For many years, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings's home in Cross Creek--the place where she wrote many of her most beloved works--has been open to the public under the aegis of the Florida State Park system. Sally Morrison, one of the home's first tour guides, spent years living on the grounds, maintaining the garden, cooking the food that Rawlings loved, and interpreting the home for visitors.
Nearly thirty years ago, she and her Cross Creek neighbor Kate Barnes created Cross Creek Kitchens to highlight the southern fare and local favorites enjoyed by Rawlings and her guests over the years. Ahead of its time in emphasizing slow cooking and local produce, the cookbook enjoyed a steady popularity for decades, with first editions now selling as collector’s items.
Interlaced with stories of life in Cross Creek, this new edition remains amazingly relevant to today's food trends. More than 150 recipes reflects the seasons' bounties and focus on natural ingredients; the Sweet 'Tater Pie, for example, calls for cane syrup or honey as a healthier alternative to refined sugar. Other tasty recipes found in Cross Creek Kitchens include Southern Pea Soup, Kate's Hogwild Macaroni and Cheese, Beach Grouper, Gingerbread Waffles, South Moon Persimmon Bread, Orange Blossom Carrot Cake, and a variety of cornbread variations.
Sally Morrison recently retired after more than thirty years as a historic site specialist in the Florida Park Service. As the first curator of the Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings home, she brought vitality and enthusiasm to her restorations and interpretations of the author's life and milieu. Kate Barnes is a freelance artist and writer who still lives and works in the Cross Creek area.
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"Proves Floridians like Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings were the true pioneers in the local produce and slow food movements." … "Laced with stories of life in rural Florida, this second edition remains amazingly relevant to today's food trends."