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Hallelujah! The Welcome Table: A Lifetime of Memories with Recipes Hardcover – September 21, 2004


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; 1 edition (September 21, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400062896
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400062898
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 0.8 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #70,587 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Readers familiar with Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings will find what may be the secret ingredient of her success in this collection of tear- and laughter-provoking vignettes with 73 savory recipes. Here's Angelou's grandmother's Chicken and Dumplings, Crackling Corn Bread and Caramel Cake. Big brother Bailey makes a mean batch of Smothered Pork Chops and knows how to stretch them for a week's worth of meals. Mother, who "cooked wonderful meals and was very poignant about how to present them," can make a Roasted Capon play second fiddle to Red Rice. As the wider world beckons, Angelou dines. Sometimes she's the worker; having passed herself off as an experienced Creole cook, she becomes one with her Braised Short Ribs. Other times, she's the hostess serving what M.F.K. Fisher pronounces "the first honest cassoulet I have eaten in years." A batch of spoon bread nets Angelou a job and compliment: "If you can write half as good as you can cook, you are going to be famous." She does, and the food world widens (tamales, paté, minestrone, chachouka), and the fellow diners often have famous names (Oprah, Jessica Mitford, Rosa Guy). The food remains delectable and comfortable, and Angelou's directions are minimal but clear enough for experienced cooks. Color photos not seen by PW.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Angelou has feasted at both ends of the food spectrum and everywhere in between. Her appreciation of good food has given her stamina and has enriched the texture of her days. In this memoir of significant meals, the poet recalls her grandmother's ironic discovery that rich folks relished wilted lettuce while she was investing in ice to keep her greens crisp. In another recollection, Angelou recalls her brother Bailey's advice on how to stretch a pork chop or two into enough different meals to please even her ravenous young son. As Angelou's renown swells, so does her purse, and before long she's sitting down to tables where nothing is impossible. Humble beef stew becomes beef Wellington and lemon meringue pie elegant eclairs. But Angelou's savoring of well-made food is a single continuum. Her recipes for favorite dishes derive from traditions as diverse as the origins of menudo, minestrone, spoon bread, tomato souffle, and hog head cheese. Angelou's fans curious about their hero's appetites will find tasty satisfaction here. Mark Knoblauch
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

Maya Angelou has been waitress, singer, actress, dancer, activist, filmmaker, writer and mother. As well as her autobiography she has written several volumes of poetry, including 'On the Pulse of the Morning' for the inauguration of President Clinton. She now has a life-time appointment as Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University in North Carolina.

Customer Reviews

Excellent book with touching stories and great recipes.
M. Pearson
Every recipe I have tried from this book has been a hit with my family, and the great part is they are so easy to make.
Carol
Great book full of great recipes and stories from the great Maya Angelou!
GGLW

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Alyssa on April 11, 2005
Format: Hardcover
So, I'm a cookbook collector. By that, I mean, I have all these cookbooks, but I don't think I've ever tried a recipe out of any of them -- I just like to read them. This was, by far, the best cookbook I've ever read, and devouring the recipes' stories made me actually want to try cooking them. Something about such a great story behind it really got me off my butt to actually make them. I started with Decca's Chicken as I had everything in the house, and it was wonderful, and it prompted me to run out and buy the ingredients I needed for the Smothered Chicken. There's something about Angelou's stories that make me want to try every one of the recipies... ok, maybe not-so-much on the tripe. But for anyone who doesn't get inspired by the normal cookbooks, I highly suggest this one.
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52 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Killian HALL OF FAME on November 1, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Here in San Francisco folk with educated palates still talk and reminisce about Maya Angelou's stint cooking at the Creole Cafe, back during the heigh of the Creole movement westward bound. A wandering people had reached the blue Pacific but hungry Louisianans still yearned for a little bit of home. Of course Angelou was not from Louisiana herself, as we all know she is from Arkansas which is why Bill Clinton asked her to read "On The Pulse of Morning" for his first inauguration, but her family's recipes saw her through some difficult times. And when times got tough for her, San Francisco diners reaped the benefits. Now, sixty years later, she finally reveals the secrets that made her own brand of Creole food so good. (Our local columnist the late Herb Caen wrote about Angelou first as a cook, later as an exotic dancer and singer, finally of course as a famous poet.) The truth is, she did a little bit of everything and you can taste it in her cooking.

