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Lone Star Book Reviews
By Rashda Khan

 

Rashda Khan is the food columnist for the San Angelo Standard-Times and is the 2015 president of the San Angelo Writers’ Club. She also writes fiction as award-winning author Mina Khan.

 

You can find her on the following social networks:

Website/Blog: Stories by Mina Khan http://minakhanbooks.com/

Facebook Author Page www.facebook.com

/Mina.Khan.Author

 

Lone Star Book Reviews
of Texas books appear weekly
at LoneStarLiterary.com

A veteran Texas-based journalist, John DeMers is the author of fifty published books on subjects from food and drink, to Texas culture, history, to a popular series of crime novels set in far West Texas. Most recently the author of Cordúa: Foods of the Americas (Bright Sky Press, 2013), John has published earlier works with Bright Sky Press, including Follow the Smoke: 14,783 Miles of Great Texas Barbecue and the Chef Brett adventures, beginning with Marfa Shadows. He lives in Houston and Marfa.

JOHN DeMERS

The Delicious Mischief: 100 Favorite Recipes from 25 Years of Eating & Drinking on the Radio

NONFICTION / FOOD AND COOKING

Houston: Bright Sky Press (October 2014)

Hardcover, 176 pages, 978-1-939055-82-8

$29.95

Reviewed by Rashda Khan for Lone Star Literary Life, 4.5.2015

 

 

The best thing about The Delicious Mischief: 100 Favorite Recipes from 25 Years of Eating & Drinking on the Radio is author John DeMers’ stories.

 

While the cookbook celebrates DeMers’ shows twenty five years on air, he pulls his stories from throughout his life – childhood in Louisiana, his globe-trotting days as the food editor with United Press International, and his time in Texas. In his warm, laid-back style, the host of the weekly "Delicious Mischief" food and wine show broadcast in several Texas cities shares stories of interviewing Julia Child and about family fishing trips.

 

Many of the stories give intimate glimpses of bigger-than-life celebrities. DeMers asked Cajun chef Paul Prudhomme if it was difficult to make his trademark smile happen after his wife’s death. Prudhomme’s reply: “It was relatively easy, because she would have wanted me to go on and do what I’m doing and have fun. That’s a fact…She would want me to it the best that I could. When I had to be on, it was easy, because I could be on for her.”

 

There are flashes of wonderful insight, such as: “In the hyphenated world of immigrant cultures in American, Tom [Perini] taught me that we are all Part-Cowboy.”

 

The recipes in this book are mostly inspired by his eating experiences, but some he came up on his own. I found the latter to be creative, but easier to follow. My favorite was the Marfa Meatloaf created by DeMer’s fictional character Chef Brett Baldwin, the star of his Marfa mysteries. Of course, you have to adjust spicing to suit personal tastes, but this recipe makes delicious good use of tortilla chips and tomato salsa.

 

Having an index of recipes and a table of contents would have made this cookbook more user-friendly, but I enjoyed leafing through it and discovering new surprises. Also, the mouth-watering color photographs are a big bonus. The Delicious Mischief is part food memoir, part travelogue, part cookbook and part coffee-table book. All in all, it’s a gorgeous and entertaining addition to any foodie’s collection.

 

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