LET’S TALK ABOUT COOKBOOKS – PART 3 (COOKBOOKS WITH “SUN” IN THEM)

I was working on something else—Desert Treasures, in fact, when I kept noticing cookbooks that have “sun” in the titles. My curiosity was piqued so I pulled off the shelves those that I noticed at first glance. I’m thinking there must be others and perhaps you have some titles that I don’t. The one I noticed the other day was “SOMETHING NEW UNDER THE SUN” which was an earlier cookbook project compiled by the Junior League of Phoenix. So let’s make that one my first offering.

This 1972 Junior League project may have been the JL Phoenix organization’s first cookbook—I haven’t been able to find any references to an earlier cookbook fundraiser.

I have written before about the history of community cookbooks, particularly those compiled by junior leagues throughout the country—you may want to read my blog article “THOSE JUNIOR LEAGUE COOKBOOKS’ posted on April 10, 2010 for more information about the junior leagues and their cookbooks.

*SOMETHING NEW UNDER THE SUN went through at least 4 printings, possibly more, before the Phoenix Junior League decided to compile another cookbook. FIESTA UNDER THE SUN, published in 1982. Their third cookbook, DESERT TREASURES was reviewed in the first “Let’s Talk about cookbooks” post.

“SOMETHING NEW UNDER THE SUN” was the inspiration for this blog post. The Mayor of Phoenix, in a Foreword, wrote – in part – “Hundreds of recipes were submitted and tested on unsuspecting friends and families. The committee went through them like avenging angels, discarding all but the very best. Now, many months later, (and several pounds heavier), we proudly submit them to you..”. Think inflation! The original price of “SOMETHING NEW UNDER THE SUN’ was $7.50 with $1.00 for postage and handling.
The Table of Contents for SOMETHING NEW UNDER THE SUN are a change of pace, divided into High Noon, Soups and Salads, Tea Times, After Five, Dinner at Eight, Vegetables, Sweets, and Around the Clock in the Southwest.

*SOMETHING NEW UNDER THE SUN is a no-nonsense cookbook, not given to lush photographs of tantalizing entrees or desserts—you’ll have to let your imagination do the work for you. (Keeping in mind that providing photographs of each exciting recipe is a relatively new concept in the cookbook world.)

Best price for a pre owned copy of SOMETHING NEW UNDER THE SUN is at Alibris.com; hey have copies starting at $2.39, Amazon had one and the price was $6.99.

Here, for you to think about, are some other cookbooks with “sun” in their titles:

“SEASONED WITH SUN/RECIPES FROM THE SOUTHWEST was a compilation from the Junior League of El Paso, Texas, published in 1974. (And if you are starting to think all of these titles sound pretty much the same, you are not alone. I began to mix up Seasoned with Sun (by the Junior League of El Paso) with Something New Under the Sun (by the Junior League of Phoenix.) Well, I guess I can blame it on both books being southwestern cookbooks.  That, and both being cookbooks published in the early 1970s.

Ok, enough with the excuses. Let me tell you what I like about SEASONED WITH SUN! Everything! I love southwestern cuisine—and have a respectable collection of Texas community cookbooks to prove it. I would happily go to either Phoenix or El Paso for a vacation and work my way through the menus of the oldest, most respectable southwestern restaurants I could find. (A few years ago, I joined my brother, Jim, in Albuquerque for the USBC Bowling tournament—he and his friend, John, and I sought out the oldest Mexican restaurant in old town and had one of the best meals imaginable).

But for now let me share Seasoned with Sun with you. Think: Avocado Cocktail (oh, yes, I will be making this one—and avocadoes are in season as I write this). Artichoke Nibbles. Hot Pepper Pecans. Marinated Mushrooms. Chile con Queso. Ceviche!

Under BREADS I found a starter recipe for sour dough—and thought “aha! I haven’t done this one for a while” – but no southwestern meal would be complete without cornbread – West Texas cornbread or southern Cornbread, your choice. I found a long-forgotten recipe for Angel Flake Biscuits – that I remember making when my sons were all little boys (early 70s). The recipe makes a big batch of dough that you can keep in the frig in a plastic bag or tight-fitting container.

Now fast forward to “The Chuckwagon” and MEATS – Grilled Steak Southwestern is a winner and I am willing to bet that you will have all of the ingredients (except for the meat) on your pantry shelves. And Topsy Turvy Taco Cornbread Dinner sounds like it would be a fun dinner for a family meal.

