Reminiscing with the Redhead

I hope the simplicity of my cookbook and my recipes will help everyone who reads them to rediscover the joy of cooking from scratch for your families. Remembering back to my childhood in Greenville, South Carolina, I recall Sunday dinners with white linen tablecloths and Sunday dishes… food cooked from a summer’s canning and freezing or summer fresh… conversations started up even while we were passing the delicious smelling food… fresh creamed corn, wonderful roast beef and gravy or fried tender chicken, whipped potatoes made from cream and butter, fresh cooked pole beans, pinto beans, biscuits, sweet tea.. These meals could have walked out of the pages of Southern Living Magazine.

So when I got married, I was going to have these wonderful Sunday dinners for my husband and future children. And I wanted everyone at my house after church, eating Sunday lunch and relaxing on the porch. But all of a sudden, everything changed. I was told my baby was very sick and couldn’t eat anything. She was so precious, and we were going to lose her. We cried and prayed and went to work, asking the Lord to lead us to what we could do, if anything to save our child. We found that we needed to change the way we ate. I thought to myself , “How do you cook Southern style with soy and tofu?” I was afraid and mad and felt sorry for myself and overwhelmed. If you are there, I hope this cookbook can help you.

I’ve spent the last 18 years changing Southern-style eating into healthy Southern eating. Since I had quit my teaching job, it also had to be economical. Food is so important for good health, but also for family memories. I was a third grade teacher, so I have written this so that even a child could learn to cook. When I was faced with the tragic possibility of losing one of our children because of the food we were eating, I was so overwhelmed. SO if you feel frustrated about what to cook, what is healthy, or if you don’t know how to cook at all, then it is my prayer that this cookbook will help you!

I hope this cookbook will help you rediscover the joy of cooking your own food, and the wonderful feeling that comes when your family loves and thrives on your cooking. I do believe that we don’t have to stop our wonderful heritage of fabulous Southern cooking. We just need to make a few healthy changes, and we can once again have fabulous Sunday dinners, church dinners– with wonderful Southern dishes.

Now let me tell you those wonderful dinners happened when we got invited over to dinner at different family friends’. My mother was from the Midwest. She couldn’t cook this way. Then I married a Deep South boy whose mother cooked every Sunday, just like in those homes I had visited as a child. And this time, I was family. I tried to cook all of my mother in law’s food. She would take a pinch of this or that, and I would stick a measuring spoon under her pinch. Then I would write down how much. I changed these recipes to include olive oil and raw honey or pure maple syrup. Homemade brad and gravy was made from fresh ground flour, the healthiest way to eat. Our whole family’s health changed, and dessert was for special occasions.

I have also tried to show you that having a pantry is essential for eating healthy, but also important for getting real food on the table. It helps you stay on your budget, and it takes the stress, off, because everything you need to make those meals is in your pantry. I set up the pantry so that you don’t even have to think, especially when someone is sick and there are too many decisions to be made. Thats why I’ve made up your menus and grocery lists,.. This cookbook can be taken into the grocery store with you so that you know what to buy. Copy the menu pages and put them on the refrigerator so that your family will know whats for dinner. One thing this way of eating has eliminated in our family is weight problems. My husband was able to lose thirty-two pounds in six weeks; and he hasn’t gained it back. This is not a diet, it is just eating Southern food healthy style. This cookbook has no processed sugar, sugar substitutes, diet foods, or processed foods. It is cooking from scratch.

The most important part of cooking this way, something that I have never seen mentioned in any healthy cooking or diet book, is grinding your own grain. This one thing brings more nutrition to the body and helps to prevent so many present-day maladies that I highly encourage you to add this step into your new, healthier way of eating. It’s the one thing that has been overlooked, and I believe it is the most powerful thing God has given us for a healthy body.

I hope you will find cooking and shopping with this book easy and fun and that families are healthier and happier.

May God Bless,
Mary Beth

Psalm 30:5 “Joy comes in the morning”

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