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Certainly I would have loved to attend the Masters tournament at Augusta, Ga. For that matter I would enjoy just walking around the grounds and drinking in the beauty of the vibrant azaleas and lush green landscape before or after the big golf game.
Cruising around the Masters neighborhood during my annual winter sojourn in nearby Aiken, S.C., only increases my desire to enter the Augusta National Golf Club to see firsthand what I view on TV. I get so close but am still so far away because the guards at the gates are anything but examples of southern hospitality. So I just give them my million-dollar Michigan smile and leave.
But, thanks to my eagle-shopping eye I did bring home a piece of Augusta that is entertaining, and that I understand more than the sports world. I don’t play golf, but I can cook.
Tea-Time at the Masters is the cookbook produced by the Junior League of Augusta and like other Junior League cookbooks around the country, it is an outstanding collection of regional recipes. In this case, the Masters is recognized not only in a creative cover, but also with recipes contributed by wives of Masters winners and from well-known golf clubs including Pebble Beach, Pinehurst, and Firestone.
The Augusta group was first organized in 1925 as the Junior Workers and in 1928 was sponsored by leagues in Columbia and Charleston, S.C., to become a member of the Junior Leagues of America.
The cookbook, now in the 17th printing, was first published in 1977 to pay tribute to the Masters while showcasing the culinary skills of members and friends. The book was inducted into the McIlhenny Hall of Fame for having sold more than 100,000 copies. Augusta hostesses’ preference for spring brunches, near the time of the Masters, is reflected in a number of brunch menus. Southern hospitality is also emphasized in large appetizer and beverage chapters. Bloody Bull is claimed to be a traditional Masters celebration drink, preferably served Saturday morning.
Stymie, also in the beverage chapter, has an even higher status than the Masters. The recipe is from Royal and Ancient Golf Club at St. Andrews, Scotland, said to be the oldest golf course in the world. Stymie is a drink that combines whiskey and brandy in a bottle with sweet and dry vermouths. David Ogilvie, the head professional at the Augusta golf club in its early years, once was assistant pro at the Scottish course.
As expected, there’s a southern drawl in the 13 menus listed, in the large group of peach recipes, and in Georgian traditional foods including grits with cheese and sweet potato pone.
Peach Fuzz Buzz reads like a good summer cocktail, but I am more pleased to find a recipe for pickled peaches that I will use in August when local peaches are in the stores because I lost my mother’s recipe. Celebrity recipes are familiar old favorites, including Mamie Eisenhower’s pastry, Winnie Palmer’s zucchini bread, and Barbara Nicklaus’ Skillet Pineapple Upside Down Cake.
Tea-Time at the Masters is available online, www.jlaugusta.org, or by calling 1-888-JLT-Time. According to the Augusta Visitors Information Center the price including tax is $22.68.
Masters’ Saturday Morning Bloody Bull
1 quart tomato juice
1 10 ½- ounce can beef bouillon
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
¼ teaspoon Tabasco
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Dash celery seed
Vodka or gin
Mix all ingredients but liquor and chill. Put jigger of vodka or gin over ice in glass and add chilled mixture. Recipe yields 8 to 10 servings of 6 to 8 ounces.
Mary Alice Powell is a retired Blade food editor. Contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org