The Story

The Rooted Cook is primarily my online manuscript cookbook — the place where I keep most of my own recipes as I develop them. I post them here to share them with friends. (You’re a friend, right?) I’ve written and designed them for ease of use and reference, not as entertainment or as basic cooking instruction — I’m assuming you already know your way around a kitchen. As I have time, I’ll post articles with more thorough background or instruction about ingredients or techniques. And because I’m also a food historian, I occasionally post articles about food traditions or the historical or cultural background of a dish.

You can read more about manuscript cookbooks and the design of this site in About the Rooted Cook.

—David Walbert

What’s New

Cream of two-celery soup

The celery root serves a dual purpose here, both thickening the soup and deepening the celery flavor. If you can find it, this is an easy first-course soup. (more…)


I cobbled this recipe together from several sources, and wrote down what I was doing as I did it, so be warned, if you find it and try it, that I haven’t tested it again after writing it down. You should be fine, in any case, since seasonings are to taste (feel free to substitute other spices for the mace and almond extract) and flour is added “as needed.” (more…)

Chestnut-apple stuffing

The recipe card for this stuffing has been in my box for at least twenty years, and I have made it enough times that I cannot recall the last time I actually followed the recipe. You should therefore take the quantities as rough suggestions, although you should probably do that with stuffing in any case. Stuffing ought to be a highly personal endeavor, and that’s not even considering it from the turkey’s perspective. (more…)

Sweet potato cornbread dressing

This was inspired several years ago by a trip to Sweet Potatoes restaurant in Winston-Salem, where I had catfish stuffed with sweet potato cornbread dressing. Making this is a multi-step process as you have to bake the cornbread first, but you can do that a day ahead. (more…)

Sweet potato cornbread

I use this primarily for sweet potato cornbread dressing. See Basic Southern Conrbread for more about cornbread. (more…)