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Hallelujah! The Welcome Table: A Lifetime of Memories with Recipes

4.21  ·  Rating Details ·  741 Ratings  ·  101 Reviews
Throughout Maya Angelou’s life, from her childhood in Stamps, Arkansas, to her world travels as a bestselling writer, good food has played a central role. Preparing and enjoying homemade meals provides a sense of purpose and calm, accomplishment and connection. Now in Hallelujah! The Welcome Table, Angelou shares memories pithy and poignant–and the recipes that helped to m ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published October 9th 2007 by Random House Trade Paperbacks (first published January 1st 2004)
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May 11, 2015 Betsy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great audio book to enjoy while in your kitchen cooking. Themes: the way food connects us across cultures, oceans and economies and brings greater understanding. Appreciation of flavors that take time and patience, just as in relationships. Conversation and listening as art when invited to a table. Bon Appetit!
This was a short but engaging work by Maya Angelou. She read the audio version, which I listened to, and it gave a lovely extra level of authenticity to the work, hearing her personal stories in her own voice as well as words. Some of the stories were more compelling than others, and I wasn't interested in most of the dishes mentioned (which is OK, since the audio version obviously abridges the recipes). But I thoroughly enjoyed the book and admired what more I learned about Angelou herself and ...more
Katherine Bennett-wilson
Book Club Selection

This book was chosen by my book club The African-American Women's Book Club as a selection for the month of October. Since we have an open spot it as decided that we do pot luck following the recipes from this delightful book. Each member brought a dish & we had some of the best food along with a lively discussion of different women's health issues. I think we honored Maya simply by following her advice because each of the recipes has a story attached. It was a great night
Jan 23, 2010 Belinda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a delightful book! I listened to the audiobook read by Dr. Angelou and I'm sure that added to my delight. This is a history of Dr. Angelou's life as it pertains to the eating and preparation of food. She has met so many interesting people and has gone to so many interesting places, I found myself engrossed by the sound her voice and her fantastic stories. She writes beautiful prose which sounds, amazingly enough, like poetry. I don't often write down a quotes from books, but this one is so ...more
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
I pick this book up every so often just because I love this woman so much. She is one of my personal heroes and I adore her. I think tomorrow night I'm making her fried meat pies.
I realized that I don't know enough about Maya Angelou. I loved these snippets of her life and the plethora of recipes accompanying her. Memories surrounded by food is so delightful. And most of the recipes seem simple enough for me to attempt.
James Scott
Mar 23, 2017 James Scott rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful reminder of the power of shared meals. From high society dining in Italy and New York to grandmother's Kitchen in depression era Arkansas
Sep 03, 2014 Cecelia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read a lot as a child and young adult (I brought stacks of books on weekend camping trips… #justsaying), but I mostly read from lists of “classics” until I went to college. Then, some modern (and by modern, I mean contemporary) American writers and poets crept into my consciousness via syllabi, regular newspaper reading, and the internet. Still, I’d never read one of Maya Angelou’s books until a couple of weeks ago. This despite having my interest in her history (and stories) rekindled when sh ...more
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
For the working poor, food is important. One, because it keeps you going, and two, because it's how you make memories. Life revolves around the kitchen (often the warmest room in the house)--kids do their homework or do creative projects on the table. Mom cuts out clothing patterns on the table. "Company" may be put in the living room, but friends sit around the kitchen table with coffee or tea or whatever. Serious decisions are taken around the table, and problems and joys are shared right ther ...more
Ann Samford
Feb 18, 2017 Ann Samford rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i enjoyed listening to this book. Maya Angela is an amazing story teller. In this book she talks about food and friends and eating.
Jan 18, 2010 Judy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Maya Angelou is one of my favorite writers and every time that I see her at an author event or reading, I come away thinking that I wish that I had her power of language. This book is no exception. Angelou tells unconnected stories of her life which are only linked by the descriptions of the food that was made for or by her. The stories are uplifting and the food descriptions made me cancel my Jenny Craig program--oh, that's right, I don't have one of those, I just desperately need it. A short, ...more
Jan 20, 2012 Roberta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was the first library book I downloaded to my Kindle. Mostly I loved her stories! Angelou has had an interesting, colorful life, and she writes like a poet (which she is). I especially enjoyed her recounting the tale of the job she secured in a Cajun restaurant when she was 17 and didn't know how to cook, though she told her new boss quite a different story. Mr. Ford, an older gentleman working for her mother, mentored her, telling her the vegetables to throw into every dish--and don't forg ...more
Mary-Ellen Lynn
Sep 11, 2012 Mary-Ellen Lynn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-cookbooks
I have to admit; even if I never used any of the recipes in the book, it would be so worth it for Maya's remembrances from her life --- saying that, some of the recipes look amazing and I have bookmarked quite a few pages!

This book is so accessible, not only because of the injection of Angelou's humour, but also because of the simplicity of the recipes. It is a book of good old home cooking - comfort food at that. This is not a book for the diet-conscious --- these are recipes from the day when
Laura Nadal
Oct 04, 2012 Laura Nadal rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I bought this book because I saw an interview with Maya Angelou on Oprah. She told the story of her 'Hurt-me-Banana-Pudding' and was telling how she wrote a cookbook, but that each recipe had a story. It is an unusual buy for me, because I can't eat any of the things in the book (severe food allergies and the such), but I love this book more then anything. Maya Angelou (on TV) struck me as a very feisty woman with a great deal of humor and that is what the book is like. Even if a story is sad, s ...more
Jennifer Canaveral
I really lucked out when I found this gem at a church rummage sale for a quarter! I made the Meat Pies recently with shredded chicken and it was amazing. The biscuit dough in the pies (also provided in the book) is very versatile and I found myself using leftover dough for oven biscuits. Her fried chicken recipe topped off a delicious meal and soaking the chicken in lemon juice (as the recipe calls for) knocked my husbands socks off!

