Until my older sister, Barbara, moved to Tennessee, I don’t think I thought overmuch about Tennessee; I had a few special Junior League cookbooks from Tennessee, certainly. “Dinner On the Diner” published by the Junior League of Tennessee in 1983 has always been a favorite—both the recipes and the art-deco design of the cookbook itself were quite appealing. Somewhere along the way I found some other old Tennessee community cookbooks to add to my collection.
Then in the 1990s, my older sister and her husband moved, lock stock and barrel, along with a younger brother and his wife and children, to the Nashville region. My sister fell in love with Tennessee. When our brother and his family returned to Ohio a few years later, my sister and her husband bought five acres of land in Castalian Springs, about eleven miles from Lebanon, which in turn is about 40 miles (give or take a few) east of Nashville. They bought a mobile home to put on the property.
We had a family reunion there one year, to celebrate my sister’s 60th birthday and it was at that time that some of us did a walking tour of downtown Nashville and I visited President Jackson’s home, the Hermitage, with my mother and her gentleman friend (who really wasn’t a “gentle man” but that’s another story).
When my sister was diagnosed with breast cancer, I began traveling to Tennessee more frequently. While running errands for my sister, I discovered the little towns of Hartsville and Lebanon and the historical trail that is present day Route 25 when driving to and from Hartsville. I fell in love with Tennessee, too.
Civil War historical sites can be found all around the region. The Battle of Hartsville was fought on December 7, 1862, in northern Tennessee at the opening of the Stones River Campaign the American Civil War.
I always assumed that someday, when my sister was better, we’d visit some of the other Civil War sites. However, my sister passed away in October of 2004 and when I flew out of Nashville a week later, depressed and grieving, I thought I would never return to Tennessee again–and I haven’t gone back to Tennessee since my sister’s death.
My sister gave me some of her cookbooks before she died but I had begun buying quite a few others—those and other southern cookbooks—whenever we found ourselves somewhere in the South, such as one niece’s wedding in the 1980s, at Stone Mountain near Atlanta.
The following are some of my Tennessee cookbooks:
OLD TIME TENNESSEE RECEIPTS, FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF NASHVILLE, UNDATED but ads place it in the early 1940s, spiral bound
PI BETA PHI COOKBOOK BY PI BET PHI SETTLEMNT SCHOOL COMMITTEE, GATLINBURG TN, 1957, THIRD ED 1959, spiral binding, some ads
SMOKY MOUNTAIN MAGIC, JR LEAGUE OF JOHNSON CITY, TN, 1ST printed 1960. Mine is from 4th printing in 1971, spiral binding
NASHVILLE SEASONS, JR LEAGUE OF NASHVILLE, 1st printed 1964, spiral binding, mine is from tenth printing in 1980.
PARTY POTPOURRI, JR LEAGUE OF MEMPHIS Inc. 1970, spiral bound
TENNESSE FAVORITES, OLD & NEW, NATIONAL SOCIETY OF THE COLONIAL DMES OF AMERICA IN TENNESSEE, 1973, spiral binding
OPRYLAND USA KOUNTRY KOOKING, BY Phila Rawlings Hach, hardcover, 1974
THE MEMPHIS COOK BOOK, JR LEAGUE OF MEMPHIS, 16TH EDITION, BICENTENNIAL YEAR 1976, spiral binding
THE NASHVILLE COOKBOK SPECIALITIES OF THE CUMBERLAND REGION, NASHVILLE AREA HOME ECONOMICS ASSSOC, 1976-77 spiral binding
ENCORE! NASHVILLE, JR LEAGUE OF NASHVILLE, 1ST PRINTING 1977, 2ND ED 1982, spiral binding
SOUTHERN SECRETS, EPISCOPAL DAY SCHOOL MOTHERS’ CLUB, JACKSON TN, 1979, spiral binding
A MAN’S TASTE, Junior League of Memphis, 1980, spiral binding
FLAUNTING OUR FINEST, FRANKLIN JUNIOR AUXILIARY, FRANKLIN TN, 1982, spiral binding
WELL SEASONED, A SOUTHERN CLASSIC, LES PASSEES PUBLICATIONS, MEMPHIS TN, 1982, spiral binding
POTLUCK FAVORITES PLUS, COMMUNITY CRAFT CENTER, CLINTON, TN. 2-RING BINDING, 1982
DIXIE DELIGHTS, ST FRANCIS HOSPITAL AUXILIARY, MEMPHIS, TN, 1983, spiral binding
DINNER ON THE DINER, JUNIOR LEAGUE OF CHATTANOOGA, TN, 1983, 3-ring cookbook; pages can be easily removed to scan or copy. (A huge favorite of mine)
OUR DAILY BREAD, EMPLOYEES OF WIMMER BROS, MEMPHIS,1983, spiral binding
ANNOUNCING OUR OWN COOKBOOK, WOMEN’S AUXILIARY, TENN ASSOC RESCUE SQUADS, 1984, spiral binding
TREASURES OF THE SMOKIES, JR LEAGUE OF JOHNSON CITY, TN, 1ST PRINTING 1986, 2ND PRINTING 1994, spiral binding
BEST OF THE BEST FROM TENNESSEE, QUAIL RIDGE PRESS, 1987, spiral binding—made up of various other community cookbooks, a good way to discover what you don’t have. Lists of all contributing cookbooks is at the back of the cookbook, with illustrations
KINFOLKS AND CUSTARD PIE, RECOLLECTIONS AND RECIPES FROM AN EAST TENNESSEAN, WALTER LAMBERT, HARD COVER, UNIV OF TENN PRESS, 1988
MEMPHIS IN MAY, INT’L FESTIVAL COOKBOK, VOL 1, 1989, spiral binding
KITCHENS WITH A MOUNTAIN VIEW II, CONCORD HILLS WOMEN’S CLUB, KNOXVILLE, 1990, spiral binding
KODAK CENTENNIAL HISTORICAL COOKBOOK, KODAK, TN, 1892-1992, wire binding
RECIPES FROM the Kitchens of FAMILY AND FRIENDS, UMC CANCER CENTER, LEBANON TN. 2001, spiral binding
COUNTRY CLASSICS VOL II, FROM TENNESSEE FARM BUREAU WOMEN, published 2002, spiral binding
SEASONED TO TASTE, JR LEAGUE OF CHATTANOOGA, TN, 2011, hardcover cookbook,
COUNTRY CLASSICS, 75TH Edition TENNESSEE FARM BUREAU WOMEN, spiral binding, undated
DOLLYWOOD PRESENTS TENNESSE MOUNTAIN HOME COOKING, undated, spiral binding
COUNTRY FIXIN’S FROM UNION HEIGHTS UNION HTS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, CARTHAGE SCHOOL PTO, undated but postage additional when ordering a copy was 75c and to order the cookbook the price was $6.00.
I have deliberately not looked up all of these cookbooks on Amazon.com–there are too many. I suggest, if a title appeals to you, go to Amazon .com or Alibris.com and look it up for yourself.
I also recommend that you purchase a copy of the Best of the Best for Tennessee, from Quail Ridge Press–you’ll find a wealth of titles of other Tennessee regional cookbooks to choose from.
Do you have a favorite Tennessee community cookbook not listed here? Let me hear from you!
Happy cooking – and happy cookbook collecting!