SEASONED WITH SUN is available on http://www.alibris.com starting at 99c. It is also available on Amazon.com priced at $3.99 and up. (I’m not 100% positive but it looks like the Junior League of El Paso has reproduced the original 1974 cookbook in 2011).
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SEASONS IN THE SUN isn’t a junior league cookbook; it was compiled by the Lowe Art Museum of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida, published in 1976.

Recipes I discovered in this cookbook include (but are not limited to) a recipe for Pickled Shrimp that you make with 2-3 pounds of shrimp, cooked and cleaned—but it’s a dish that will keep for some time and can be prepared in advance—and another for Marinated Shrimp that uses 5 pounds of shrimp, cooked and cleaned –and serves 40. (I have a lot of one gallon glass jars that a friend passes along to me—one of these jars would be perfect for preparing Marinated Shrimp in advance for a party—and it won’t take up too much space in the frig.

You are certain to be pleased with the array of chowders and soups; New England Clam chowder, (almost identical to the recipe I have been making for over twenty years—which begs the question, which came first – this New England Clam Chowder or my recipe – as well as a Florida Style Fish Chowder that can be made with 2 pounds of fish, scallops or crawfish.

Included as well are Beachcomber Fish Chowder, Shrimp and Clam Chowder as well as many other soup recipes.

I was pleased to find canning recipes to make Mild Mango Chutney as well as another mango chutney recipe. When I lived in Florida, my next door neighbor’s best friend had a mango tree—I had loads of mangos ripening on my window sill and could experiment with recipes. Also included in SEASONS IN THE SUN are recipes for Hot Pepper Jelly, Guava Jelly, Tropical Mango Jam and Quince Jam and Quince Jelly (which I will send to my Oregon penpal—she has a quince tree) as well as Green Tomato Relish, Green Tomato Pickle and Watermelon Pickle.

In the preface, the members of Beaux Arts write “Seasons in the Sun is the realization of a dream, plus two and a half years of hard work by the members of Beaux Arts…each recipe was tested and evaluated before being accepted for inclusion in this book…over 1200 recipes were prepared and judged. In testing, emphasis was placed on the use of fresh ingredients, especially those native to south Florida…,.” It’s that emphasis on fresh ingredients that makes this one of my favorite cookbooks thirty-six years later!

In 1984, Beaux Arts reprinted Seasons in the Sun in a new enlarged edition. Alibris.com has copies of SEASONS IN THE SUN starting at 99c.
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In 1981, The Entre Nous Club of Bradenton, Florida, published SUNSHINE SAMPLER. In the Foreword we learn, “The Entre Nous Club came into existence nearly 50 years ago when a group of young women decided there was a need for an organization in Bradenton that was dedicated to helping others…in 1953, the growing club published a cookbook called FLORIDA FOOD FARE to raise money for scholarships, needy families and handicapped children…what started as a handful of young women blossomed into a flourishing club of nearly 400 active and life members. Since its inception, Entre Nous has returned over $250,000 to the community…in 1980, nearly thirty years after the first cookbook endeavor, a committee was formed to publish a new cookbook…using some of the best recipes from FLORIDA FOOD FARE and many more from members and friends, the committee has created SUNSHINE SAMPLER…”
Some of the recipes in SUNSHINE SAMPLER are typical of the 1980s (Watergate Salad? Remember that one?) while many others are timeless – Avocado Sauce for fish sounds like a winner, as is Old South Hushpuppies. Orange Blossom Cake can be made with a yellow cake mix for starters—and Hot Orange Fruit Casserole would be a great addition to a holiday dinner. I was pleased to find an entire chapter dedicated to TOMATOES – I love tomatoes in any way, shape or form. Green tomato pie! Tomato-Corn Bake! And one of my all-time favorites, Herb Tomatoes.

SUNSHINE SAMPLER is a thick spiral bound cookbook. Copies are available on http://www.amazon.com starting at $3.19 and up.
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SUNSATIONAL, a cookbook from the Junior League of Orlando-Winter Park, Florida, published in 1982, almost got overlooked. I was putting Florida cookbooks back on a shelf when I spotted it. I bought my copy of SUNSATIONAL at a family reunion in Largo, Florida, in 1987. Aside from all the fantastic recipes—the artwork in SUNSATIONAL is out of this world. Cover designs and illustrations were provided by artist Jeni Bassett. I wish I could share all of the artwork with you—Alligators have never been more charming!

