For our July issue, we looked and cooked our way through dozens of spiral bound cookbooks in search of the best of the best Southern recipes and food traditions. After testing and tasting dozens upon dozens of regional recipes—including 24 different chicken salads, six jezebel sauces, five custard pies, and four congealed salads in one week alone—we picked 18 of our favorites to celebrate in Spiral-Bound South, a feature in our July issue that pays tribute to the dedicated home cooks who helped write and produce some of the South’s most cherished community cookbooks.
Sourcing all of those cookbooks was quite the undertaking. Thankfully, our friend Carlye Jane Dougherty, owner of the Heirloom Book Co. in Charleston, South Carolina, gave us a hand. Carlye scoured the South and sent us boxes and boxes of amazing community cookbooks. We were in awe of the diversity and charm we unpacked. To celebrate all these wonderful, quirky, and sometimes downright unusual titles, we’re declaring July the Month of Community Cookbooks. Starting on July 1, we’ll introduce you, everyday on The Daily South, to a community cookbook that our staff adores.
Because the best part of these books are the stories behind the recipes, we want to hear from you, too! Tell us about your favorite community cookbook, send us a picture of the cover, and you could win a collection of vintage cookbooks from the Heirloom Book Co.! To enter, please fill out the form here.
Carlye pulled out all the stops when curating the prize package. Here’s a glimpse at few of the titles she selected and why she picked them:
1) The Southern Junior League Cookbook by Anne Seranne. 1977, hardcover, 1st edition.
“Quite possibly one of the best [Junior League cookbooks] of all time and it has a sampling of all the best recipes from the best of the Junior League Cookbooks.”
2) The Randolph-Macon Sandwich Book. 1969, spiral.
“The cover is visually stunning and the contents (complied by their NYC Alumnae Chapter in 1969) are simply fantastic.”
3) The Original Vidalia Onion Cookbook from the Vidalia Chamber of Commerce.
“I can think of few ingredients more Southern than the Vidalia Onion…Who knew there were so many things you could do with onions?”