Books: Cooking by Cuisine -> Cooking American
Hallelujah! The Welcome Table: A Lifetime of Memories with Recipes
Published: September 21, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
Readers familiar with Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings will find what may be the secret ingredient of her success in this collection of tear- and laughter-provoking vignettes with 73 savory recipes. Here's Angelou's
grandmother's Chicken and Dumplings, Crackling Corn Bread and Caramel Cake. Big brother Bailey makes a mean batch of Smothered Pork Chops and knows how to stretch them for a week's worth of meals. Mother, who "cooked wonderful meals and was very poignant
about how to present them," can make a Roasted Capon play second fiddle to Red Rice. As the wider world beckons, Angelou dines. Sometimes she's the worker; having passed herself off as an experienced Creole cook, she becomes one with her Braised Short
Ribs. Other times, she's the hostess serving what M.F.K. Fisher pronounces "the first honest cassoulet I have eaten in years." A batch of spoon bread nets Angelou a job and compliment: "If you can write half as good as you can cook, you are going to be
famous." She does, and the food world widens (tamales, paté, minestrone, chachouka), and the fellow diners often have famous names (Oprah, Jessica Mitford, Rosa Guy). The food remains delectable and comfortable, and Angelou's directions are minimal but
clear enough for experienced cooks. Color photos not seen by PW.
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If ever an audiobook could be called mouth-watering, this journey
through the years, read by the great American poet, is a feast of food that only Maya Angelou can bring to her listeners. In a deep, rich voice, she shares stories of people, places, and food in a cozy, confidential way, taking us from her Arkansas
childhood and her grand-mother's kitchen to adulthood, including becoming a Creole cook without knowing how. Along the way, she generously shares her no-nonsense approach to life. As a friend once said, "If you can write as well as you cook, you're going
to be famous." And the prediction came true. The telling is funny at times, heartbreaking at others, and Angelou's superb voice turns the art and enjoyment of cooking into poetry. M.T.B. © AudioFile 2005, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile,
Portland, Maine--This text refers to the
Audio CD edition.
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