Homegrown in the Ozarks: Mountain Meals and Memories, 2007, by Rolland Love and Mary-Lane Kamberg (Click for link to Amazon listing)
Looking for a fast, easy dinner bread recipe yesterday to go with our beans, I grabbed this newly purchased cookbook and gave the Mashed Potato Rolls a whirl. I'll definitely be adding these to my repertoire. They went together quickly, for bread, were a fast rise, and because of the high potato and fat ratio, had a solid dense crumb, almost similar to a corn muffin. In fact, I crumbled half a roll up into my beans and felt almost like I'd made cornbread.
The cookbook itself is a soft back treasure for those of us who grew up in these "mountains", filled with uncomplicated (my hand is heavier when it comes to spices) recipes from my youth that I haven't thought about much since my youth, to be honest. There are old-fashioned favorites (not always my personal favorites but I remember these being around when I was a kid) like gooseberry pie, persimmon bread, cornbread, catfish, bass, venison, rabbit, and even squirrel. Along with the "wilder" stuff, there are also great recipes for pork chops with mustard sauce, several breads and cornbreads, many vegetable dishes that showcase the fields and woods of this area, and desserts of all kinds, including a black walnut pie.
Reading a lot of the recipes reminds me so much of being a kid growing up in small rural town where we often scavenged the woods around us for trashbags or pillow cases full of black walnuts, persimmons, morel mushrooms, gooseberries, etc. for Mom, who repaid us by working up our treasures into delicious eats. The one thing I miss the most are persimmons, a wild version much smaller and sweeter than the $3/each persimmons I occasionally see at the grocery. I ate buckets full of those as a kid and then whatever was leftover got made into bread.
Back to the bread recipe...