Dr. Phyllis Bridges, Cornaro Professor of English at Texas Woman's University, is one of the contributors to the recently published Tales of Texas Cooking: Stories and Recipes from the Trans-Pecos to the Piney Woods and High Plains to the Gulf Prairies, edited by Frances Brannen Vick.
Part recipe collection, part history lesson, Tales of Texas Cooking is a publication of the Texas Folklore Society that blends "stories and more than 120 recipes, from long ago and just yesterday . . ." Organized by the state's 10 vegetation regions, the recipes--including Bridges' King Ranch Chicken--provide the book's framework, while the personal and public culinary lore surrounding the lists of ingredients and cooking instructions connect the food and its cultural and historical background. With this delicious combination of cuisine and context, the contributors to Tales of Texas Cooking collectively give readers a sense of what is special about food in the Lone Star State.
Members of the TWU community will take particular pride in Bridges' Folklore and Foodlore Treasury: The Culinary Collection of Texas Woman's University, a chapter in which she describes the history of the TWU Cookbook Collection (housed in the Blagg-Huey Library on the Denton campus) and some of the unique publications it contains (including its oldest cookbook, published in London in 1661). To schedule a tour of the collection (or to donate cookbooks if you are so inclined) please contact the Woman's Collection at 940-898-3751. The Cookbooks and Culinary History Digital Archive, part of the TWU Libraries' Gateway to Women's History, is available to the general public free of charge.
Tales of Texas Cooking is available at the Blagg-Huey Library for use on the premises (free scanning is available with Pioneer Portal login credentials; for assistance please visit the Information Desk on the first floor or call 940-898-3701). The book is also available for purchase on the Texas Folklore Society website and through booksellers.