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Taste of Country Cooking

4.34  ·  Rating Details ·  443 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
The recipes and reminiscences of the American country cooking Lewis grew up with some 50 years ago. A richly evocative memoir of a lost time and a practical guide to recovering its joys in your own kitchen.
Paperback, 288 pages
Published May 12th 1976 by Knopf (first published 1976)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Karen Witzler
I knew this place and these flavors well; maybe not the homemade wines and the salsify, but these dishes and seasonal ways of being were still alive during my Deep South childhood in the "60's. Gravy? You don't know gravy until you've had ham and cream ...
Carrie
This is a really wonderful book. Edna Lewis grew up in Freetown, a town that was founded by emancipated slaves. I believe she's first- or second-generation free person. She talks fondly about the farm her family ran, and about her time with family members, friends, and neighbors. She writes fantastically.[return][return]The book is organized by the season. Don't be scared off by the fact that a lot of the sweets call for lard. One can substitute Crisco or similar shortening if lard is not availa ...more
Liza
Feb 03, 2017 Liza rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Delightful
Maija
Mar 03, 2009 Maija rated it it was amazing
Oh, my, my, just lovely. Like dessert, this book is perfect for reading in bed and dropping imaginary everyday-cake-crumbs on the sheets. A lovely story about eating locally and sustainably before it was made trendy by Whole Foods. I had severe family jealousy for a bit (although my family always ate quite well, too - in a small rural town, we often ate canned jams from local blackberries & the like).

I got this from the library, but I will definitely be looking for a used copy at the next b
...more
Elizabeth Murray
What a beautiful book! I've devoured it, probably as quickly as I would the recipes, and I will be happy to go back and read each season.
Marta Vieira
Jan 16, 2017 Marta Vieira rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The stories about childhood in Freetown are wonderful. I loved to read what each season brought and how people took advantage of/focused their efforts on what was seasonal.
Adam
Jan 27, 2017 Adam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Classic of Southern Cooking, warm, well-written, very welcoming, and the dishes look tremendous.
Natasha
Jan 12, 2017 Natasha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cookbooks
I have done half the recipes in this book just amazing!
carrieprice78
Feb 04, 2016 carrieprice78 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a really wonderful book. Edna Lewis grew up in Freetown, a town that was founded by emancipated slaves. I believe she's first- or second-generation free person. She talks fondly about the farm her family ran, and about her time with family members, friends, and neighbors. She writes fantastically.returnreturnThe book is organized by the season. Don't be scared off by the fact that a lot of the sweets call for lard. One can substitute Crisco or similar shortening if lard is not available. ...more
Nick Klagge
Nov 27, 2015 Nick Klagge rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cookbooks
This is a nice book, with some similarities to the "Foxfire" books and to "Little House on the Prairie." It is mostly recipes (organized by season in a series of menus), but also contains some of the author's recollection. Lewis is a fascinating character who I recently learned about in a NYT Magazine article. She grew up in Freetown, VA, not too far from where I grew up, a farming community founded by freed slaves. She learned to cook in the traditions of her ancestors who had been cooks at Pie ...more
PCD
Jul 18, 2016 PCD rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was sad when I finished this book. I wanted it to keep going! I read this more as a memoir of Ms. Lewis' childhood than as a cookbook. Of course, it is chock full of recipes that are surely delicious, but I was more interested in Ms. Lewis' introductions to those recipes that capture a year in the life of her rural VA farming community. As a native of a different part of rural VA, this book flooded with me with nostalgia for my grandmothers and their stories of growing up on farms. This book m ...more
Michael
Apr 28, 2010 Michael rated it it was amazing
A literary treat as well as a culinary one. Edna Lewis organizes her cookbook by season, and in each season by the kinds of meals they made (A Race Day Picnic, for example). This is a rare cookbook that you can just read through as literature. Not effusive, but a just-right touch and the details of a life now gone-by. I can attest that the plum tart is superb (don't skip the glaze!) and I still make it, 30 years after I first got this book.
Daisy
May 30, 2014 Daisy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Daisy by: Marieke
Shelves: cookbooks
I'd never heard of her before.

