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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

Facebook Author Page



Lone Star Book Reviews
of Texas books appear weekly

Elizabeth Ethredge, who lives in The Woodlands, Texas, is a CIED graduate student minoring in English at SHSU. Joanna Baker, Matthew Bennett, Reina Shay Broussard, Gary Horton, Julian Kindred, all in the English graduate program at SHSU, were members of Dr. Paul Ruffin’s Editing/Publishing Practicum (Spring 2014), which produced this book.


Ethredge, Elizabeth

Cooking with the Texas Poets Laureate

Texas Review Press

978-1680030204 Paperback, 158 pages; spiral bound, $22.95

May 7, 2015


Cooking with the Texas Poets Laureate is a gem. The slim volume contains a bounty of riches in terms of words, wisdom, and recipes. The book features eleven Texas poets laureate — luminaries like Jan Seale, Walt McDonald, Red Steagall, Karla K. Morton, and more — who share their poetry, essays, and family recipes. It is a feast of offerings that you want to take time and savor.




Here's one example — “Eating Texas” from Jan Seale, the 2012 Texas Poet Laureate.


Eating Texas


          It’s taken a long apprenticeship

          to make waffles in the shape of Texas.

          First there were mountains over Waco.

          Then the Panhandle sank.


          A few more false starts when

          the Red River swamped Oklahoma

          and the Rio Grande dripped into Mexico.

          Now I can make perfect ones.


          All I have to do is take care

          to stop pouring the batter a little shy

          of El Paso, Dalhart, and Texarkana.

          For some reason, Brownsville needs more.


          Otherwise, my grandchildren complain they

          don’t have the tail of Texas to bite off.


She shares classic recipes for roast and gravy, and Frijoles Borrachos (Drunk Beans), as well as fun innovative recipes like Papaya Mama Cobbler and Gloria’s Mexican Limeade (made with celery).


Most of the recipes in this book are Texan and Southern favorites, like brisket and homemade BBQ sauce, apricot fried pies, a grandmother’s recipe for chow-chow, cornbread, grits, and ham. There are quite a few intriguing recipes, like Bacon Bloody Mary, Chimayo Cocktail, and Cherry Coke Jell-O Salad.


I found dollops of humor sprinkled liberally throughout and some sage advice about cooking, writing, and living.


Poetry is food for the soul, and food doesn’t just fill stomachs, but also builds relationships and precious memories. Cooking with the Texas Poets Laureate gives readers the best of both.


Here’s an excerpt from Alan Birkelbach, the 2005 Poet Laureate of Texas, which perfectly illustrates that:


“I can only bring you my words.

And my hands. These hands. I know these hands.

I have always had them. I can vouch for them.

And maybe also I will bring you a hamburger

From a really good place I know.

These are three things that I know are true.”


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