February 08, 1988 12:00 PM

by Craig Claiborne

After writing 18 cookbooks, the estimable New York Times food critic has turned to his roots. As a lad in Mississippi, Claiborne learned the joys of a bountiful table at his mother’s boardinghouse. Her annual chitlin supper, “always served with vinegar and hot pepper flakes plus turnip greens and a lot of corn bread,” sounds worth waiting for. Claiborne gives recipes for this and other standbys, such as beaten biscuits—200 bashes with a rolling pin or a whirl in the processor. The book’s 300-plus dishes aren’t all antebellum. Black-eyed peas vinaigrette and yellow bell pepper and serrano chili soup are two new entries from a region that produces our most varied—and most delectable—dishes. (Times, $19.95)

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