Without being overwhelming or encyclopedic, this kind of has everything you'd ever want in a collection of recipes. Feel like making something? You'll find it in here.

Cozy and elegant, accessible and informative. I got this from the library but I would own it gladly.
Brooklyn
Oct 18, 2008 Brooklyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Edna Lewis was cooking seasonally before it was trendy to do so - it was simply the way she and her family lived on their family farm. Her recipes flow from season by season, using ingredients we think of as "gourmet" today - sorrel, fresh thyme, fish roe. A true farmhouse cookbook, Miss Lewis's stories and anecdotes are a joy to read.
Kyla
Feb 02, 2009 Kyla rated it it was amazing
An already cherished gift from a great friend - reads like a novel, the best, most comforting novel you can imagine. I would read every menu aloud just to hear the words - blackberries and cream, ham biscuits, watermelon rind pickles, Tyler Pie, a thermos of hot coffee...I am going to find Freetown, Virginia and have a memorial picnic for Edna Lewis one day, I swear
Kevin
May 04, 2014 Kevin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cookery-writing
It is easy to say that this is my favorite cookery book about Southern food. The stories of life in the rural South captures much of my own experience growing up on a farm in Tennessee. While I don't cook this way much anymore, reading these stories and recipes brings back all of the sights, smells and tastes of country cooking.
Dana
May 29, 2013 Dana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mary
Shelves: cookbooks
This book was such a joy to read. If you like to cook, if you like to garden, if you're Southern, if history of the way we eat and cultivate food interests you - definitely read this book. It is a lovely (and lovingly crafted) book about the process of food and cooking and the reasons certain foods were eaten.
Mark J.
Sep 17, 2011 Mark J. rated it really liked it
A combination of charming memoir, practical technique and delicious sounding recipes sprinkled with a good serving of vanishing skills. If only we worked hard enough these days to eat the meals she describes!
Sarah KKKKKKKK irnon
Jan 08, 2008 Sarah KKKKKKKK irnon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: shauna
Even if one doesn't cook owning this book is a wonderful delight, you read it and you are at the side of this African American culinary icon in every dish she makes.R.I.P Queen Edna.
Shauna its a must on your cookbook list.
Sarah
Mar 23, 2008 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cooking
Edna Lewis was a queen among American food writers - elegant, spare and precise. Her writing is evocative of what we think of a a new concept, "local food", and her recipes are simple and full of flavor. I cannot recommend enough.
Valerie
Recipes and remembrances organized in a seasonal fashion by a great country cook who grew up in a farming community settled by foremer slaves.
Danette
Nov 27, 2010 Danette rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I will probably never cook any of these recipes but I sure did like this cookbook for the PLACE it takes the reader.
Carrie
Sep 28, 2009 Carrie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cookbooks
Feels like less of a cookbook than a quiet ramble through the past. Unless you have a desire to render your own lard, home cooks will likely find a disconnect between the cookbook and the kitchen.
Phyllis
Feb 12, 2011 Phyllis marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Black woman...famous for southern cooking.

Wrote several cookbooks:

1. Edna Lewis Cookbook
2. The Taste of Country Cooking
& others
Salvatore
Oct 31, 2016 Salvatore rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finally got around to cooking a handful of recipes from this one, which has been on my shelf for ages. Solid. And flavourful. I'll be heading back to this one soon. Ms Lewis's voice is charming too.
Luisa
Luisa rated it it was amazing
Jan 24, 2016
Chris
Chris rated it it was amazing
Feb 11, 2017
Lisa Ricks
Lisa Ricks rated it liked it
Jan 10, 2016
Francine
Francine rated it it was amazing
Jun 25, 2014
Diana
Diana rated it it was amazing
Oct 13, 2015
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