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The Taste of Country Cooking (1978)

by Edna Lewis

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279167,335 (4.4)8
The recipes and reminiscences of the American country cooking Lewis grew up with some 50 years ago. A richly evocative memoir of a lost time and a practical guide to recovering its joys in your own kitchen.

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This is a really wonderful book. Edna Lewis grew up in Freetown, a town that was founded by emancipated slaves. I believe she's first- or second-generation free person. She talks fondly about the farm her family ran, and about her time with family members, friends, and neighbors. She writes fantastically.

The book is organized by the season. Don't be scared off by the fact that a lot of the sweets call for lard. One can substitute Crisco or similar shortening if lard is not available.

I can't speak to the recipes but they look very authentic. My grandparents are farmers and many of the recipes feel so familiar to me. There are green beans with ham, chipped beef gravy (and chipped pork gravy), watermelon rind pickles, and lots of cakes, pies, greens, vegetables, meats, etc. Ms. Lewis talks about the seasons and how her family prepared for each. In the winter was the hog butchering--she describes it in great detail. It made me ask my 81-year old grandmother what she remembers about hog butchering, and her account was very, very similar to Edna's. I like to read this book and think of my grandparents way back when they first were farming, and their parents before them. So much tradition has been lost to convenience.

I loved reading the memoir part best of all. I look forward to reading her other books. What a great service Ms. Lewis has done by writing her memories down. ( )
2 vote carrieprice78 | Dec 29, 2010 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Edna Lewisprimary authorall editionscalculated
Jones, JudithPrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Waters, AliceForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The recipes and reminiscences of the American country cooking Lewis grew up with some 50 years ago. A richly evocative memoir of a lost time and a practical guide to recovering its joys in your own kitchen.

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