Click to enlargeCotton Country Collection

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WOW!!! Now in its twentieth printing and with over a half a million copies sold, The Cotton Country Collection from the Junior League of Monroe Louisiana is a must for your kitchen.

The word "collection" carries several meanings and connotations: "To bring together into one body"; "to gather or exact from a number of persons or other sources"; "an accumulation gathered for study or comparison." The Cotton Country Collection is all these things .... and more, in that each recipe represents the finest of its kind. And each kind is very fine, indeed. From the earliest days, cooks of the Ouachita River area were blessed with an endless supply and variety of raw materials. Even today, the designation "Louisiana" denotes the very best in shrimp, rice, oysters, sugar cane, pecans, strawberries, to name a few. In our Cotton Country there were many influences of different peoples, nationalities, systems of law -- and of course culinary arts. From the earliest days, the Indians taught the settlers about the delicacies native to Louisiana. Creole ladies in New Orleans know about French sauces; their African cooks contributed new ideas in seasonings. Spanish influence brought a hotter accent. A large number of emigres who fled the French Revolution were followed in less than five years by the Anglo-Americans coming down the Mississippi from Kentucky after the Louisiana Purchase. And each of these made its own contribution to our Cotton Country ideas. Although influenced by the cosmopolitan atmosphere of New Orleans and the ever-changing activity of river traffic, the Ouachita area was a primarily rural culture. The plantations along the river and the bayous were almost completely self-sustaining, raising their own food, making their own clothes, building their homes from the materials in the forests. Plantation chatelaines and their cooks, using the unusually lavish gifts of nature and the ideas of many root sources, developed a style of cooking distinctive in its heritage and delicious in its culmination. Here, then, our Cotton Country collection, a medley of French sauces with Spanish spiciness and African seasonings, served up over the Indian's native corn or oysters or potatoes or wild turkey. Enjoy.

Author: Monroe Junior League; Publisher: Wimmer Co; Format: hard cover, bound