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Author gives new twist to Southern favorites

Gena Knox recently signed copies of her latest cookbook, “Southern My Way: Food and Family,” at Albany’s Place on the Pointe Gift Shop. (Staff photo: Laura Williams)

Gena Knox recently signed copies of her latest cookbook, “Southern My Way: Food and Family,” at Albany’s Place on the Pointe Gift Shop. (Staff photo: Laura Williams)

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Right, Gena Knox’s latest cookbook, “Southern My Way: Food and Family” is available for purchase at Place on the Pointe in Albany. Far right, “Southern My Way: Simple Recipes, Fresh Flavors” is the first book in a three-part series.

The holidays are often a time for families to gather and enjoy unique traditions. Sometimes the most treasured of these traditions are times spent in the kitchen.

From recipes to seasonal foods and secret ingredients that make a dish special, many hours are spent by that warm stove learning both the basics of cooking and family specialties as experience-honed cooks pass down their knowledge to the next generation.

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“Southern My Way: Simple Recipes, Fresh Flavors” is the first book in a three-part series. Book 2 has recently been released. (Special photo)

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Stuffed Apples with Sweet Cider Sauce (Special photo)

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Roasted Pork Tenderloin (Special photo)

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Coconut Date Balls (Special photo)

This is the case for Gena Knox, a Georgia native who grew up learning the tricks of the trade from her family of talented cooks.

“I come from a long line of cooks,” Knox said. “My mother catered, and I spent a lot of time helping in the kitchen as I was growing up.

I have so many fond memories from my childhood that I now use for inspiration when creating my own dishes.”

Knox and her husband, Davis, and their three children reside in Athens, but also spend many happy hours on the family’s Willmar Plantation in Leesburg.

Knox recently published her third cookbook, “Southern My Way: Food and Family,” the second in her “Southern My Way” series, following “Southern My Way: Simple Recipes, Fresh Flavors.” Knox has also penned “Gourmet Made Simple: A Fresh Approach to Flavor with Gena Knox.”

Full of nostalgic favorites, Knox’s cookbooks take classic Southern foods and add a delicious twist, seen with dishes such as crabby hushpuppies, stuffed Vidalia onions and a country ham Panini sandwich.

“These are dishes that I grew up with, but I’ve tried to update them to fit today’s more modern style of cooking,” Knox said.

“These recipes are fresher and lighter than what a lot of people might be accustomed to.”

With colorful illustrations, detailed instructions, and helpful tips, Knox’s books can help even a first-time cook feel like a seasoned chef.

Interspersed with recipes for homemade crackers, mayonnaise and her grandmother’s caramel cake, memorable stories from Knox’s childhood give readers a glimpse into life in the South.

“I cherish our family traditions, and I want to pass them on to my own children,” Knox said. “A lot of ways I can do this is through food, from growing vegetables to passing on family recipes. I love being able to create memories and new traditions with them.”

Knox and her husband are also the founders of Fire and Flavor, a family company that produces salt blends and rubs, brining mixes, and accessories for grilling.

For more information on Knox, her recipes, or Fire and Flavor, find her on Facebook or visit her website and www.genaknox.com.

Copies of Knox’s books are available for purchase at Place on the Pointe in Albany.