Monday, May 18, 2015

I received a copy of Ally's Cookbook to read, cook from, and share my thoughts with my wonderful friends.  This Southern cook was nervous with the worldly content of exotic flavors. How would I ever be able to create this enlightening look into recipes of magic from other countries?

I opened the book to first get a glimpse of the back story of this Artist creating culinary delights on a canvas of originality and staying with the integrity of the representation of the areas she chose. I wanted to know more about this Boho lady that just makes us all smile with her imagination.

From her background of the hills of Appalachia in the tiny kitchen with her Mother, to all the women who have influenced her and whom she gives a lot of credit for her zest of building a recipe to award winning accomplishment, one, when reading, begins to embrace the tale of this woman with heart and can share with her the educational success she's had, her world carpet ride to adventures that make us all feel we have been there with her. You will be so involved with her story line of life that the recipes will be a wonderful topping on an inspiring story.

My Collection of salt and pepper shakers are now filled with the spices that she put together that everyone can make. I love spices and with these combinations from pages 3,9,10,15,16 and Page 22, and combinations from Caribbean Seasoning Mix to Harissa, I have rubbed, sprinkled, dabbed and marinated more food in one week than I usually make in several weeks. I took all the spices out of my cupboard to see what ingredients I would be missing in making these. How delighted I was when I realized I had almost all the ingredients I needed for her recipes.

I made several of the spices, tasted them and then went back and doubled some of the recipes, put them in baggies in the freezer and will be gifting them as presents. The toasting was simple, the directions easy to follow and I started becoming very secure in being able to make Ally's dishes easily.

I loved the Kind David Buttermilk Cucumbers and did the cucumbers without the pomegranate.  Funny thing happened while I was making these wonderful tasting cucumbers, it called for plain Greek yogurt and making the buttermilk sauce, in my eagerness, grabbed strawberry yogurt and not wanting to waste food, I kept those and refrigerated and then made another batch the right way. Both were delicious so I may make it with Strawberry Yogurt again.

Of course, being a down home Southern cook, I had to try her way of cooking Pinto Beans, Page 29.  Her Bohemian Fresh Herb Pinto Ham Beans passed the tasted test. I now will make them Ally's way.

Included are pictures of my salad with her spices, the cucumbers, and Pinto Beans. My lunch guest loved the spices so much, I gifted her with some.

Over time, many more dishes will be made with Ally's Kitchen Cookbook and I will post my excited attempts of recreating with my own flair.

Thank you Dr. Alice Phillips.