Some poultry recipes to look for are Curry Chicken Casserole, or Citrus Chicken Niberia, Dijon Chicken or Chicken Scallopini, Russian Chicken or Chicken Tetrazzini, Chicken and Broccoli and Chicken in Spicy Sauce—all sound delish; you may want to start at the beginning of the chapter and work your way through – maybe one new recipe to try out on family members each week?
SUNSATIONAL is available through both Alibris and Amazon. Pre-owned copies on http://www.alibris.com start at $2.13 and pre-owned copies on http://www.amazon.com start at $2.88.
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SEASONED WITH SUNSHINE published in 1982, is one of the thickest spiral-bound cookbooks I have ever handled. It was published by an organization called P.A.C.E, (Parents Active In Christian Education), at Grace Lutheran Church in Winter Haven, Florida. Some recipes you might want to look for include Popeye’s Layered Salad –or Sauerkraut Salad, Fiesta Chicken Salad or Hot Chicken Salad, or under Eggs, Cheese, Pasta & Grains, think Crab and Avocado Omelet or Quick Eggs for a Crowd. There is a recipe for Cheese-Ham Strata that is very similar to one I have been making for decades. Hundreds of recipes in SEASONED WITH SUNSHINE, at the very least!

You can find pre-owned copies of SEASONED WITH SUNSHINE, starting at 99c each – at both Alibris.com and Amazon.com. Good deal!
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Also published in 1982 is A PINCH OF SUNSHINE, compiled by the Junior Service League of Brooksville, Florida. I like the first chapter titled CITRUS SHOWCASE – offering such tasty treats as Orange Glazed Carrots, Sunshine Citrus Cups and Avocado Grapefruit Salad. Another recipe, Fiji Orange Chicken Chunks to serve over fried rice, was provided by Giovanni Guiseppe Cardone who was Chef at Walt Disney World in 1982, Other orange-related recipes include Orange Chicken, Orange Duckling Bigarade, or Florida Marinated Flank Steak that has frozen orange juice concentrate for a change of pace in a marinated flank steak. There are also orange braised pork chops and tangerine glazed ribs, providing flavor – and as an acid, some tenderizing as well. An enormous amount of work has gone into finding and incorporating a wealth of citrus recipes into this cookbook.

Amazon.com has pre owned copies of A PINCH OF SUNSHINE around $30.00 and up – this is the only one of these cookbooks I was unable to locate at a reasonable price. Alibris.com also has one copy for just under $30.00.
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SUNCOAST SEASONS is another big thick spiral-bound cookbook, published in 1984 by the Dunedin Youth Guild, and reprinted in 1988. It also holds the distinction of being a Best Cookbook Tastemaker Award winner. Dunedin is bordered on the south by St. Petersburg and Tarpon Springs on the north (I could say the same of Largo, Florida, where my parents lived when they retired but oddly enough I never heard of Dunedin before!

Dunedin (we learn on a page dedicated to the city) holds the distinction of being the oldest town on the West Coast. Along the waterfront is a beautiful paved boulevard with white lights, many fine homes, palms, hibiscus and other tropical foliage. A thousand years ago, the area was a village for Indians of the Muskhogean Timucuans. These people were mound builders, hunters and agriculturists, raising tobacco and corn.

In 1870, Dunedin had a general store; supplies were brought down the coast by small sailing craft. At this time, the name of the little settlement was Jonesboro and all the land in this part of Florida was government and state owned. Settlers could, under the Government Homestead Law, file on 160 acres, live on it for 5 years and then upon payment of $1.25 per acre, get a clear title. The incentive attracted many northern farmers. The first church service was in June, 1869, in a school house. In 1880, the district changed from a vegetable and cotton growing section to one of citrus growing. A milestone in the growth of Dunedin was the coming of the first railroad train in 1888.

SUNCOAST SEASONS is a collection of over 750 recipes (I did say it was big and thick!) selected by members of the Dunedin Youth Guild from approximately 1500 submitted by members, family & friends. All recipes were edited, tested and then re-edited. Emphasis was, as it has been in other Florida cookbooks, on fresh ingredients. Detailed instructions were provided so that even novice cooks can make these recipes.

SUNCOAST SEASONS opens with pages dedicated to various hotels and other famed Florida residents, such as the Roebling Mansion (which I visited with other family members one year when we had a family reunion in Largo, near Tampa). The mansion is on the National Register of Historic Places and may have been the spark that has prompted me to visit other famous homes. Roebling Mansion was built by Donald Roebling, great-grandson of John Augustus Roebling who built the Brooklyn Bridge, and youngest son of August Roebling, II, of the wealthy Roebling engineering family.

