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If there is anywhere in our house where humor is a must, it’s in the kitchen. Jan and I both like to eat but neither of us likes to cook. As a result, we tend to cook the same thing over and over…and thank God we love leftovers!

As if magical, gourmet meals will somehow appear at the dinner table through osmosis, we have an entire shelf full of cookbooks. Every now and then we will pull one out and vow to “spice up” our culinary skills only to be confronted with a list of ingredients that are not in our pantry and most are not in our vocabulary.

About 18 months ago, we decided we wanted a cookbook with ingredients we could actually find and a cookbook that made the cooking process more fun. We had a difficult time finding just what we wanted so we published our own. We teamed up with my former employee association when I was still working for USDA – a group called TASCOE. Now these folks are downhome, country people who know how to cook and they furnished the recipes.

TASCOE CookbookThe cookbook is titled, “TASCOE’S ‘recipes that will keep your belly and backbone from bumping’ Cookbook!” In the process of developing this cookbook, I discovered a lot of the cookbooks we have on our shelf devote way too many pages to information that has nothing to do with cooking.

One cookbook had advice about weed control. If weeds are growing in your kitchen, it could be time for another kitchen. Another one talked about composting with visual phrases like “rotted in a pile” and “unprocessed animal manure!” In our lawsuit-happy society, they should worry that a reader may take it for a recipe and sue the publisher for “digestive tract anguish!”

Furniture touch-up is another popular category in some cookbooks. Are we working here or cooking? Others offer helpful ways to organize grocery coupons in an envelope to save time at checkout. How about the poor person behind them in line? Who’s going to help make up for their lost time?

Pest control is another “biggie” in many cookbooks. One counseled, “if rabbits are nibbling in your garden”, use talcum powder (on the rabbit or the plants?). How about “if rabbits are nibbling in your garden, shoot the critters and find a chicken recipe you like, substituting the word ‘rabbit’!” It probably tastes like chicken anyhow.

Another helpful tip I saw actually would come in handy at our house. It was about “scorched pots and pans.” I just printed it out and gave it to Jan. No need to bother y’all with the details of that chat!

And most of the cookbooks had way too many pages devoted to cooking tips and conversion tables. If you don’t yet know how to boil water or how to tell a cup from a tablespoon, you probably don’t have many dinner guests anyway.

All you will find in this humorous cookbook are great tasting recipes like:

Sugar “never met a calorie I didn’t like” Cookies
Mississippi “or one of them there Southern states” Salad
Oven “perfect for when the preacher is long winded” Stew
Fudgy “if diet food tasted like chocolate, we’d all be skinny” Chocolate Pie
BA’s Cowboy “just use your smoke alarm as a timer” Brunch
Gooey Butter Toffee “so many calories you just ignore’em” Cake
Unbaked “use your oven as storage” Chocolate-Oatmeal Cookies
“From skinny dippin’ to chunky dunkin’” Salsa
Chocolate “forget love, I want more of these” Covered Strawberries
Vern’s “and we ain’t givin’ it back to him” Baked Chicken

Just go to to order yours. We have a guarantee – if this cookbook does not put a smile on your face and great food in your tummy, your sense of humor and basic cooking skills need a lot of work and we will gladly refund your money!

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