Southern cooking used to be an expression of art and love, according to Martha Stamps, but sometime in the middle of the twentieth century an "abomination of honest southern cooking" took place. As women joined the work force in ever-increasing numbers, their lives became so full that eating became an inconvenience and cooking a chore. "Casserole Cuisine"-just add Velveeta and a can of cream of mushroom soup-pushed aside the traditional hearty, gutsy cuisine of the South.
Today homemakers are looking to get back in touch with the foods of character that previous generations took for granted. The cuisine in The New Southern Basics performs that role, reaching back to a generation that took time to do things right and re-creating the basic southern foods in ways that accommodate the tastes of nutritional concerns of our own time. The author exalts the use of fresh ingredients and cooking from scratch, noting that this is more than a matter of style; it tastes better and is much more valuable nutritionally and economically.
"I have always loved the innate rhythms of the kitchen," writes the author. "In shelling peas, cleaning greens, and kneading dough, a heartbeat is reflected in the slow dance of the seasons. I believe that our generation, especially in these hectic times, can find comfort in these natural rhythms and cycles."