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Soul Food: Classic Cuisine from the Deep South

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“Soul food is just what the name implies. It is soulfully cooked food . . . good for your ever-loving soul . . . the shur-‘nuf kinda down-home cookin’ that I grew up on,” writes Sheila Ferguson. Abundant in flavor and variety—ranging from classics such as barbecued spare ribs, fried chicken, cornbread, and collard greens to less well known but equally sumptuous recipes such as sweet potato biscuits, grits soufflé, and wild fox grape wine—soul food is a truly American cuisine, originated in the deep South by ...
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Overview


“Soul food is just what the name implies. It is soulfully cooked food . . . good for your ever-loving soul . . . the shur-‘nuf kinda down-home cookin’ that I grew up on,” writes Sheila Ferguson. Abundant in flavor and variety—ranging from classics such as barbecued spare ribs, fried chicken, cornbread, and collard greens to less well known but equally sumptuous recipes such as sweet potato biscuits, grits soufflé, and wild fox grape wine—soul food is a truly American cuisine, originated in the deep South by slaves and later shaped and expanded by the rich diversity of African-American culture.

In a book brimming with humor and vibrant personality, Sheila Ferguson presents 200 mouth-watering recipes, many of them part of her own family heritage. She explains the blend of African, Cajun, Creole, and other influences—such as gumbo and jambalaya—behind their enticing flavors, describing the meals of the slave quarters and elegant plantation houses and, along the way, passing on family anecdotes and kitchen secrets handed down from generation to generation.

Some recipes, such as cornmeal griddlecakes, pigs’ feet, smothered okra and tomatoes, or brown suga’ pound cake, are old-fashioned country favorites. Others, such as sautéed scallops, vegetables seasoned with smoked turkey, and roast pheasant with wild rice stuffin’, are well suited to today’s more sophisticated palates. All are clearly explained, with an emphasis on the important details of preparation and ways to vary recipes to your own tastes. Through them you learn to use all of your senses in the style of the great soul food chefs, working by touch, taste, sight, smell, and even sound.

But this is much more than a collection of recipes. Each dish is introduced by a brief narrative, written in Sheila Ferguson’s distinctive, eloquent cadence. And the book is prefaced by a glossary and general introduction that explains how the cuisine we know today evolved. Old family photographs and a series of stunning, set-piece color shots lovingly evoke the spirit of soul food and illustrate fifty of the book’s delicious dishes.

This classic cookbook, embracing one of America’s richest regional cuisines, provides a rare combination of exciting, appetizing recipes and compelling reading to delight the soul of cooks and food-lovers everywhere.

"Soul Food is just what the name implies. It is soulfully cooked food . . . good for your ever-loving soul . . . the shur-'nuf kinda down-home cookin' that I grew up on, " writes Sheila Ferguson. In Soul Food she captures the essense of this cooking through 200 mouth-watering recipes, seasoned with vivid anecdotes, photos, and tales capturing the unique spirit of soul food. Grove PressFebruary

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802132833
  • Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/28/1994
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 161
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 9.23 (h) x 0.54 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2008

    Exceptional Cook book

    This book is both entertaining and the recipes are outstanding. A must-have for every kitchen....

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2005

    My husband was overwhelmed!

    I have no experience in the kitchen, despite my 'advanced' age (53). I bought this book based on the on-line ratings, and have found it clear and easy to follow. The first time I made up a dinner from this book, my husband was so impressed that he actually read the cookbook after dinner! He says this book should be standard issue at City Hall, handed to the hopeful couples with their marriage licenses!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2002

    The best macaroni and cheese recipe!!!

    I gave this book to an acquaintance on a brief book loan from my extensive cookbook library and never got it back. I'm ordering two this time! The best reference book for the serious soulfood cook. Breakfast to dinner, always unbelieveable.Highly recommended.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2000

    EXCELLENT SOUL FOOD COOKBOOK!

    THIS WAS AN EXCELLENT COOKBOOK. A MUST FOR COLLECTORS!! IT'S ALSO A HISTORY BOOK WITH THE BACKGROUND OF SOUL FOOD DATING BACK TO SLAVERY.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 9, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    One of my favorite cookbooks in my collection.

    If I have not already reviewed this cookbook then that is my bad! I have purchased so many copies of this to replace my own due to wear and tear and it "happens" to come up missing from my collection pretty regularly! This is a great go-to cookbook for good down home, comfort food recipes. I have purchased copies for all my nieces, my sister and several other relatives and friends, it is that good! One of my favorite receipes in this cookbook is the "golden cornbread", when I bake it up it always disappears in minutes and people cannot believe how simple it is to make. I not only make it for the cornbread itself but this is now the basis of my stuffing and dressings. Again, it is so easy that you will never purchase the cornbread packets or dried out stuffing packs for any occasion every again. A few ingredients that you already have on hand and some buttermilk will bake up into a slab of cornbread that is about 3-4" in thickness and so light and delicious, you don't even need to put butter on top (but you will want to if you like butter on your cornbread).

    Another great receipe from Shelia's collection is the "Yellow Squash Casserole", OMG this is heaven on earth! This one is a little trickier since you have to boil the squash then puree and assemble with other ingredients and bake in the oven, but WOW the result is something wonderful and worth every step in the receipe! One word, YUM!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted November 17, 2009

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    Posted August 9, 2009

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