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Carolyn Nelson publishes fifth cookbook

For a writer to be known for having his readers eating out of the palm of his hand is high praise, indeed, but it is expected from Carolyn Nelson, who announced the publication of her fifth cookbook through Cookbook Publishers of Lenexa, Kan., called “MeMaw’s Southern Cookin’.”

This newest edition of Nelson’s recipes is a “best-of” publication, including all of the recipes from past cookbooks, plus 250 more.

The book contains more than just recipes, too. Handy information that would benefit both the novice cook and longtime chef are featured, along with stories, quips and quotes from “MeMaw’s Notes,” which include glimpses into the lives of her grandchildren as only a grandmother can see them.

“My grandchildren are Andrew and Jared Nelson,” she said, smiling. “There will be a number of stories about them. My son, Rob, and his wife, Natalie, live in Tuscumbia.”

The book is overflowing with recipes past and present, presented in a three-ring binder so that people may remove recipe pages to be copied or add their own favorite recipes to the book. The book also has tab dividers, cooking suggestions and table-setting charts.

“There are nearly 1,200 recipes in this book,” Nelson said. “My first book came out in the 1970s after I submitted so many recipes to the (Demopolis Academy) ‘General Cookbook.’ It seemed like half of the recipes in there were mine! People said I should do a cookbook, and a few years later, I decided to do that.”

Nelson had cookbooks published in the 1980s, ’90s and in 2002.

“The book contains down-to-earth recipes,” she said. “There’s nothing fancy in there. The ingredients are what people can find right here. I said, ‘If I can’t pronounce the recipe, I won’t cook it!’

“Also, if I don’t like it, it’s not in my book. Many of the recipes that I’ve tried, I did not like. These recipes all suit my taste and my family’s taste.”

“Cooking has always been a very special part of my life,” she said. “When I was a child, I used to get a chair and stand next to the kitchen counter and watched my mother cook. I came from a family of cooks!”

The book sells for $25, and Nelson hopes to have a Web page available to take orders. She will have a book signing at Maison de Briques at a later date, and will sell thr book through Maison de Briques or Lindsey’s. For more information, call 289-2289.

For four decades, Carolyn Nelson has been publishing her recipes for people to try. This fifth edition of her work contains something for everyone to enjoy, whether they have cooked all their lives or are just starting out.