I tried the home-made potato salad, and found that, for me, speaking personally, there was maybe too much parsley and not enough pickles, relish, or celery, but it had a delicious flavor nevertheless and I'm not surprised she has called it her favorite picnic food. Brian Lanker's photographs of the food she made herself decorate nearly every chapter, and he is of course the famous LIFE magazine photographer who made the award winning documentary about artists who work for the US government (and independently) in combat. Here his photographs are nore relaxed, though still gritty and reliable. He is a firm photographer, with definite slants to his insight, and so he is a good match up for Maya Angelou, who now must be nearly 80 and with a lifetime of achievement to look back on.
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77 of 89 people found the following review helpful By Mark Twain on September 23, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is a warmly written, beautiful book with very tempting recipes (you almost drool on the pages) -- which are either unique, or have incredibly special touches. Magnificent (like everything the author does). My only quibble (and the reason I didn't give it five stars) is that the descriptions of the recipes and what makes them special appear in a chapter preceding the recipes, rather than above each recipe -- and the recipes are organized by family event, rather than type. That makes it awfully difficult to find anything. But you'll still want the book ... It is glorious, and I can't wait to start trying the tempting recipes.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Carol on October 13, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I collect cookbooks, and this was one I just happened upon, but it has become one of my favorites, my mother is a wonderful cook, and I have always wanted to learn to make her bread pudding, Maya's bread pudding is just like hers and it is wonderful, my husband and kids couldn't get enough of it. Every recipe I have tried from this book has been a hit with my family, and the great part is they are so easy to make.
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40 of 47 people found the following review helpful By ALISHA MARTIN on October 4, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I WAS REALLY LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS BOOK AND WAS NOT DISAPPOINTED. EACH RECIPE IS PRECEDED BY AN ESSAY OF REMEMBRANCE AS TO HOW THE DISH PLAYED A PART IN SOME SMALL SNIPPET OF THE AUTHOR'S RATHER EVENTFUL LIFE. DR. ANGELOU CONTINUES TO WRITE WITH SPARKLE AND SNAP. THE INTRODUCTIONS TO HER RECIPES RUN THE GAMUT FROM AMUSING TO ENLIGHTENING TO HEARTWARMING. YOU ARE IMMEDIATELY TRANSPORTED TO THE PLACES SHE HAS BEEN AND BEAR WITNESS TO THE THINGS SHE HAS DONE. HER WRITING ALLOWS YOU TO KNOW THE PEOPLE SHE MENTIONS. SHE ILLUSTRATES THEM SO DEFTLY THAT YOU CAN PICTURE THEM IN YOUR MIND'S EYE. AS FOR THE RECIPES, I MADE THE SMOTHERED PORK CHOPS AND THE DRUNKEN CHICKEN. THEY WERE DELICIOUS. THE BEEF STEW MADE FOR COMFORTING NOURISHMENT ON A RECENT DRIZZLY SATURDAY AFTERNOON. THOSE TRIUMPHS MADE ME LOOK FORWARD TO TRYING MORE. BUT, SHAME ON HER EDITOR. A TRULY JUDICIOUS EDITOR WOULD HAVE PAID MORE ATTENTION TO SOME THINGS THAT WOULD LEAVE THE COOK WITH QUESTIONS. THE COOK IS LEFT TO WONDER WHY DR. ANGELOU USES BREAD CRUMBS IN THE CUSTARD FOR HER BANANA PUDDING. AND THE CARAMEL CAKE RECIPE CALLS FOR A CARAMEL SYRUP THAT ACTUALLY GOES IN TO THE BATTER. WHY? AND IN THE ACCOMPANYING PHOTOGRAPH, IT IS OBVIOUS THAT THE FROSTED CARAMEL CAKE HAS HAD A DRIZZLING OF SOMETHING (CARAMEL SYRUP?). BUT THE RECIPE DOESN'T TELL YOU WHAT IT IS. ALSO, THE CAKE IN THE PICTURE HAS 3 LAYERS, BUT THE RECIPE IS FOR A TWO LAYER CAKE. AND DESSERTS RECEIVE SHORT SHRIFT IN THE BOOK. THERE ARE NOT A LOT OF RECIPES FOR CAKES AND PIES. I EXPECTED THAT THERE WOULD BE MORE OF THEM. BUT, OVERALL THE BOOK IS VERY SATISFYING. I HAVE LOVED DR. ANGELOU'S WORK FOR SO LONG AND THROUGH SO MANY OF HER WRITINGS. SHE AGAIN INVITES US IN TO HER LIFE AND THIS TIME OFFERS US THE OPPORTUNITY TO HAVE A SATISFYING MEAL AND WE COME AWAY THE BETTER FOR HAVING BEEN THERE. HALLELUJAH, INDEED!!
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