Maya provides a short story for the background of each dish an
Don (The Book Guy)
A delightful little book by the acclaimed Ms. Angelou. Each chapter is a story that has a food connection. Food has a wonderful way of bringing back memories of people and places. Whenever I read books like this I want to quit working, go home and clear out my kitchen of canned & frozen dinners and just stay home and cook. I did listen to this unabridged version of her book and listening to her read the stories was a delight as well. Her use of language shows the poet and I love that she use ...more
Jul 13, 2009 Olga rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone, especially those who love life and food
Recommended to Olga by: Carol Rowe, thanks Carol!
Shelves: 2007, south, cookbooks
Oh, this is a wonderful book.

The stories are great, each featuring at least one recipe, and the recipes follow the story. I don't think I can possible make all these recipes, but I did savor all stories. Even though I don't like caramel cake, the story about it is one of my favorites, and I now have a soft spot for a sweet dessert I will probably never taste!

The things I made from this book were all good, too, but I have to confess that I pick it up for reread just as often as I pick it up for
Apr 20, 2010 Luci rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved this book. The recipes are mouthwatering and the photos and stories of each dish bring them all to life. I tried two recipes the other night, smothered chicken and wilted lettuce. It took nearly three hours, but the dishes came out delicious! The recipes in the book are not the healthiest, but comfort food hardly ever is. After reading some of the bits and pieces of her life in this book, I knew I had to read the rest of her writing. I just started I Know Why The Caged Bird Si ...more
Ginnie Grant
Jun 06, 2014 Ginnie Grant rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Food in many ways in universal langauge. A good meal can unite us, bridge barriers and live in our memories forever. Miss Angelou illustrates this point well in this book. I enjoyed reading her . memories, from her rural childhood to her meals with world famous dignatiries The recipes that followed were amazing too. Comfort food at it's finest. God rest you Maya, May the world know your light again in another light.
What a delight this was, both as a break from heavier things and because she really did have a gift for making her life's stories feel familiar and welcoming. In her resonant and measured voice, she weaves together the stories of moments when food played particularly powerful roles in her experience. Listening to her read it was like going to church, in the best of ways. She understood viscerally what it means to keep body and soul together.
Dec 30, 2013 Valentine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved the stories in this book. I loved what they said about every single recipe. Of all the things this author has written? This book is my fave. Yep. It's not a book you can finish because you just want to keep reading it. A chronicle of the author's life, through the thick and thin -- through the everything of it.
Apr 01, 2011 Carol rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was not even close to what I thought it would be. Maya Angelou is a fascinating and one of the most widely talented people I've heard or read of. This book is narrated by her and she talks of her experiences learning to cook, who she's cooked for and who she had dined with. Again, a very inspiring lady. Learned a few cooking tips in the book too.
Dec 22, 2015 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just a cook book, sure, but with revisiting it, I forgot all the sweet and funny stories that went with it. There are some really good ones, all short. I recall having the vegetarian dishes and also cold tomato soup. All very delicious.
Sep 17, 2012 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Love the stories behind all of her great and thoughtful dishes. Not for one watching their calorie or fat intake but super fun for special occasions and always a great story to tell with dinner (hers!).
Sep 04, 2009 Kelley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just loved this book! It is so much more than just another recipe book! The short stories within are very inspiring, and the recipe's are out of this world yummy! Anyone who loves to read and cook should give this book a will not regret it.
Feb 08, 2010 Heather rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010-books
The essays were interesting, but the recipes were not particularly compelling. I don't think this book would have ever been published if it weren't written by Maya Angelou. Definitely not her best work.
Feb 11, 2009 Leticia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a beautiful book, which included a variety of recipes that Angelou publishes to recount life stories. It really makes you want to sit down and eat. There is a delicious recipe for caramel cake that will make your mouth water.
Renuka Soll
Mar 10, 2015 Renuka Soll rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book has each chapter devoted to a story about Maya Angelou's life and relevant recipes. She writes beautifully and it was a great read. I can't wait to try some of her recipes. She was known to be a great cook.
Jun 29, 2010 Little-g rated it really liked it
Wow, I really liked this book. I love Angelou's voice anyway, but add to that stories that are about cooking and life around the table - from poverty to the high life - and I'm more than satisfied. I appreciate her humor and her honesty.
 Barb Bailey
Maya's southern cooking recipes are paired with some of her own "life experience" stories. I think I liked her stories better than her recipes...she is one bright, creative and talented woman to be greatly admired.
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Maya Angelou, born Marguerite Ann Johnson April 4, 1928 in St. Louis, Missouri, was an American poet, memoirist, actress and an important figure in the American Civil Rights Movement. In 2001 she was named one of the 30 most powerful women in America by Ladies Home Journal. Maya Angelou is known for her series of six autobiographies, starting with I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, (1969) which was ...more
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