Connecting with my Grandmother through Two Beautiful Cookbooks

A few weeks ago, I drove to Nashville to attend the Southern Festival of Books. (If you've never been, you should definitely check it out. It's so close and such a great trip. There are all kinds of booksellers there, as well as panels of authors and other literary groups to get involved in. You don't need to be a writer to enjoy it!)

Typically, when I have the opportunity to buy books, I immediately go to the Young Adult section. But  fall always makes me miss my grandmother. As the temperature drops and the leaves start to turn, she never fails to enter my mind (as evidenced by this post I wrote around this time last year).

There are a million things that make me think of herthe scent of Estée Lauder's Beautiful, any well-dressed elderly woman with coordinating purse and shoes, prayer, loud talkers, mashed potatoes, decorating for the holidays, babies, hearing a great laugh, brightly-painted fingernailsthe list goes on and on.

So on this day, I headed for another thing that always makes me feel close to her: the cookbooks. And right there, on the very top of one of the stacks, sat At My Grandmother's Table by Faye Porter.

My favorite kind of cookbook is the kind with stories intertwined throughout beautifully-photographed food and well-written recipes. A quick flip through the pages of this book, and I knew it was a must-buy.

I have this highly technical formula I use when I'm deciding if I want to buy a cookbook. I open it to a random page, and if the recipe on the page is something I would actually cook, I buy it.

In this book, that recipe was Sweet Potato Biscuits on page 53. The photo on the opposite page looked so good it'd make a tomcat spit in a bulldog's eye. (Learned that saying from my Papaw. You're welcome, dear readers.)

Usually, one cookbook would be enough, but then I happened to spot one with a cover so cute I had to pick it up: Y'all Come Over by Patsy Caldwell and Amy Lyles Wilson.

Basically any cookbook that has "Y'all" in the title is probably one I need in my kitchen. And it's ANOTHER one with stories and traditions scattered throughout the recipes.

I did my really complicated random page test and landed on page 55's Puffed Up and Proud French Toast.

FRENCH TOAST ALWAYS PASSES THE TEST. ALWAYS.

(A second random page had a recipe for Blackberry Wine Cake, which reminds me- have you tried Acres of Land's Blackberry Wine? I've never liked sweet wine but this one is incredibly tasty.)

My granny would've loved these cookbooks, even though she'd never have needed them. The woman simply worked magic in the kitchen. Her toast even tasted better than anyone else's. (You think I'm exaggerating here, but I'm not. Somehow she managed to completely drench it in butter but it still stayed crunchy. Magic, I tell you.)

And now, since I can't share these with her, I'm going to give one away to a lucky HerKentucky reader! Fill out the rafflecopter below, and if your name is drawn, you'll pick which cookbook you'd like to have and I'll send it to you! (You can't choose wrong. They're both so perfectly southern and beautiful.)

Do you have a favorite cookbook? I'd love to hear about it! Leave the title in the comments!

  a Rafflecopter giveaway