This book is one that has my cookery-shelf ultimate accolade - not chevrons or crowns in this case, but several pages with greasy thumb-marks, and at least three places where the book just falls open by itself (her recipe for Country Cornbread being one). In fact the only problem that I have with it is that it is so fat and so packed with goodies that it makes my wrists ache when I read it for too long! It's just the kind of cookery book that finds favour on my shelves - well thought out, clear and friendly. In fact, it very much feels as if you are having a chat over one of Sheila's delicious muffins or fried green tomato sandwiches (yes, as served at The Whistlestop Café).
Which is another good thing about the book - not only does Sheila give her favourite US recipes, you are party to her travels (with food of course) around the country as she collects the best of regional cooking. There are some great asides, interviews and snippets of information. And she has managed to get friends and restaurant owners to part with memorable recipes, which, unlike some restaurant recipes, you could easily achieve t home - and find even easier to eat.
A few words of warning. Some may not care for the colour scheme in the book - it is very red, white and blue (lots of very blue-printed text), but personally I liked it, and also felt that the small line illustrations (are they engravings, woodcuts or etchings, I wonder?) set-off the text nicely. Also, this is not a book to buy if you have to see a photograph of the finished dish in order to be able to cook it, because there are none. Everything is of course measured in US cups, and with US cooker settings (Farenheit) which does not present too much of a difficulty as there are some translations for other users.
So go on, treat yourself to a glass of The Champagne of the South (iced tea) use up that glut of green tomatoes, and take yourself off on a tour of America - you owe your taste-buds no less.