Spoonbread and Strawberry Wine: Recipes and Reminiscences of a Family

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Doubleday, 1994 - Cooking - 333 pages
2 Reviews
In 1978, Norma Jean and Carole Darden researched and recorded their rich family lore that they gathered for seven years. They visited relatives in Alabama, North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia, collecting traditional recipes, rare photographs, family health and beauty secrets, and recollections of special family celebrations and rituals. Beginning with their grandfather, Charles Henry Darden, who was born a slave and settled at sixteen with his wife in Wilson, North Carolina and eventually raising thirteen children, they describe in vivid detail his adventures and misadventures - including Papa Garden's wine-making secrets for the strawberrry wine he sold for five cents a glass in his general store. Other featured members of their family are Aunt Lil of Petersburg, Virginia, an octogenarian who couldn't remember cooking recipes but remembered her beauty cream "recipes," and their ninety-four year old Aunt Maude in Opelika, Alabama, who reminisced about George Washington Carver's favorite peanut butter ice cream. There are herbal cures, natural beauty tips, photographs, and memories, but the central focus is on food simply because dining and celebrating events in a family style are today as they have always been, an important element of the black family tradition.

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There is NOT A BAD RECIPE in this book. I discovered this book through a friend of mine back in the mid 80's. Years later, I found the book at Barnes and Noble. Gave newly wed friends a copy, family friends in Alabama a couple years ago along with my daughter-in-law when my son married. They all are IN LOVE with this book. Forever thankful to the Darden family for sharing. Five stars is not enough. Reminds me of my Grandma and Mom country cooking. 

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User Review  - mcglothlen - LibraryThing

An affectionate book about American Soul Food and about family. Very personal. Read full review

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About the author (1994)

NORMA JEAN and CAROLE DARDEN are graduates of Sarah Lawrence College. Norma Jean owns Spoonbread Catering as well as two New York restaurants, Miss Maude's and Miss Mamie's Spoonbread Too. Carole is a real estate agent and mother. Both authors live in New York City. Spoonbread & Strawberry Wine has been featured in Essence, O, The Oprah Magazine, and in Martha Stewart Living, as well as on the television program Martha Stewart Living.

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