When Cristall Brown was asked to put together a few favorite recipes for this month’s “Country Kitchen,” it didn’t take her long to find them.
They were all in a special cookbook that she and a covey of kinfolk produced a couple of years ago.
The cookbook, “Tate Family Favorites: Sharing Our Best,” is a 115-page collection of recipes from the children and grandchildren of the late Will and Carrie Tate of Madison County.
Cristall’s husband Pat is one of Will and Carrie’s seven grandsons. Pat is a partner in Tate Farms, along with his uncle, Homer Tate, and three of Homer’s sons: Mike, Steve and Jeff.
The idea for a Tate family cookbook sprang up back in 1996, when Cristall and the Tate boys’ wives launched Cotton Pickin’ Pumpkins, a fun-filled fall farm tour for kids of all ages. As part of that venture, they opened an on-the-farm gift shop and decided a collection of family recipes would be a nice addition to the inventory.
The cookbook was published in time for the 1997 Cotton Pickin’ Pumpkins fest and was an instant hit. The first 500 copies sold in no time; it’s now in its second printing. For Cristall, finding recipes for the cookbook was no problem; she has tons of them.
“I love to cook,” she says. “I cook a meal every night, and I mean a meat, three vegetables–the works. I don’t ever have to cook; I want to cook.”
Cristall, Pat and their two children, Clay, 7and Caitlen, 5, live right behind the Tate Farms office, in the renovated 91-year-old farmhouse where Will and Carrie spent their 77 years of married life.
According to “Tate Family Favorites,” Carrie was a top-notch cook, especially in Will’s book.
As Mr. Will used to say, “I’ll eat whatever she puts out there. I ain’t never turned it down yet.”
Following are some of Cristall’s contributions to “Tate Family Favorites.”
The cookbook will be available in the Cotton Pickin’ Pumpkins gift shop in October. If you can’t make it to Tate Farms, or if you can’t wait until October to get a copy, call Cristall at (256) 828-7799 or write “Tate Family Favorites,” in care of Tate Farms, 8414-A Moores Mill Road, Meridianville AL 35759. The cookbook is $9.95 plus $2 shipping and handling.