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Best Local Cookbook Houston 2000 - Supper Time, by Leon Hale, Winedale Publishing

It's not precisely a cookbook, as Houston Chronicle columnist Leon Hale makes clear in his author's note, but he has subtitled this gastro-memoir "Recollections and Recipes," so fair game. Who cares if most of the recipes are for Depression-era fare like pinto beans and corn bread. We like these things too. Never mind that Hale prefers store-mix corn bread to scratch. We're as lazy as the next guy. We even forgive Hale his obsessive "soupwich" (bread in soup, get it?), because he clearly made such a good time of figuring out how to feed himself when he woke up an unaccustomed bachelor at age 60. Supper Time is more about Hale's relationship with food -- and characteristically, it's a deceptively simple one -- than about the food itself, but it's a fine read, and it makes you hungry, which is one thing a cookbook should always do.

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