Musician’s cookbook just same song, second verse

Layne Lynch

Aside from her fame as a Grammy Award-winning country music artist, Trisha Yearwood also has a self-proclaimed gusto for making delicious Southern comfort food.

With her mother and sister serving as her co-authors, Yearwood released her second cookbook, “Home Cooking with Trisha Yearwood,” earlier this month.

Her previous cookbook, “Georgia Cooking in an Oklahoma Kitchen,” served as a simplistic and basic approach to Southern cooking.

In this book, we see Yearwood creating recipes so similar to those in her first book that “Home Cooking” could almost serve as a second volume to her first cookbook. She manages to belt out a few culinary high notes with her desserts and eats, but the overall commonality and blandness of the recipes makes this a disappointing cookbook.

Typically, when someone buys a cookbook, it’s with some faith that the author is both a connoisseur of and expert on the methods the book is preaching.
Yearwood herself says in her introduction, “We all tend to stick to what we know, and I’m usually a bit wary about trying something new on my family.”

A theme of safety over risk and complication rings true throughout most of her cookbook. But if Southern cooking is something you aren’t well-versed in, this book is a perfect initiation into Southern hospitality.

Another thing that needs to be acknowledged is the lack of commentary throughout this cookbook, which is disappointing. Yearwood seems to believe in the idea that basic instructions and beautiful photos serve as enough for her readers. Above the recipes are short introductions and explanations of the roots of the recipes, but they barely skim the surface.

Yearwood missed an essential step — she needed to explain why it is that she loves the art of Southern cooking and not just country music.

With that said, this book is for the beginning- to intermediate-level cooks. Her recipes are suited to three P’s: picnics, potlucks and parties. The hearty casseroles, decadent desserts and succulent meats will undoubtedly please the masses.

Yearwood could have improved her book by including a healthy section, however, expanding on her recipe explanations and taking risks on recipes that are much too traditional for a reader’s taste.

All in all, the book is better left on the shelf.

Grade: C-