Help cook up a good book

Published 12:02 am Thursday, February 23, 2012

Help is still needed for the Andalusia Tourism and Relocation Committee’s heritage cookbook, organizers said this week.

“We are looking for heart and soul foods with memories,” said T&R member Barbara M. Nichols. “This unique cookbook will provide recipes with a history, but we need help in identifying both the recipes and the cooks behind them.”

Nichols said all area residents are encouraged to send in their favorite recipes with a comment or story about the history of the recipe. She said resent research has highlighted several “must have” recipes for the book, but more information is needed on locating a contact person, such as:

• Edith Bryant’s pies, especially the lemon, chocolate and coconut varieties;

• Trudy Alford’s six-layer chocolate cake;

• Mrs. Heavy Ramsey’s German chocolate cake and lane cake;

• Chalmers Bryant’s barbeque sauce from The Pit restaurant;

• Harris Barbeque’s iced fruit pies; and,

• Anything on the menu from Johnny Crenshaw’s Café.

Nichols said there is also a variety of other areas where recipes are needed.

“Our emphasis is on foods with a tale to tell, from the early 1900s through the early 1980s,” she said.

She said entries are also needed for the following potential cookbook sections:

• Just Cornbread. “Every homemaker had to know how to prepare this Southern staple and in the right cast iron pan, which by the way had to be carefully ‘cured’ with oil and never washed with soapy water,” she said. “We want your best recipe.”

• Bridge Delights. “When bridge parties were in their heyday and held in private homes, the culinary interest was in preparing dessert delights to outdo all others,” she said. “The delights had to be homemade, and often recipes were kept secret, not to be shared. Now, we’re asking you to share – if you’re willing.”

• Fabulous Block Party Grilling. “Neighborhood barbeques were held before the term block party came to be, and usually highlights were barbeque chicken, mounds of potato salad, stuffed eggs, and ‘gotta have baked beans,’” she said. “Anything else was icing on the cake and yep, there were always cakes or maybe homemade banana pudding. “Occasionally, homemade peach ice cream was churned,” she said. “If you’ve got something that would fit in this category, we want it.”

“One of the sections we’re very excited about is ‘The True Diva Cooks,’” Nichols said. “Ask anybody to list names, and you will hear Yeargan, Hart, Wilcox, Moore, Curry to name a few. There are countless ones throughout the county.

“We’re looking for residents to add to this list names and provide us with contact numbers or even visit with them yourself and send in results of interview and recipes,” she said. “Or better still, just tell the story of your relationship with a special diva and provide the recipe you acquired so many years ago.”

For info or to submit a recipe, contact Nichols at 334-427-0454 or via email at or Melissa Gambill at 334-222-4033 or via email at

Submissions can also be mailed to “Recipes, c/o Andalusia City Hall, P.O. Box 429, Andalusia, AL 36420,” or submitted via the city web site.