If you prefer Double Cola over Coke, can’t live without Grippos chips, and have a family recipe for burgoo, you were probably born in this area. Those of us that aren’t from Southwestern Indiana can learn more about the local flavors by checking out these area cookbooks.
Newburgh Entertains was published in 1998 by The Women’s Club of Newburgh. According to their website, the club’s purpose of education and charity is accomplished through fostering interest among the members in social, economic, cultural and civic affairs of the community. The sale of this cookbook helped fund some of their projects. Newburgh Entertains has elegant recipes to wow your dinner guests (Roquefort Chicken, page 149) and also includes a section on cooking with your kids (Lemonade Blender Cookies, page 226). The Celebrity Recipe section has contributions from area chefs including Doug Rennie and Angie Sinclair. Note: Unfortunately, they couldn’t pry his secret recipe for chocolate chip cookies from Chef Rennie!
The first meeting of the Raintree Quilter’s Guild was held at the Newburgh Library in 1986. The Raintree Quilters published Cooking With Our Stars in 2005 in conjunction with their biannual quilt show. In addition to some terrific recipes, this cookbook also includes photos of quilts and quilting tips. Cooking With Our Stars and Newburgh Entertains both contain variations of a recipe called Johnny Mezetti. This ground beef casserole originated at an Italian restaurant in Columbus, Ohio. It was named after the owner’s brother-in-law.
The Junior League of Evansville’s cookbook, Once Upon a Time … Recipes and Recollections from a River City, was awarded second place in the 15th Anniversary TABASCO® Community Cookbook Awards for 2004. In this cookbook you’ll find many local favorites like the Old Mill Restaurant’s recipe for Burgoo, found on page 93. Once upon a Time also includes several of Doug Rennie’s recipes but again not one for his chocolate chip cookies!
Last but not least is Book Cooks, a cookbook with recipes from the staff and friends of the Ohio Township Public Library. One of the library staff’s favorite recipes is the Dilly Dip found on page three. Margaret Hill, retired Central branch manager, made this for every staff luncheon and special event. People who don’t enjoy cooking will like Miss Linda’s recipe for homemade chicken salad on page 36. It involves getting in the car, driving to Rivertown Butcher Shop and ordering the white meat chicken salad!
If you’ve tried a few recipes from our local area and are ready to branch out to other regions, we have cookbooks from almost every part of the country. How about some Boston Baked Beans?