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B. Smith: Rituals & Celebrations Hardcover – October 19, 1999

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Barbara Smith, lifestyle expert. Restaurateur, TV host, columnist, former model, magazine publisher (B. Smith Style). You might want to add shaman to the list, if you are to take at all seriously her latest triumph of project vision and organization, B. Smith: Rituals and Celebrations.

Smith has conveniently divided the year into 12 months and provided a vision of a celebration or ritual for each month. Christmas/Kwanzaa is obvious enough. So too is Valentine's Day. March, however, is about a young girl's rite of passage. Throughout the chapters you will find menus, recipes, and instructions for creating special ritualistic and celebratory atmospheres. For example, Dana's Rite of Passage Dinner includes Plantain and Sweet Potato Chips, salad, Oven-Barbecued Short Ribs of Beef, Spicy Braised Cabbage with Cashews, and Kale Mashed Potatoes.

The food, by and large, is what you would find in any upscale deli, or provided by a trendy caterer. While the "look" has vision, it seems based on what's available by credit card from any of several catalog companies. If you read the acknowledgements closely, you'll discover that it doesn't hurt to have a personal executive assistant, a makeup artist, a hair designer, a fashion stylist, food stylists, recipe developers, prop stylists, and craft-designer artists, should you not really have enough time in your own life to make all the goodies to give to guests.

B. Smith Style magazine will do for the reader and idea-seeker all that this book tries to accomplish. Somehow it all seems more appropriate between the kind of soft covers you can recycle without too much thought. --Schuyler Ingle

From Publishers Weekly

"You don't need vast resources to be creative," Smith believes. "You just need to be resourceful." True enough, but most admirers of this restaurateur and television personality will have to enlist a few helpers in order to emulate her dynamic style: Smith is passionate about entertaining. She insists that hostesses must be well-organized, for there's a lot of work involved in her seasonal meals, party plans and craft projects. More than 100 chic and highly seasoned recipes are presented in the context of monthly, celebratory menusAfrom Heart-Shaped Swordfish Papillotes with Mango Salsa for a Valentine's Day Dinner for Two to Orzo Paella at a Labor Day Weekend Dinner Party. Classics are given clever twists: Warm Apple Spring Rolls with Rum Cider Syrup can be served for Chinese New Year and Jerked Roast Turkey for Thanksgiving. Many African-American traditions are incorporated into the food and party themes as wellASmith recommends serving Black-eyed Pea Salad for Juneteenth. Craft projects such as painting glassware sound like fun, and her decorations can be as lighthearted as setting real goldfish swimming in small bowls at each place setting. Smith describes herself as having "creative vision and playful style," and she exhibits both in this first of a planned four-book series. 16-city author tour. (Oct.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; First Edition edition (October 19, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 037550236X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375502361
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 8.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,245,790 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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27 of 33 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 27, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I just love B. Smith. She does everything with such style. This cookbook is full of great recipes and wonderful information. I watch her TV show and her personality is so warm and positive. This comes through in this book and in her new magazine B. SMITH STYLE which I just bought also.
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By trinkets on April 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
B. Smith does a fantastic job presenting recipes and rituals in this book. I absolutely love it and recommend it to others. I bought an extra copy as a gift for a friend.
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By M. Baker on December 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love all her books! This book was no exception. I would recommend this to anyone who likes to entertain.
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10 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 28, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Although I have yet to purchase this book, from what I have read on the web site, it is sure to be a bestseller! It contains so much information for all types of planning/festivities/celebrations. I wish I had this book 18 months ago when I was planning my Jumpin' the Broom celebration for August 99. Ms. Smith is a very beautiful, classy black woman. She has much grace and style about her. I have seen her show and I just love it. She dosen't leave any stone unturned. Watch out ESSENCE!
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