Sheila Ferguson’s experience of soul food is made complete from living not only in the South, but also in Philadelphia, the once-mythical destination of salvation and refuge for slaves fleeing to freedom; which resulted in this town’s many inhabitants originally from the South, who developed their own ‘fusion’ soul cuisine and tradition. That's why you will also see pictures of Philadelphia in Sheila’s book, e.g. including round flat sausages that seem influenced from the famous Philadelphia classic: the scrapple (See image). Writes Sheila: "Soul food is just what the name implies. It is soulfully cooked food. . . good for your ever-loving soul. . . the shur-'nuf kinda down-home cookin' that I grew up on". Soulfood is a truly American cuisine, originated in the deep South by slaves and later shaped and expanded by the rich diversity of African-American culture. In a book brimming with humor and vibrant personality, Sheila Ferguson presents 200 mouth-watering recipes, many part of her own family heritage. She explains the blend of African, Cajun, Creole, and other influences - such as gumbo and jambalaya -, describing the meals of the slave quarters and elegant plantation houses and passing on family anecdotes and kitchen secrets handed down for generations. All recipes are clearly explained, with an emphasis on the details of preparation and ways to vary to your own tastes.But this is much more than a collection of recipes. Each dish is introduced by a brief narrative, in her distinctive, eloquent cadence. She explains how the cuisine we know today evolved. Old family photos lovingly evoke the spirit of soul food and illustrate 50 of the book's dishes.
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