Donald Roebling went to Harbor Oaks in Clearwater, Florida, in 1929 at the age of 20. He personally supervised the building of his 2 ½ story mansion on the highest elevation of Florida’s suncoast, overlooking Clearwater Bay, on seven acres. The mansion was a gift to Roebling’s prospective bride and cost $600,000 to build and 1 ½ years to complete. Despite all that Roebling had put into the mansion and grounds, he walked away from his home in 1956.

The various homes and hotels featured in SUNCOAST SEASONS provide an interesting introduction to Florida’s west coast.
Some recipes I don’t think I have seen elsewhere include Chicken Liver Dip, Baked Clam Dip in a Shell, Creamy Spinach Dill Dip and Mock Boursin Cheese Spread.

Beef Burgundy is one of my favorite recipes and here, in SUNCOAST SEASONS, I found a recipe for Crock Beef Burgundy that I look forward to trying. Mmmm! Also found a recipe for Flank Steak Teriyaki that sounds better than one I made for the family recently.
Most surprising of all were a few chili recipes in the MEATS chapter – one is called Skyline Chili (which is a chili parlor chain in Cincinnati) – but the next recipe, titled Cincinnati Chili, really SOUNDS authentic (a tip to making an authentic Cincinnati Chili is that the meat is put into a pot of water—not browned first. It provides an even, thin consistency to the meat—something most Cincinnatians are aware of).

SUNCOAST SEASONS is available from http://www.amazon.com starting at $3.81.
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SUNNY SIDE UP IS a cookbook compiled by the Junior League of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and published in 1980. Whenever I think of Fort Lauderdale, I remember stone crabs at the restaurants along the coast, where we sometimes went for dinner. My friend Jo Ann and I sometimes went to Ft Lauderdale for coffee after our classes at Miami Dade Community College. More than once I flew out of Ft Lauderdale, heading back to Los Angeles.

From SUNNY SIDE UP comes an assortment of dessert sauces; Butterscotch sauce, Marshmallow Mint Sauce, Best Fudge Sauce, Chocolate Sauce and Hard Sauce (what makes it “hard” is an alcoholic component). There is also a Grand Marnier Sauce for Fruit which is sure to please. Cake recipes (some of which might be nice with a sauce on top) include Apple Brownie Cake, Milky Way Cake, Bourbon Pecan Cake, Carrot Cake, Plum Good Spice Cake, Coca Cola Cake—and others. Candies and Sweets include a recipe for pecan pralines, Baked Sugar Nuts, Caramel Popcorn Balls, Buckeyes and Orange Pecans. These and many other recipes make up the contents of SUNNY SIDE UP. Preowned copies are available at http://www.amazon.com starting at $2.86 and up.
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Last but not least in this review of “sun” cookbooks is SUNFLOWER SAMPLER compiled by the Junior League of Wichita, Kansas and published in 1980.

Hors D’oeuvres Include Guacamole Dip or Chisholm Trail Guacamole but there are many other kinds of dips and spreads, ranging from Hot Crab Spread to Hot Sherry Crab Dip. There is a Piquant Cheese Ball recipe to serve with crackers, Tiny Reuben Sandwiches and Corned Beef Roll-Ups. Included is a Quick Liver Pate recipe as well as a chicken liver pate that you make in the blender—and a sweet and sour chicken wings recipe that makes 40 servings.

For Brunches there is a Mushroom Quiche as well as a Sausage Souffle or perhaps you might want to try a recipe for Stuffed Egg Casserole. There are also recipes for Eggs Benedict, Eggs Florentine, Poached Eggs Florentine and Cheesy Beef Brunch. Or, you may want to try the Chilies Relleno Casserole or Sour Cream Enchiladas.

In the chapter titled MEATS there is a recipe for making a perfect rib roast as well as a Prime Rib in Tangy Wine Sauce (this is one I really want to try!) Also to tempt your taste buds are a recipe for Pepper Steak, Flank Steak Solara, or Flank Steak Teriyaki. These and many other recipes are just waiting to be tried.

You can find preowned copies of SUNFLOWER SAMPLER on http://www.amazon.com starting at $3.19.

I’d like to dedicate this review of SUNFLOWER SAMPLER to my penpal, Marge Sallee, a friend and penpal who passed away recently. Marge, a retired school teacher, lived in Kansas and was much loved by her family and friends. At one time, she published a newsletter titled “Sunflower Seeds”. Marge will be missed by everyone who knew her, including those of us who never met her in person, but enjoyed her newsy letters and cards.

Happy Cooking!

Sandy

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