Books: Cooking by Cuisine -> Cooking American
In Pursuit of Flavor (The Virginia Bookshelf)
Waller, Louisa Jones
University Press of Virginia
Published: March 1, 2000
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From Publishers Weekly
Here Lewis forages into the past for the beloved foods of her Virginia childhood, cooked indoors with produce grown in the family garden"a pampered piece of soil outside the kitchen window." Good food, the author argues, must be
"honestly cooked": made from produce in season that was raised organically, and prepared simply, with one's feet on the ground. Her repertoire includes distinctly Southern dishes, such as cooked greens and catfish stew, as well as many with a rural
accent, requiring squirrels, she-crabs or rabbits. The down-home emphasis is occasionally varied by Nigerian and Ethiopian fare. However, Lewis's best recipes stay close to home (Vidalia onion pickles, Brunswick stew, potato cakes, peach cobber with
nutmeg sauce). Admittedly fond of heavy cream, lard and other animal fats, she suggests low-fat alternatives for those who aren't. Though some of the author's deliciously old-fashioned assertions"good cooks always put up their own food"are impractical,
anyone pining for food that tastes of farm and family will not be left hungry. BOMC Cooking and Crafts Club main selection.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to the
Perhaps no other cook has played such a central role in the renaissance of traditional southern cooking as Edna Lewis. When asked who has influenced them most, chefs from New York to Little Washington to Charleston cite Ms. Lewis and her
classic collection of recipes, In Pursuit of Flavor, first published in 1988.
Edna Lewis learned to cook by waHChing her mother prepare food in their kiHChen in a small farming community in Virginia. Because she was raised at a time when the
vegetables came from the garden, fruit from the orchard, pickles, relishes, chutney, and jellies from quick canning, and meat from the smokehouse, Edna Lewis knows how food should taste. Every recipe included in her cookbook, both old friends and new
discoveries, reflects her memory of and continuing search for good flavor.
In chapters devoted to fruits and vegetables, meat and fowl, fish, herbs and spices, bread, and other baked goods, Ms. Lewis shares her secrets for getting the best out
of food: combining tomatoes with cymling squash, pumpkins with onion and bacon, cooking sweet potatoes with lemon, and boiling corn in its husk. She always keeps a bit of country ham around to perk up greens, cooks fish fillets or chicken breasts in
parchment, and braises meat in a clay pot to keep it moist. Her baking recipes, for the griddle and the oven, include tips on the right flour to use, how to make your own baking powder (to avoid the chemical taste), how to listen for signs that a cake is
done, and when to use frozen butter in a pie crust and when to use pure leaf lard. In Pursuit of Flavor brings generations of cooking wisdom to today's kitchen.
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