Ashley English is a food writer and active member of Slow Food USA. She grew up in the southern mountains of Virginia, and returned to the food traditions of her childhood after years of restrictive "healthy" diets. "Reintroducing whole foods... and having profound positive changes in my health, made me realize that it wasn't Southern foods that had caused my family so much trouble. Instead it was the processed foods that had weaseled their way in." Southern from Scratch is full of recipes that are uncomplicated and traditional at heart, often with updated flavors.
English gives recipes and methods for pickles, relishes, jams (including tomato and muscadine), sauces, vinegars, stock, butter and lard. Dishes using these staples follow, including grits, desserts, Ham Biscuit with Mustard Compound Butter, Succotash, Fennel and Dried Apple Granola, and Sweet Potato and Peanut Butter Soup with Crispy Okra "Croutons." This is a friendly straightforward approach to Southern-style weeknight meals, snacks and special occasions. --Sara Catterall