'Edna Lewis' on Serious Eats

Classic Cookbooks: Cake Recipes from 'The Taste of Country Cooking'

For a long time I was more intimidated than excited by The Taste of Country Cooking, the late Edna Lewis’s remarkable account of the foods she ate growing up in a farming community called Freetown, Virginia. Her beautiful and evocative descriptions of a life so wonderfully attuned to the earth and the seasons seemed to preclude preparing her recipes with meat and produce from the supermarket; how could they possibly compare, and wouldn’t it be sacrilege? Lewis doesn’t try to make her reader feel that way—writing in 1976 she recommended Perdue chickens to those of us who can’t find better. But a supermarket bird hardly seems enticing when you’ve been reading about the antics of the chickens of Freetown. Last... More

Yellow Vanilla Pound Cake

In her cookbook The Taste of Country Cooking, Edna Lewis says there was always pound cake on special summer occasions to eat with whatever berries and fruit were left over from canning and preserving. This cake is dense and delicious,... More

Sunday Brunch: Deviled Crab

There's everyday humdrum deviled crab, which is still pretty good, and then there's Edna Lewis' deviled crab recipe, which is as good as good gets. Serve this with a simple green salad with a mustard vinaigrette and you will have... More

I Wish I Was Kim Severson's +1

The New York Times food section was full of interesting, fun and thought-provoking stuff this morning, but for me the most mouthwatering (and poignant) story was on page 3. There Kim Severson reported on the Edna Lewis memorial dinner, held this past Sunday in Atlanta. Edna Lewis was, as Kim described her, "an icon of Southern cooking." Although she was born in Virginia and lived out her life in Atlanta, New Yorkers were graced by her presence and cooking skill for many years, first at Cafe Nicholson and then at Gage and Tollner. I recall eating her food many times, first at Gage and Tollner and later at the City Meals on Wheels benefits at the skating rink at... More

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