Mel Tillis Cookbook

Mel Tillis’ visit to town

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  • It was a Sunday afternoon when a girl friend at the time called me up and said let’s go see Mel Tillis on the base. He is having a concert today. Well, we decided to do just that and went on over and saw Mel Tillis. The concert consisted of all of his noteworthy songs, at least some that I remember, and a few extras. All in all it turned out to be a fun concert’ Mel graciously signed autographs and visited with everyone after his concert. His cookbook captured my attention so I bought it and went over to get Mel to sign it for me. I was also able to get he and myself in a picture together. Now this is a man who some years back served in the United States Air Force from 1951 to 1955 and had written over 1,000 songs and some of those were recorded. Songs like “Detroit City”,“ Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love To Town, “ Emotions,” “Snakes Crawl At Night, “I Ain’t Never,” “I’m Tired,” “Burning Memories,” and “Thoughts of a Fool” . His cookbook is mostly from his moms recipes he remembers from his younger days. He writes in his book “Mel”s A Cookin”.  “Big lima beans are easy to cook. I still cook a pot of beans or field peas once a week. Mama always served them over rice and I do the same. I keep one 25 pound bag of rice in my pantry at all times.” Well, seems like Mel and I do the same thing. I also find that beans and rice make a rather filling afternoon dinner after a hard day in the Fields working? Yea, ok.,Maybe not in the fields but it does make some great eating. Below is just one of Mel’s sumptuous vittles.

Venison Steaks

Venison steaks, sliced 1/2 inch thick (loin or ham cut) unseasoned meat tenderizer

Flour

1/4 cup milk

Bacon drippings

Salt

Remove all tissue from venison.  A properly dressed deer will have no gamey taste.  Cut into very small pieces (about the size of a silver dollar).  sprinkle each steak with tenderizer and then beat with mallet ’til tender.  Dip into flour, then milk, then flour again.

Fry in iron skillet in oil or drippings until brown, then place in oven for additional 1 hour or less.  Do not overcook, as they will become tough.  Salt after cooking.  Serve with bread and gravy.

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