Angelou tells us about the time she was expelled from school for being afraid to speak, and her mother baked a delicious maple cake to brighten her spirits. She gives us her recipe for short ribs along with a story about a job she had as a cook at a Creole restaurant (never mind that she didn't know how to cook and had no idea what Creole food might entail). There was the time in London when she attended a wretched dinner party full of wretched people; but all wasn't lost, she did experience her initial taste of a savory onion tart. She recounts her very first night in her new home in Sonoma, California, when she invited M.F.K. Fisher over for cassoulet, and the evening Deca Mitford roasted a chicken when she was beyond tipsy, and created Chicken Drunkard Style. And then there was the hearty brunch Angelou made for a homesick Southerner, a meal that earned her both a job offer and a prophetic compliment: "If you can write half as good as you can cook, you are going to be famous."
Maya Angelou is renowned in her wide and generous circle of friends as a marvelous chef. Her kitchen is a social center. From fried meat pies, chicken livers, and beef Wellington to caramel cake, bread pudding, and chocolate éclairs, the 100-plus recipes included here are all tried and true, and come from Angelou's heart and her home. Hallelujah! The Welcome Table is a stunning collaboration between the two things Angelou loves best: writing and cooking.
Download five of Maya's recipes to try at home.
©2004 Maya Angelou; (P)2004 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.
I usually "hear" Maya's voice when I read her work, but nothing beats actually listening to her. The "histories" to the recipes are great. "Light" but Pure Maya.
This book is a series of seemingly random thoughts triggered by memories of food. Being Maya, they are amusing and wonderfully written, but I felt I was left hanging because of the lack of organization or a stronger thread running through the text. Maybe reading the book would be easier to follow or feel more coherent - since I tend to listen to audiobooks while I do something else (like driving), I need all the help I can get to follow a narration! Of course the print version would not include Maya's wonderful voice with its warmth and humor.
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