Thursday, October 22, 2009
CYBILS 2009: Bring Me Some Apples and I'll Make You a Pie
I read this book the first time several months ago, and really liked it. I was originally drawn to the title because I've been told I bake a pretty mean apple pie myself! OK, OK, I don't like to brag, but it's true, I bake a pretty mean apple pie if I do say so myself. Anyway...this book is about chef Edna Lewis who was a pioneer in the area of utilizing fresh fruits and vegetables when cooking. She was also one of our country's first famous African American chefs.
The book begins in spring when Edna was growing up in Freetown, VA and her family marked the seasons by what was ready to harvest. In the spring it was wild strawberries, wild greens, and sassafras. Then it was summer with honey, cherries, blackberries, peaches, watermelons and tomatoes. Fall brings apples, grapes and wraps up with wild nuts from the trees.
All of nature's treats are preserved and stored for the winter while they are at their freshest. This would be a hallmark of Chef Lewis' gourmet cooking. Ingredients freshened by the sun and nature. As the family eats the goodies through the cold months, the memory of summer and the harvest keep the family warm.
Bring Me Some Apples and I'll Make You a Pie by Robbin Gourley is a wonderful story about a food pioneer. Done with colorful illustrations and a bit of poetry, the book finishes with some of Edna's recipes and an author's note about her life.
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