I am a huge Pat Conroy fan, especially liking the stories regarding the Low Country, and have read all of his books.
As I said in my bio, I love to read cookbooks and this one I am going to tell you about is just as much a novel as a cookbook. It is: The Pat Conroy Cookbook, Recipes of My Life.
This cookbook is filled with marvelous tales about food, the South, living in
and fascinating people. Pat Conroy can tell a story like no one else, particularly about the Low Country. His description of the many cities he has resided in, his description of food and of people is incredible. You sort of feel like he is the all-American guy who you just know if you ever got the chance to meet him, you would swear you’d known him all your life. Even if you do not care for any of these things, you should this book only because he tells a good story! He is a master story-teller! Italy
In the South, eating the feast after a funeral is compared to Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. It is tradition there to cook for a grieving family and friends and to carry the dish to the deceased person’s home the evening before the funeral. Pat’s “go-to” dish for this occurrence when in
was Pickled Shrimp. He says: “When a friend dies, I take two pounds of shrimp for the mourners. When a good friend dies, I go to five pounds. When I die, I fully expect all the shrimp in Beaufort to be pickled that day.” I imagine, there won’t be a shrimp to be found in Beaufort after his funeral! Beaufort, SC
Dunbar macaroni is the dish that always appears at funeral time in Newbury, South Carolina, to the delight of many people. The history of
Dunbar macaroni belongs to Newbury and Pat learned of it through the death of his friend. This recipe belongs to Julia Randel, his friend’s grandmother. Ground beef or pork is added to it sometimes, but Julia insists that Dunbar Macaroni was meatless in its original form. It is a winner!
1½ cups elbow macaroni
4 onions, chopped
2 (16-ounce) cans whole tomatoes, preferable San Marzano, mashed, without their juice
¾ pound sharp cheddar cheese, grated
4 tablespoons butter
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cook macaroni. Drain and set aside.
Cook the onions in 3 cups boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain.
Add the tomatoes and cook over low heat for 10 minutes, until liquid has evaporated.
Add the cooked macaroni, cheese, butter, salt and pepper.
Mix together and pour into a large greased casserole dish.
Bake for 50 minutes, or until lightly browned.
Now, cook up some
Dunbar macaroni, relax, read some Pat Conroy and prepare for an adventure!