Extension office: Cooking up gift ideas

Published 8:32 pm Monday, December 13, 2010

The Pike County Extension Office isn’t the usual Christmas shopping place but it’s a great place for those who are looking for inexpensive gifts that keep on giving all throughout the year.

Former Pike County Extension Coordinator Tammy Powell is filling in at the office this week and is busy filling orders for the three cookbooks that are available through the Extension System.

“The Auburn Cookbook was revised in 2002 and it is a staple, not just in Alabama, but all across the nation,” Powell said. “The reason is that it’s much more than a book of recipes. It includes the nutritional analysis of the recipes and has sections on basic cooking, meal planning and food safety. And, it has recipes for all types of foods from appetizers to fruits and vegetables.”

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Powell said a feature of the Auburn Cookbook that is especially helpful for both learning and seasoned cooks is the equivalency chart.

The chart tells cooks what ingredients can be substituted for others without taking anything away from the taste of the final product.

“The chart tells you how to substitute garlic powder for garlic or all purpose for self-rising,” Powell said. “If the recipe calls for cake flour and you only have all purpose flour, the chart will tell how to substitute. It contains many substitutes.

The Auburn Cookbook gives frying temperatures and even has a section of cooking terms.

“The book is a ‘whopping’ $10 price tag,” Powell said, laughing.

The Extension Office also has a Cooking Alabama Wild Game cookbook for a “whopping” $4.

“The wild game cookbook has every wild game recipe that you want or don’t want,” Powell said. “From deer and turkey to woodchuck, beaver and bear. The cookbook gives cooking information for whatever kind of meat you want. If you want fatty game, the book will suggest possum or raccoon. For meat with medium, rabbit or muskrat will do and, for lean meat, venison or beaver.”

The wild game cookbook also has directions for the different methods of cooking, wrapping and freezing fish and wild game.

The third cookbook available at the Pike County Extension office is on food preservation.

“It teachers you how to can and freeze fruits, vegetables and meat,” Powell said. “It is one of the few books that will give you everything you need on how to can and freeze. It, like the others, is very affordable at $9.”

To reserve a cookbook for under the Christmas tree or as a stocking stuffer, call 566-0985.