May 2018 Indie Next List
“This is the funniest cookbook in the world! Packed with old fashioned southern recipes, Bragg's brilliant storytelling and old black-and-white photographs bring his relatives to life. From lost cows to dead hogs to giant turtles, his stories feature grandparents and great grandparents, aunts and uncles. But most of all, his mother's voice comes through loud and clear. More than anything, you are taken by the back-and-forth between Bragg and his down-to-earth, matter-of-fact, shy but feisty mother. I absolutely loved this book! And I recommend the pecan pie!”
— Helen Stewart, Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, NC
From the beloved, best-selling author of All Over but the Shoutin', a delectable, rollicking food memoir, cookbook, and loving tribute to a region, a vanishing history, a family, and, especially, to his mother. Including seventy-four mouthwatering Bragg family recipes for classic southern dishes passed down through generations. Margaret Bragg does not own a single cookbook. She measures in "dabs" and "smidgens" and "tads" and "you know, hon, just some." She cannot be pinned down on how long to bake corn bread ("about 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the mysteries of your oven"). Her notion of farm-to-table is a flatbed truck. But she can tell you the secrets to perfect mashed potatoes, corn pudding, redeye gravy, pinto beans and hambone, stewed cabbage, short ribs, chicken and dressing, biscuits and butter rolls. Many of her recipes, recorded here for the first time, pre-date the Civil War, handed down skillet by skillet, from one generation of Braggs to the next. In The Best Cook in the World, Rick Bragg finally preserves his heritage by telling the stories that framed his mother's cooking and education, from childhood into old age. Because good food always has a good story, and a recipe, writes Bragg, is a story like anything else.