Local author releases 2nd edition of her cookbook

Published 11:42 am Tuesday, November 16, 2021

The holidays are a great time of year for cooking, and a local author has plenty of delicious recipes for this season.

Connie Martin, a lifetime Washington Parish resident, has published the second edition of her cookbook, “Delicious Recipes by My Mom and Me and other Great Southern Cooks.” The first edition published several years ago, and this updated second edition contains 66 brand new recipes.

Martin describes herself as a “pastor’s wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, teacher and cook.” Her cookbook contains a total of 227 recipes in a variety of categories, including party or shower foods, soups and salads, desserts and breakfast, lunch and dinner entrees.

Martin said the cookbook is a collection of various recipes she has collected over the years. She and her husband, Bro. Lynn Martin, have had the privilege of eating many delicious meals in many church homecomings and revivals over the last 45 years, and some of her favorite meals are included in the book.

Martin has made some of the dishes for church events at Ben’s Ford Baptist Church, and that led to the eventual creation of the cookbook.

“Some of the young ladies in our church asked me to help teach them how to make some of these dishes,” she said. “I did a small class where I picked out 35 of my favorite recipes that I thought they could learn, and we just made a ‘cookbook’ out of them as we went along. At the end of the class, they asked if I could make an even bigger cookbook, and that’s how this book came to be.”

Martin said that she printed 700 copies of the first edition, and they quickly sold out.

She noted that the recipes are designed to be simple, and not require any rare ingredients or cooking techniques. She wants them to be dishes that any cook can prepare, regardless of skill level.

“Cooking is a way to create good memories,” she said. “There’s that pride you feel when you take care of family or loved ones. It’s a blessing to see smiles on the faces of those who tasted your food.”

At Ben’s Ford Baptist Church, where her husband pastored and is still on staff after 43 years, the ladies make homemade candy for the elderly and sick and shut-ins for Christmas. They get together and have a candy-making class using the recipes in Martin’s book. There are 87 recipes in the dessert section.

Martin said it is difficult to pick out some of her favorite recipes from the book, but one that especially comes to mind is her “Hamburger Steak with Coffee Gravy.” She is also proud of a recipe for “Fresh Cream Corn” that can turn regular frozen corn kernels into a creamy, delicious delight that “tastes like you spent days putting up fresh corn.”

The book also contains helpful lists and diagrams of such concepts as “Cooking Hints and Tips,” “Ingredient Substitutions” and proper napkin folding and table setting.

Martin’s cookbook retails for $12 and there were 500 copies printed for this edition. They are available at a variety of locations, including the Ben’s Ford Baptist Church office (985-732-7617), from Martin herself (985-516-5302), Simmons Flea Market on Louisiana Highway 21, Cuckoo’s Nest beauty salon, Merle Norman in Bogalusa, Missy’s Nail Salon and Caroline Knight at Sandy’s Kids.

“It will be a favorite Christmas gift for many people,” Martin said. “If you love delicious food, you will love this book.”