I read an article about Edna Lewis before Christmas and was immediately curious. I was rabbiting in about her to Q and he bought me this for Christmas. I dipped in and out of it but this week I read it all, it’s that type of cook book.
Lewis was born in 1916 in Freetown, a town founded by her grandfather and other ex slaves after the emancipation in 1860. This book isn’t just about recipes. It’s a lyrical description of what appears to be a hard but idyllic life. They worked the earth but the fruits of their labour were their own.
The descriptions of cooking, why they ate what they did, when they did are beautiful. Food was a labour (in the real sense of the word) of love. It was about celebration of events and seasons. The writing transports you back to a lost world and instils a sense of warmth and an eagerness to get into the kitchen and cook with love and passion.
A lot of the recipes I won’t do, but there are plenty that I’m eager to try – cornbread, corn muffins, biscuits, cookies, pound cake, ice cream and plenty more. There’s recipes for damson wine, coffee, lemonade, proper iced tea, all that make you salivate.
This book is a joyous, calming delight and I can’t recommend it enough.
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