Texas Holiday Cookbook Review


Original Cookbook Review by

Whomped-Up for the Holidays

Some weeks back, we reviewed Dotty Griffith's Celebrating Barbecue: The Ultimate Guide to America's 4 Regional Styles of 'Cue, very favorably I might add. I then became aware of her next book, The Texas Holiday Cookbook and, without even having seen it, knew that a review was an absolute must. Dotty Griffith, you see, knows and appreciates Texas food. And I mean the entire breadth and depth of Texas cuisine - not just barbecue, not just chili.

Not only is The Texas Holiday Cookbook a must-have for any collector of Texas cookbooks, it offers an outstanding representation of Texas cuisine, and affords the reader with the wherewithal to produce it. Griffith has organized her book by the Holidays in question, that is Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year's, with each having its own chapter. An additional chapter is set aside for Food Gifts for Thanksgiving through New Year's Day.

Using Thanksgiving as an example, the relevant chapter includes the recipes for these menu choices:

  • Roast Turkey
  • Smoked Turkey
  • Roast Wild Turkey
  • Deep-Fried Turkey
  • Cornbread Dressing and Giblet Gravy (includes recipe for the corn bread)
  • Cranberry Sauce
  • Green Bean Casserole
  • Homestyle Squash Casserole
  • Mashed Potatoes with Sour Cream and Cream Cheese
  • Candied Sweet Potatoes
  • Mashed Sweet Potatoes
  • Minted Carrots
  • Orange Asparagus
  • Roasted Zucchini
  • Texas Ambrosia (Fruit Salad)
  • Sweet Pickles
  • Sausage and Sauerkraut
  • Tex-Mex Enchiladas
  • Tex-Mex Hot Tamales
  • Macaroni and Cheese
  • Pie Crust (two recipes: Easy and Basic)
  • Pecan Pie
  • Pumpkin Pie
  • Sweet Potato Pie

Now, that gives you quite an array of dishes from which to choose while you're planning your own Thanksgiving table, although you may find decisions tough to make, especially after you read the recipes.

The author is Dining Editor and Restaurant Critic for The Dallas Morning News, and she knows how to put together a collection of classic Texas recipes. Her instructions are clear and well thought out. And while the recipes are hardly the "quick-and-easy' variety (you'll have to do more than just boil water here), they are very achievable by the average cook in the average kitchen. Just as she did in Celebrating Barbecue, Griffith strews shortcuts and tips throughout.

The Texas Holiday Cookbook is a handsome volume, printed on heavy, glossy paper, and beautifully photographed.

Those of us who are familiar with dishes likely to be found on Texas tables will find excellent treatments of all the standards, to be sure, as well as items that may become traditions at your house. Like Roast Venison Backstrap with Texas Wine Sauce, Smothered Quail with Cream Gravy and Biscuits, Gulf Gumbo, Corn Casserole, Big Pot of Greens, Chile Con Queso, Queso Salad, Chile Petin Jelly and Margarita Balls.

The book contains a marvelous collection of dessert recipes, spread over the four holidays, together with fine treatments of Eggnog and Mexican Hot Chocolate. Candy and Cookies are well represented, too.

The truth of the matter is that most Texans do not necessarily wait until the Holidays for this kind of feasting. You can regard The Texas Holiday Cookbook, then, as a particularly timely Christmas or Hanukkah gift to be enjoyed by you and very possibly quite a few people on your holiday gift list.

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Texas Holiday Cookbook
272 pages
Taylor Trade Publishing 2013-10-07
Purchase Book on Amazon.Com