The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook – Delicious Wants You to Kiss Her Grits, but Will Give You a Cookbook Instead

lee brothers southern cookbook
**UPDATE** By the way, yes, this cookbook won not one, but TWO James Beard Awards: the 2007 James Beard Award Cookbook of the Year and Food of the Americas. (Wait, why am I giving this book away?!)

The Short: Leave a comment to win The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook.

The Long: Contrary to what you may believe about last names, the Lee brothers are not Chinese. Do you know any Chinese men – or men of any Asian nationality for that matter – named Matt or Ted? Matt, maybe because it’s short for “Matthew” which is from the Bible, but Ted?

Matt and Ted are totally white. In fact, the Lee Brothers are so white that I couldn’t put the entire cover of The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook in the picture because their shining white faces caused too much of a glare.

However, that is not the reason why I am giving away this cookbook that the publishing company so generously sent me to review several months ago. That would be racist, and if there’s one thing I am not, it’s racist! I have a good friend who’s white.

I am giving away this cookbook because…after quitting my job, I finally found myself with the time I didn’t have before to do basic, everyday things that I have to do like clean my apartment, pay bills, go through stacks of magazines still in their protective plastic mailing covers, eat, and of course, take showers. Everyday things took all of three days before I was left again with time on my hands. Gloriously lounging around my house in blue silk pajamas like a small Asian female version of Heff lost its glamour when buxom bunnies didn’t show up after seven-and-a-half hours, and strangely enough, it had been so long since I had experienced “leisure” that I had no idea what to do. I was at a loss.

For all of about sixteen seconds.

Whom are we kidding, here?!?! I can go to the Farmers Market without making up some weird excuse about a sale on supplies at Office Depot! I can cook! (Real food!) I can bake! I can blog! I can read!

Good Lord, I can read. Books. Yes, I could finally read the books that had been sitting in precariously unbalanced stacks around my apartment for months. Novels. Short story collections. Non-fiction. Cookbooks. I finally got to lay on my bed for hours at a time, stomach down, A-for-Asian chest propped up on three pillows with a notepad and extra fine point Sharpie and flip through as of yet untouched cookbooks.

I am giving away The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook because I flipped through it, was charmed by the sincerity of the prose and the purity of the recipes, and want to share things like Sunday Fried Chicken, Red-Braised Beef Short Ribs, and Bacon Cheddar Grits (!) with someone.

red velvet cake
the teaser shot. (marketing 101)

Plus, I need to distract you eleven readers while I compose a thoughtful essay about the Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting I made from a recipe in the book (this ostensibly makes the book “used” but let’s just ignore that technical detail for the sake of this rare little display of generosity, ‘k?)

The Red Velvet Cake (cake, not cupcakes) is coming soon, but for now, leave a comment and I’ll randomly draw a winner when the number of comments is sufficient enough that I don’t look like that awkwardly short girl at the Bloomfield Hills Middle School monthly dance who stood in the corner by herself during “Eternal Flame” and “Glory of Love.”

That never happened to me.

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  • lillian

    ooh! that cake looks divine. (and that cookbook sounds marvelous! ;-) ). Not that I’m trying to be a mooch, I really ought comment more…anyway.

  • Anonymous

    wow, still waiting on acme oyster… and yes, ikko. i’ve pretty much given up on the latter.

    my vote goes to giving the book to lillian since she was the first to comment and it sounds like she would actually use it.

    keep writing.

  • Anonymous

    wow, still waiting on acme oyster… and yes, ikko. i’ve pretty much given up on the latter.

    my vote goes to giving the book to lillian since she was the first to comment and it sounds like she would actually use it.

    keep writing.

  • santos.

    don’t get me started on all the asian matts i know! and not only am i related to an asian ted, but i know an asian teddy as well.

    i am so totally being a mooch. i heart the lee bros. but not enough to buy their book. of course if they were asian….i am *so* not racist. i have a good friend who is married to a white person.

  • Teresa

    i am boldly going to own up to being a mooch. plus i’m going to give reasons for why i should get the book:

    1) i AM Chinese (though my last name is not Lee)

    2) i just moved back to CA from TN so i miss things such as that divine red velvet cake which you baked

    3) oh heck, you had me at “grits”. book or no book.

  • oddlyme

    The picture of the Lee Bros. is like the south – a tiny bit frightening but oddly alluring.

    My they are pale!

  • mel CH

    I’m not bitter about not winning the Cocktails book. Really, I’m not.

  • Sun

    Yum, the recipes sound delicious!

    I do know an Asian Matt & Ted actually…neither of them Lee’s though.

  • Gin and Tonic Extra Lime

    Yum! I’ve been intrigued by these guys for awhile. I believe they won a James Beard Award for this cookbook.

  • Rozzie

    I want it.

  • S. Carrico

    Living in Idaho, schooled in Olympia, and foodified in Asia, I’m admittedly…. Skeptical of southern cooking. But then again, I was once skeptical of tomatoes, so clearly, I cannot be trusted. I am a sucker for sincerity, though, so I too would like this treasure.

  • christianne

    I want it too! I’m a native Californian so I know little about grits – obviously I need an instructional guide.

  • christianne

    I want it too! I’m a native Californian so I know little about grits – obviously I need an instructional guide.

  • H. C.

    Haha, I saw that cookbook before and they’re definitely Lees in the Robert E. Lee sense. They are also unusually thin for Southern cooks — like a hybrid of Paula Deen and Giada de Laurentiis.

  • sarah

    HC: Though I don’t want to offend them, they’re also, “Lee” in the Sandra Lee sense.

    And that is so funny – I never thought about how skinny they are for southern cooks!

