
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Few of the recipes that we use are truly our own. Most are gifts—the most treasured being those we receive from friends penciled on crumpled pieces of napkin, or 3 x 5 cards, dog-eared and grease-stained. Others we have gleaned from favorite books, newspaper columns or magazines, and carried in our pockets or purses until nearly illegible before having the opportunity to add them to our kitchen files. We gratefully accept these gifts, enhance them with our own special touches and embellishments, and pass them on as our own, as gifts to those we love, or whose friendship we value.  It is with heart-felt appreciation and gratitude for my friends and family that I now pass on these recipes, precious to me, as gifts to my family, friends, and the readers of this book.
                — LaVece Hughes

 
From the book :

Blackberry Cobbler
LaVece Hughes from Kate Ganter

Crust:
3 cups flour
12 T shortening
6 T water

Cobbler:
2 qt blackberries
3 c sugar
3 T flour
½ c water
4 T butter

Place blackberries in a large pan. Pour 3 T flour, 3 cups sugar, and ½ cup water over the berries, gently stirring to mix in flour. While preparing crust, heat berries just to a boil on medium high heat.

In a mixing bowl, cut shortening into flour and add water. Mix dough thoroughly. Flour wax paper and roll dough out between two sheets into a rectangle about 12 x 20 inches. Use extra flour to prevent crust from sticking to wax paper. Remove wax paper from one side of crust and turn over into the bottom corner of a 13 x 9 inch Pyrex dish, leaving the rest of the crust hanging over the edge of the other side.  Remove wax paper.

After berries have just come to a boil, pour over the crust in the Pyrex dish and dot with about 4 T butter. Flip the rest of the crust over the top of the berries and tuck into the opposite side. Sprinkle sugar over the top. Bake for 35 minutes at 375 degrees.

This is the "old time" way of making blackberry cobbler is passed down from my Grandmother Lelia Dickinson. It makes lots of juice.