In our next Gravy podcast, Gravy interim producer Sarah Reynolds tells the story of White Trash Cooking, Ernie Mickler’s 1986 collection of stories and recipes from his North Florida home. At a time when cookbooks arguably didn’t have an authentic voice of any particular people or place, Mickler’s book was dripping with it.
Within six months of publishing White Trash Cooking, Jargon Society Press was so overwhelmed by the response, they sold the rights to Ten Speed Press, a San Franciso-based publisher. Two years after its publication, the book had already sold 350, 000 copies. It was so popular over the years that, a 25th Anniversary Edition was published. This year in 2016, the book turns 30 years old.
For our 2015 Southern Foodways Symposium on Pop Culture, Price Walden composed a musical meditation inspired by White Trash Cooking. Price, who also composed Leaves of Greens: A Collard Opera for our 2011 Symposium, is accompanied by Oxford, Mississippi musicians K. Slade Lewis (bass), Ricky Burkhead (percussion), and Damein Wash (vocals) in this recording of Let Us Now Praise Famous Cooks.