Friday we had the pleasure of traveling to Oxford to see John T. Edge read from and sign his newly released, revised book Southern Belly: The Ultimate Food Lover’s Companion to the South at Off Square Books. John T. is the soul of Southern charm and wit. Even more than that though, he is filled with a remarkable passion. His passion goes far beyond just the food we all love to eat. John T. longs to bring us the stories of the people who bring us the food. He succeeds beautifully.
I would say that this latest excellent book from John T. will have a proud place on our shelves, but that’s not what he would want. John T. specifically says he hopes people will throw the book in the glove compartment of their cars. That’s excellent advice. Whenever you find yourself in a new area, or if you want to know the story behind that great place just down the street, this is the book you need.
Southern Belly isn’t exactly a book you read though. It’s not a long-form narrative. It is a collection of bursts of John T. charm and wit as he shares stories of people and places and pleasures. I dare anyone to pick up the book, open it to a random page, and not be immediately excited about a road trip. The book is just that delightful. All the places it will take you will be delightful too.
Adult supervision note: Considering that this is a entry about John T. Edge, you would understandably expect photos of Mr. Edge. However, whenever Papa Squirrel finds himself in Mr. Edge’s company, he also typically finds himself in possession of a considerable serving of bourbon. Hence, Papa Squirrel’s photos were, to say the least, not up to the standards we here at the blog attempt to uphold. Unfortunately, Papa Squirrel has a rather selfish attitude when it comes to a choice between his bourbon and photos for his readers. Where was Mama Squirrel you might ask. Well, there was the matter of the pimento cheese…