Kwanzaa: An African-American Celebration of Culture and Cookingby Eric V. Copage
Kwanzaa: An African-American Celebration of Culture and Cooking is the only complete guide to the history and foods of Kwanzaa. In this beautiful yet practical book, there are recipes for more than 125 treasured dishes from people of African descent living all over the world. Adorned with biographies of distinguished African Americans, proverbs, and folk tales that illustrate the seven principles of Kwanzaa (Nguzo Saba), Kwanzaa embodies the very spirit of the holiday itself: a culinary celebration and a testimony to the accomplishments and spirit of African Americans throughout history.
This is more than just a book for a holiday. It is a cookbook and a source of inspiration to be used all year long.
- HarperCollins Publishers
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 8.12(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.86(d)
Read an Excerpt
There is a jazzy quality to everything black people do, a spirit of improvisation and self-creation. It is part of the African aesthetic. And it is very much a part of Kwanzaa.
This book is designed to provide all the components for your Kwanzaa celebration: stories to illustrate the principles of Kwanzaa and recipes for the special meals. It is to be used as a resource, a garden from which you can pick and choose the elements you want for your own Kwanzaa celebration.
Food is a big part of the holiday, and here you will find more than 125 treasured recipes, passed on through families but changed by each generation and each cook. There are no set menus of combinations that you have to follow, no rigid schedule of when to serve which food. Putting together your own Kwanzaa feasts is part of the joy of the holiday.
You can celebrate a different country of the African diaspora each day by cooking only foods of that country. On the first night you might serve Jamaican dishes, on the second food from the American South, on the third African, and so on... ending with a glorious all-out multinational banquet on the last night.
Or you can put together a menu for each night with no two recipes coming from the same land.
You can do a potluck supper and have everyone contribute a course that comes from the place where they were born, or the country their ancestors came from, or a place they have visited. This is a great way to start people talking about their particular families and history.
All-vegetarian dishes can be served, or you can create meals for special dietary requirements. You can even take one type of food, such as rice, and cook all the different recipes that usethat food for one meal.
The possibilities are as wide as your imagination.
And you don't have to save these recipes for Kwanzaayou can cook from them year-round. But I like to save certain favorite recipes just for Kwanzaa.
Excerpted from Kwanzaa. Copyright ) 1991 by Eric V. Copage.
Meet the Author
Eric V. Copage, a reporter at the New York Times, has also been an editor at the New York Times Magazine and a music columnist for Essence.
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