Betsy Bramlett Updates Cookbook: We Eat Better Than Y'all Do

Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Betsy Bramlett
Betsy Bramlett

If you like Southern food interspersed with stories about the family folks who cook them, you’re in luck. Betsy Bramlett’s popular cookbook “We Eat Better Than Y’all Do” is currently available on Chattanooga area book store shelves in a new and improved version with more recipes, pictures and now captions.

“I was invited to a wedding last year and thought I’d give a cookbook as a present, but I didn’t have any left myself, so I started calling around town to just buy one. Everybody was sold out,” she said. “That’s when I knew I needed to get back to work.”

Instead of just reprinting her cookbook, Ms. Bramlett sought out “kith and kin” to add more southern recipes and photographs as well as get permission to identify faces and provide family histories to make more sense of the foods and the memories that go along with them.



“This time, instead of being threatened with my life or inheritance, my relatives were actually glad to help, because they began wondering who these people were in the pictures and the stories behind them and the recipes.”

“We Eat Better Than Y’all Do” runs the gamut…from heirloom recipes to tried and true ones…from family and friends stretching out through Mississippi, Tennessee, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, Alabama, New York, New Jersey and beyond.

“It’s got recipes like Nannie’s homemade mayonnaise, Mimi’s Slippery Sam Cake, Holy Chicken and 1000 Island dressing…something for everybody in all cooking categories,” she said, adding that some of the recipes - like Thad’s version of fruit cake - are just for laughs.

“The biggest category is desserts, and it’s a wonder we aren’t all as big as barns.”

One of her favorite tales and photographs involves cousin Eustace Winn, a McCallie School graduate who later earned his degree from the University of Mississippi.

“It’s like a chapter straight out of ‘Charlotte’s Webb’,” she said, and it’s appropriately told and pictured in the pork section of the book.

In short, Eustace rescued a runt pig out of an animal trap and took it to college with him. You’ll have to read about and see the snapshots of “Virgil” and Eustace in the cookbook to find out what happened to his porcine pal.

You’ll see many pictures and references to “Auntie Ann,” who considered Betsy one of her own children.

“To Auntie Ann, life was truly a banquet as in the statement made by the character “Mame” in Patrick Dennis’s acclaimed book, movie and Broadway show. Actually, my aunt met Patrick in-between husbands, and he said if he’d met her before writing the book the character would have been called ‘Auntie Ann’ instead. They went on many escapades. I had my share with her too, and I’m just happy that I lived to tell the story.”

Ms. Bramlett was born and raised in the Mississippi Delta. She graduated from Ole Miss with a degree in journalism and moved to Chattanooga to take a job at the Chattanooga News-Free Press. From there, she went into news broadcasting with WTVC-TV and now has her own company Betsy Bramlett Communications.

“We Eat Better Than Y’all Do” can be purchased at the Tennessee Aquarium, Sweetly Southern, Winder Benders, Olde Towne Books, Rock Point Books, Twiggs and Kingwood Pharmacy. For more information, contact the author at BBramlett@aol.com or give her a call at 624-4257.

Eustace with his pig, Virgil. Click to enlarge.
Eustace with his pig, Virgil. Click to enlarge.

El Matador Has Served Good Mexican Meals For More Than 20 Years

El Matador Mexican Restaurant, at 2233 Old Lafayette Road in Fort Oglethorpe, is a north Georgia staple, having maintained steady business for well over 20 years.  Only a short drive from downtown Chattanooga, it’s a convenient opportunity for a nice Mexican meal.     Its menu offers several pages of cuisine choices. With so many options it’s actually hard to ... (click for more)

Old Chicago Pizza And Taproom Now Open At Northgate

Do you have a craving for a tall pint of beer and hearty-style pizza? If so you may want to check out Chattanooga's newest dining establishment, Old Chicago Pizza and Taproom.    The chain establishment opened its first store at Boulder, Colo., in 1976, and the new Chattanooga eatery at 250 Northgate Mall is approximately its 100 th location.   ... (click for more)

Appeals Court Rules Against WWTA In Lawsuit Brought By Apartment Complex Over $8 Monthly Charges To Units

The Tennessee Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of an apartment complex that sued the Hamilton County Water and Wastewater Authority (WWTA) over an $8 monthly charge per apartment unit for preparing private service laterals. The court overturned a granting of summary judgment in favor of WWTA by former Judge Jackie Bolton. The appeals court said American Heritage Apartments, ... (click for more)

1 Dies In House Fire In Rhea County

Rhea County Fire Department officials said one person died in an early-morning house fire on Saturday. The call came at about 6:30 a.m. The brick residence is on Fisher Road. S tate arson investigators were on their way. (click for more)

It's Time To Insure Tennessee - And Response

Tennessee has a problem.  What is the value of saving the lives of 1,000 Tennesseans each year? That is exactly what can be expected if 176,000 Tennesseans gain health insurance through Insure Tennessee. A New England Journal of Medicine study showed that expansion of Medicaid was associated with a 6% reduction in yearly mortality for people in the 34-65 age group. Statistically, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Boots, Idiots & Guns

As the month of February was born this morning, allow me to hurriedly share three leftovers that were still in last month’s basket: * * * A first-grade teacher had endured a long day and was helping her students bundle up for the trip home when one of the little boys asked for help getting on his boots. Soon she could see why. Even with her pulling, and him pushing, the ... (click for more)