  • smoykim

    Let me help you not look so awkward by commenting (I’m a lurker). How was the cake? In my opinion, anything with cream cheese frosting has got to be divine!

  • Kate

    Yum! Excellent teaser shot of the Red Velvet Cake!

  • Laura

    I just found your blog today from taste spotters. Muuumm Greek food.

    I actually just had Red Velvet cake for the first time in all my 31 years last weekend and wondered what rock I had been living on to miss that!

  • lauriel

    I would love the book! Reading cookbooks, especially with those where the personal voice and stories comes through, is my favorite pastime. I’ve been casting longing glances at it for a while now, but haven’t committed… I like to torment myself a while before giving in to the temptation. :) But this would be sooo lovely~ Thank you for considering me!

  • XD

    pick me, delicious!

  • Julie

    i just made red velvet cupcakes! mmm and they were delicious. i’m curious to see what it’s like to make it in regular layer form. pick me, please!

  • Julie

    i just made red velvet cupcakes! mmm and they were delicious. i’m curious to see what it’s like to make it in regular layer form. pick me, please!

  • b104607

    I’m Chinese & my brother’s name is Teddey.

  • lunettes

    Mr. O and I were just having a conversation about Red Velvet Cake the other day, and now I want to make it. Looks gorgeous!

  • tristan

    i love red velvet anything… if i don’t win, i may have to take a trip down to the bookstore and copy the recipe. well, i’m not made of money, you know!

    p.s. love your site! am i being a KA? partly…

  • sarah

    b104607: please tell me you will change your name to matt. that would make my day

  • Tai

    I’ve been looking for a good red velvet cake recipe – and this looks amazing.

    Congrats on quitting your job. I wish I was so brave.

  • Joe Randazzo

    Great photo! I look at this book nearly everytime I’m in a bookstore. I’m hoping I get it for my birthday this year (which is only a couple weeks away!! ) :)

  • David

    that books sounds awesome. any book with recipes that will send me on the road to high blood pressure AND diabetes is a book worth reading.

  • Tiff

    I *heart* red-velvet cake. Growing up in Indonesia and Singapore, where food-colouring in desserts is a definite draw, what could be better than bright red chocolate cake….unless it’s in the shape of an armadillo.

  • Maggie

    My FAVORITE cake!

  • LJ S

    If you need some ideas on how to be a lady of leisure, get in touch. After having been restructured out of my job, I have come up with many exciting ways to fill a day. The downside: no money for cookbooks. You could consider it a trade…

  • Anonymous

    hey,
    i’m a total newbie to the food blogging world but just felt like dropping a line to let you know that for the past week, i’ve loved your site, style of cooking and am excited to try a few! also, i felt compelled to congratulate you on your quitting decision…it sounds like your soul and true self can breathe…take it all in and enjoy! the right fulfilling job is definitely out there “waiting for you”!

  • d*

    Love you site!
    and that cake looks delicious!

    how are the recipes?
    Are they easy to follow and not too complicated?

  • silverwolfmoon

    I’m moving to Montreal soon and realize I don’t have any cookbooks with comfort food recipes like red velvet cake, but more importantly cream cheese frosting to take with me. While your blog will still be accessible to this wannabe francophone lovely memories of your incredible generousity of helping a fresh out of college girl out will always always be remembered.

  • michelle @ Us vs. Food

    in my lifetime, i have know asian men named both matt and ted. therefore, i should have this book.

    that cake looks *good*. and i just ate, but now i’m craving cheese grits.

  • Sylvie

    Happy job searching. Southern food I love and am always searching for recipes from all sourches including Matt and Ted’s story. Why I should win this cookbook is because I will read it.

  • Sylvie

    Happy job searching. Southern food I love and am always searching for recipes from all sourches including Matt and Ted’s story. Why I should win this cookbook is because I will read it.

  • Jordan

    im not an asian named matt or ted… but jordan is odd eh? Whats up with that? haha. Anyhow… I love southern food, especially the red velvet variety.

  • Evette

    Totally love your site! The red velvet cake looks so yummy!!

  • Grace

    Will you be posting the recipe for this cake? I would love to try making it!

  • Kelly

    Ah, beautiful- I love red velvet!zoqtrnua

  • Megan

    I would love to win!

  • condiment

    Keep the darned book. It’s not in a list of the best 20 of all time or anything, but it’s pretty solid, the recipes are well-tested, and there are things in there that you are eventually going to want to make, but will settle for the version from Joy and ultimately be disappointed. The Southern books that are better are way more specific, probably more than you need – well, except for Edna Lewis’s – and the more general ones tend not to be that good.

  • Camila

    I adore southern food. I’m only 1/4 Southern, really, but that quarter is most emphatically from Georgia and frequently takes over my brain with a stranglehold longing for good grits and REAL sweet tea and cobblers.

    And sometimes I let slip a ‘y’all.’

    in other words, I also would love the book.

  • b104607

    Sorry Sarah, my name’s Barbara….

  • JEP

    Great post today!

  • Pupil

    Love the blog. SOCAL REPRESENT!!!

  • SCC

    What if my name’s Sarah and I’ve been to China?

  • MaggieB

    I would soooo love this cookbook. Thanks for running this little drawing. Love your tweets!

  • Chamy

    Sweet sweet Red Velvet, can’t wait!

  • Craig

    I’m just here for the pictures.

  • meeshellee

    I am Chinese and I am a Lee – strange coincidence, but not really? How many Lee’s are there in the world anyway?

  • Carolyn

    I’m from the South and would love this cookbook.

    chaffner@gte.net

  • Carolyn

    I’m from the South and would love this cookbook.

    chaffner@gte.net

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