Interview with Bobbi Jo Lathan – Author of “An American Gal’s CookBook”

Bobbi Jo Lathan leaves no stove un-turned as she takes you on her American culinary adventure across all 50 states. This Skillet Diva whets your appetite with over 240 pages of her delicious recipes,

Bobbi Jo is a cookbook author, actress, musical comedienne and master of improv, whose talents have ranged from Broadway to Hollywood. She began her acting career in the Broadway production of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, and went on to play the lead role of the Madam in the Las Vegas production as well as in several touring companies. A few years after her Broadway debut, Bobbi Jo was flown to Los Angeles to shoot a television pilot. While the pilot wasn’t picked up, she decided to stay in L.A. and quickly landed guest-starring roles on popular television shows such as Seinfeld, The Larry Sanders Show and Beverly Hills 90210, to name a few. She then came up with the idea to integrate her love of cooking with her acting, and wrote her own one-woman Food Musical entitled, Cookin’ With A Right Smart Of Love. This led to the writing of her first cookbook for the show, by the same title, followed by The Skillet Diva Cookbook and now, her third cookbook entitled “An American Gal’s Cookbook.

1.How has your background as an actress affected how you write cookbooks?

It depends…each recipe takes on its own life…and like acting, you do the research and add your own individuality and touch to each role or dish.

2. Who is this book for, in your mind?

America, the beautiful.

3. Why is home cooking so important?

Well, dadgum! Who wants to eat out with a darn mask on, for heaven’s sake! Give me home-cookin’ any day.

4. How do you come up with your recipe list? Do you create a contents page and then think, oh, I need to come up with recipes for mains, sides, etc., or do you have recipes in mind and you’re looking for a structure that makes sense to organize them?

It all depends, in An American Gal’s Cookbook, the recipe came about from the research about the state or region…then, I’d read something interesting about, for instance, the Montana Cattlewomen’s Association, and then order a nice Bison Tomahawk to grill for that state. Or read about a wild cherry that grows in the foothills of Wyoming, and order some chokeherries and make their jelly

5. How have you developed these skills? Is it important for you to share them with readers?

My Daddy was a Bird Colonel in the Air Force, so we moved every 2 years to new states all around the country. But, we’d always get to spend every summer with my Grandmama and Granddaddy Watson in her country house in Woodville, Florida outside of Tallahassee. You’d wake up every mornin’ to the smell of fresh coffee and venison sausage cookin’ up in my Grandmama’s cast iron skillet. She taught me how to cook everything from freshly fried frog-legs to speckled butter beans and fresh blueberry cobbler. Whenever we’d bake a cake, right before we’d put it in the oven, she’d always smile at me and say, “Now, we’re cookin’ with a right smart of love.”

6. Is there one-must try recipe on here you can tease?

Well, you know that old sayin’…you can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl…that’s me. I do love my Country Cream-Style Corn…nobody makes this anymore so when I serve it they all light up like a a big ol’ Christmas tree and ask for seconds! I also love my country ham with grits and red-eye gravy…and, by the way, I tell you in the cookbook where to get the best country ham online as well as other products you won’t find in the grocery store.

7. What’s one tip for aspiring cookbook authors that you wish someone had told you when you were starting out?

Gee, when an idea comes to me…I just do it, whether anybody thinks I’m nuts or not. I follow my inspiration…if it makes me smile…I usually move on it.

 

Gee, when an idea comes to me…I just do it, whether anybody thinks I’m nuts or not. I follow my inspiration…if it makes me smile…I usually move on it.

1- This cookbook is so much fun! It leaves no stove un-turned as it takes you on an American culinary adventure across all 50 states.

2- An American Gal’s Cookbook is not only 230 pages of delicious recipes, but gives you the fascinating histories and stories about how these uniquely American recipes came about. Who knew that spaghetti and meatballs was an American invention!

3-You really get a sense of the incredible abundance of ideas and creativity expressed by the great people of this country. The freedoms in America enabled each culture to adapt to whatever each region of our country that they settled in,  had to offer and they came up with new ways of combining each others’ foods and spices to create something brand new, called American cuisine.

4-The cookbook is broken down into the sections of our country…Southern States, Northern States, Midwestern states, the Rocky Mountain States, the West Coast, Alaska and Hawaii, with recipes from each state. Did you know that the Texas Corned- Dog was a German invention? And, this may be off the subject of food, but in the back of the book I have some fun facts from all 50 states. Like, did you know that windshield wipers were invented by a woman from Alabama in 1903? Or that in 1885 a young pharmacist from Texas invented the soft drink, Dr Pepper. (and there’s no period after Dr)

5-Did you know that Wisconsin is not just known for its cheese, but is also one of our nation’s top cranberry producers? Or that Minnesota’s 450 turkey farmers raise 44 million turkeys a year! Or that today, over 30% of our U.S. farmers and ranchers are women! 

1- This cookbook is so much fun! It leaves no stove un-turned as it takes you on an American culinary adventure across all 50 states.

2- An American Gal’s Cookbook is not only 230 pages of delicious recipes, but gives you the fascinating histories and stories about how these uniquely American recipes came about. Who knew that spaghetti and meatballs was an American invention!

3-You really get a sense of the incredible abundance of ideas and creativity expressed by the great people of this country. The freedoms in America enabled each culture to adapt to whatever each region of our country that they settled in,  had to offer and they came up with new ways of combining each others’ foods and spices to create something brand new, called American cuisine.

4-The cookbook is broken down into the sections of our country…Southern States, Northern States, Midwestern states, the Rocky Mountain States, the West Coast, Alaska and Hawaii, with recipes from each state. Did you know that the Texas Corned- Dog was a German invention? And, this may be off the subject of food, but in the back of the book I have some fun facts from all 50 states. Like, did you know that windshield wipers were invented by a woman from Alabama in 1903? Or that in 1885 a young pharmacist from Texas invented the soft drink, Dr Pepper. (and there’s no period after Dr)

5-Did you know that Wisconsin is not just known for its cheese, but is also one of our nation’s top cranberry producers? Or that Minnesota’s 450 turkey farmers raise 44 million turkeys a year! Or that today, over 30% of our U.S. farmers and ranchers are women!

Look, for over 240 years, all us Southerners, Yankees, Corn Huskers, Hoosiers, Cheeseheads and Buckeyes have managed to agree to disagree. But miraculously co-elbowed our way to creating one nation, under GOD, indivisible, with liberty (and beef and vegan hotdogs!) and justice for all! So, my  weary hope is that all my readers will know after reading this cookbook, that, contrary to what some try to make us believe, The United States of America is still “cookin with a right smart of love.”

 In stores in December 

Bobbi Jo Lathan leaves no stove un-turned as she takes you on her American culinary adventure across all 50 states. This Skillet Diva not only whets your appetite with over 240 pages of her delicious recipes, but also offers you the fascinating histories and stories of how these uniquely American foods evolved. By the end of this unusual cookbook, you will rest assured that this nation’s abundance , diversity and individuality is still alive and well. As Bobbi Jo says, “Just look around. In every bite of corn-dog dipped in mustard, in every piled-high Navajo taco, in every plate of fresh shrimp scampi, every slice of shoo-fly pie, or in every bowl of crawfish gumbo, there is proof that this great country, called The United States of America, is still “cookin’ with a right smart of love.” Buy now An American Gal’s CookBook 

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