Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Food: Recipes, cookbook reviews, food notes, and restaurant reviews. Unless otherwise noted, I have personally tried each recipe that gets its own page, but not necessarily recipes listed as part of a cookbook review.

Mimsy Review: Heritage of America Cookbook

Reviewed by Jerry Stratton, January 25, 1997

Review of Heritage of America Cookbook, with a recipe for Peppers and Grits.

PublisherBetter Homes and Gardens Books
Length288 pages
Book Rating6

Better Homes and Gardens seems to have come out with a large range of coffee-table cookbooks a few years ago. At the Borders in San Francisco, they were all being dumped at ten bucks a piece. They originally ran $40, “price higher in Canada”. Most of them weren’t very impressive: too many words and pictures of nice scenery, and not enough actual recipes, nor was there anything in the recipes to differentiate the books from every other book on the same topic.

One exception is the Heritage of America cookbook. Perhaps it’s simply that I happen to like the style of illustrations used, and the photos chosen. But there is a wealth of recipes among the genuinely interesting stories and histories.

Seven chapters cover down-home recipes from New England, the Middle Atlantic, the South, the Midwest, the Southwest, the West, and the Pacific Northwest. The recipes tend towards simplicity, no doubt another reason I like the book. Each chapter begins with a short history of the area--as it relates to food; and some admittedly beautiful photographs of local scenery. But if you’re like me, those pretty pictures don’t mean much. What you’re really here for is the food. Here are a few samplings from each chapter:

New England
Steamed Clams with Horseradish-Dill Sauce, Irish Stew with Mint Sour Cream, Mashed Maple Sweet Potatoes, Anadama Bread, Creamed Succotash.
The Middle Atlantic
Buckwheat-Pecan Waffles, Schnitz un Knepp, Three-Pepper Slaw, Baby Corn Relish
The South
Bourbon-Pecan Pâté, Kentucky Burgoo, Ham with Red-Eye Gravy, Hoppin John
The Midwest
Cornish Beef Pasties, Ham Balls with Currant Glaze, Norwegian Fruit Soup, Pierogis, Whoopie Pies
The Southwest
Swordfish and Salsa Verde, Pork Tenderloin in Corn Bread, Texas Coleslaw, Caramel Flan with Mangoes
The West
Split Pea and Sausage Soup, Miner’s Camp Pie, Cowboy Beans, Kolaches
The Pacific Northwest
Salmon in Phyllo with Mustard-Cream Sauce, Mahi-Mahi with Honey-Ginger Glaze, Grilled Elk Burgers, Sourdough Pancakes, Cream Cheese-Macademia Pie

Peppers and Grits

  • Four slices bacon,
  • ¾ cup chopped green pepper,
  • ½ cup chopped red bell pepper,
  • ½ cup chopped onion,
  • 1 cup quick-cooking grits,
  • ¼ tsp pepper,
  • ¼ tsp paprika,
  • ⅔ cup peeled,
  • chopped,
  • seeded tomato.
  1. Cook bacon till crisp, drain, and reserve 2 tblsp drippings.
  2. Cook peppers and onion in drippings, about 2 minutes until crisp-tender.
  3. Cook grits according to package, keep hot.
  4. Sprinkle pepper and paprika over vegetables, stir in grits, add chopped tomato and crumbled bacon.
  5. Toss to mix.

Heritage of America Cookbook

My cost: $10.00

Recommendation: Nice Recipes