The title of neighborhood resident John Savage’s cookbook pretty much says it all: “What You Always Wanted to Know About Holiday Cooking but Your Momma Didn’t Show You”.

The book contains 140 personal recipes and is sold at Simon David grocery stores and area book stores and gift shops for $12.95. Savage says the book is full of hints to help households keep holiday traditions alive.

“Food probably brings more families together and creates more traditions,” Savage says.

And cooking is definitely a tradition for Savage’s family. He learned to cook while growing up by helping with his grandmother’s catering business. About two years ago, he began experimenting to create new tastes for traditional dishes.

“I’m mostly a dump cook,” Savage says. “I just stand there and throw things in.”

To bring the flavors of a dish together, Savage uses fresh herbs from his backyard garden.

“You can get away from salts and get away from fat and come back with wonderful flavors,” he says.

The book also contains suggestions to make a meal more interesting, such as using grits in place of mashed potatoes.

“Nobody leaves a meal raving about the mashed potatoes,” Savage says, but people will walk away from a meal talking about the grits. The book idea came to Savage while he was organizing family recipes. He thought that a one-book source for the holidays would be helpful to families.

Even though Savage is encouraged by the book’s sales, Savage won’t be giving up his computer business or part-time job. But he does plan to publish the book again next year.

“It’s kind of a change of pace,” Savage says. “It’s putting a love to work.”

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