Hurricane Katrina hit the Mississippi Gulf Coast with a vengeance in 2005, and after a long and successful career, Mary Foreman found herself without a job after the corporate legal department where she had spent much of her career, uprooted to relocate out west. With a 50th birthday on the horizon, no interest in leaving her Gulf Coast home, and economic strife across the country, finding comparable work locally was a difficult task. No one was hiring, so Mary turned her talents toward something that she had always loved to do—cooking. Having a lifelong desire to also be a writer, shortly after, Mary discovered the world of blogging, and in 2009, after cooking and sharing recipes through her blogging efforts, she founded her southern recipe blog, Deep South Dish.
Mary is now the author and publisher of DeepSouthDish.com, a wildly popular website drawing millions of readers a month from all across the world, who find a re-connection to their own memories and heritage through Mary's childhood stories, and the classic, homespun recipes connected to them. She is fast to say she is merely a home cook, her only experience coming from the kitchen, and not any formal culinary education. "My mama put a meal on the table—breakfast, lunch, and dinner—all of my life, and it didn't come from a box. Sunday dinner meant gathering around the table, sometimes at my grandma's house, and holidays were always a sit-down dinner."
"I learned to cook watching both of them, and after I married in the 70s, through my own trial and error in the kitchen," she said. "Because of these things, I meet Deep South Dish readers right where they are in the kitchen. The only difference is that I now get to teach, too, sharing my recipes and old-fashioned cooking with folks from all over the world, and because of my experiences, detailed posts, and step-by-step photos and instructions, they can understand the creative process, learn techniques and terms, and enjoy the successes, far more than the failures."
"It's no secret that cooking for someone is an expression of your love for them," Foreman says, "and my blog is simply an extension of that, to a much broader audience. My food is that old-fashioned, made from scratch cooking, the kind of comfort food that brings you home to the memories of your own mother's and grandmother's kitchens." Foreman receives mail regularly from readers that tell her so.
Deep South Dish: Homestyle Southern Recipes is a collection of those recipes, some from the blog, some exclusive to the cookbook, all well tested and delicious. Intertwined in the cookbook are a few other recipes that are quick, easy, and economical, using common, shortcut pantry foods to save time.
A multi-generational southerner whose ancestors have found home in at least four southeast states, Mary's southern roots run deep. She lives with her husband, "The Cajun," and multiple four-legged rescue children on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, where except for several years in New Orleans, she has spent her entire life. She is a mother, and grandmother to three, all of whom also live on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and she draws those grandchildren into the kitchen every chance she gets.