Making The Old -- and The Good -- New Again

By James Parrish Coleman -- a/k/a Jimbo Coleman

A later edition. Early Editions had a white

spine, and ads for long extinct local business.

Gulf Coast Gourmet was compiled by my late mother, Jane S. Coleman, in the early 1960s. The book was a fund raiser for the Foley Woman's Club.

The illustrations are the original work of a very talented artist named Marion Dyer. The book has been in print for many, many years; but has the simple fault of assuming you know about Gulf seafood and really know how to cook. I'll cook through the book (and my childhood), explain how Jane Coleman cooked, and tell a lot of family stories in the process. I like to cook. I will share what I have, and hope you like it. That's the spirit of this blog. Bon Appetit.

Team Coleman

Frances Coleman -- Chief Gardener, seen here with one-third of the Holy Trinity* (grown by gardening mentor Paul McNair) -- the only woman from Louisiana whose culinary skills consist of making coffee and cooking rice in a rice cooker. She is also the best person to have taste anything, because she will not say, "It has hints of chocolate and blueberry that I don't think my palate was prepared for." She just says, "Hmmmm," or, "Perfect; don't mess with it." If she likes it, it is good.  She is the editorial page editor of the Mobile Press-Register and the most patient person on the planet. Her task is to say "this is boring and self-indulgent" when necessary.

Sarah Coleman -- Proof positive that members of the 1940s-style "work hard/play hard" school are still in existence. Sarah knows how to have fun. She is an excellent eater, who would rather be cooked for than cook. She has inherited Jane Coleman's ability to throw a party, and is well practiced in that art. Sarah is a law student at Loyola in New Orleans. Her job is to keep me from embarassing her.

James Coleman -- My son, the wiggy-brilliant cross between Eyor (the donkey in Winnie The Pooh) and the Mad-Hatter. He is a good cook, and moves in the kitchen the same way I do. We don't have to talk to each other when we cook together. James is a force of nature who is as confident in life as he is in the kitchen. He is starting law school in the fall, after deciding he did not want to be the world's leading expert of Old English dream poems with a Ph.D. in English Literature. He has done extensive research on hangovers. His passion is politics, his job here is cooking.

Claudia Coleman -- She is my big sister. Her job is to carp, complain and keep the recipes true to Gulf Coast Gourmet-- and she does a great job. She is also completely loyal and never on time.
Jane Coleman -- My late mother is the member of the team who really created all of this. I just don't think we would have as much fun in life as we do if she had not been there for us. She had lots of flaws and foibles, but Jane Coleman was a giving and loving person who went all out. No half measures. She went all the way, or not at all. That is her gift to all of us.

Mutt Coleman -- I like to pretend that everyone is as having as much fun with this blog as I am. On the right, in the kitchen where it all began in 1960. This coy shot was taken 1983, probably at Easter. I am a small town lawyer who likes to cook. 

*celery as is onion, celery, green pepper (Patris, et Filiiet Spiritus Sancti)