This book is a lovely mix of recipes and memories, sharing Johnathon's life from birth to now, with each age holding fond remembrances of the family and food that raised him during that time period.
The recipes sound delightful and I would have loved the opportunity to sit down at his dinner table a few times growing up.
The recipes and the stories are mainly Southern, but once he grows to adulthood and starts to travel, so does the book's content.
Johnathon has taken all of the memories and recipes and turned them into a successful life/dining lesson for everything from casual BBQ's to sit down formal black tie dinners.
Now, the only dilemma I'm facing is whether to put the book on my bookshelf.........or in the kitchen.
Mercer University Press
RISE AND SHINE! is an engaging, funny, and poignant memoir about a Southern son and his life’s relationship with food. Johnathon Barrett takes you on a decades-long journey of culinary exploration, starting in the 1960s in his hometown of Perry, Georgia. There in the low-rolling hills and slow-moving creeks of Middle Georgia he tells—with good humor and reflection—stories about his family, and how for generations farm-to-table food was a mainstay in their daily lives. He also relates how food was the common denominator for all aspects of life in the South, especially in small towns and rural communities.
Barrett shares his need to leave behind those days of stewed squash and fried okra, and move on to what he felt were more sophisticated and global offerings. He discovered, however, that while he tried to take his palate of out of Dixie, there was always some Georgia red clay in his blood—and in his taste buds. Successfully melding those early days of learning the basics of Southern fare and later stretching his culinary skills, Barrett demonstrates in this narrative his formula for a successful casual dinner or a formal black tie affair. With several menus and 100 recipes ranging from down-home picnic offerings such as ‘Joyce’s Don’t Mess with Success Pimento Cheese’ to a magnificent platter of ‘Grouper Meunière,’ the author provides a wonderful array of delights for contemporary cooks.
This culinary love letter to Barrett’s parents and other loved ones who raised him will make you laugh, maybe shed a tear, and fill your hearts with a renewed appreciation for the magic that can happen in a family’s kitchen