In recipes and reminiscences equally delicious, Edna Lewis celebrates the uniquely American country cooking she grew up with some 50 years ago in a small Virginia Piedmont farming community that had been settled by freed slaves. With menus for the four seasons, she shares the ways her family prepared and enjoyed food, savoring the delights of each special time of year.
Lewis’ many specialties include shad, baked tomatoes, custard ice cream, and baked beans cooked in a hearth oven. The scores of recipes for these marvelous dishes are set down in loving detail. We come to understand the values that formed this remarkable woman — her love of nature, the pleasure of living with the seasons, the sense of community, the satisfactory feeling that hard work was always rewarded by her mother’s good food.
Having made us yearn for all the good meals she describes in her memories of a lost time in America, Edna Lewis shows us precisely how to recover, in our own country or city or suburban kitchens, the taste of the fresh, good, natural country cooking that was so happy a part of her girlhood in Freetown, Virginia.
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