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Comment: Very Good - Standard used condition book with the text inside being clean and unmarked - Exterior of the book shows moderate signs of usage
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The Cornbread Gospels Paperback – November 22, 2007

4.7 out of 5 stars 91 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This surprising, eccentric volume is full of curious anecdotes, history and cornbread lore, from tales of the Native Americans teaching Pilgrims to make cornbread, to stories of slaves living on little but "ash cakes," corn patties baked in the ashes of a fire. Most intriguing (and delicious) are the recipes themselves, which span the globe to find the happy taste of cornmeal in dozens of novel incarnations. Vermont Maple-Sweetened Cornbread is a classic, a medium-sweet skilletful of steaming yellow bread that makes a wonderful companion to baked beans or a mellow soup. Savory Onion-Scallion Corn Cakes are a spicy variation on the theme, livened up with a fresh green chile. Many recipes are for cornbread accompaniments, like a Golden Gazpacho that turns garden vegetables and lots of corn into an all-American version of the Spanish soup, and Patsy's Cornbread Salad, which mixes chunks of tomato, bacon and onion with cornbread for a Southern take on the Italian bread salad called panzanella. The most exciting corn-themed dishes come from less expected places: the labor-intensive but phenomenally flavorful Sancocho is a South American stew, and African Vegetable Mafe is dense with peanut butter and sauteed vegetables, perfect for sopping up.
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About the Author

Crescent Dragonwagon is the James Beard Award–winning author of seven cookbooks, including Dairy Hollow House Soup & Bread Cookbook, Passionate Vegetarian, and, most recently, The Cornbread Gospels. She is also a contributing editor to Relish magazine and has appeared on Good Morning America, Today and NPR’s The Splendid Table. She lives, grows, and cooks her beans on a farm in Putney, Vermont.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 392 pages
  • Publisher: Workman Publishing Company (November 22, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761119167
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761119166
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #157,012 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Judy Lesley TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 26, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book was given to me by my daughter because she has heard me talking about when my husband and I went on a trip to Eureka Springs, Arkansas, and met Crescent Dragonwagon (as a consumer, not personally). Her restaurant did indeed serve wonderful food and the entire trip was a fantastic experience. I must confess, when I found out that this recipe book concentrated solely on cornbread I was skeptical about it holding my interest. I was wrong.

Let's get the negatives out of the way first:
1. There are no pictures of the finished dishes. I REALLY like pictures.
****EDIT 1/3/2010**** In fairness to Ms Dragonwagon I would like to point out that she added pictures of some of the finished recipes here on the Amazon book page. They are really good photos and will give you an idea of how some of the recipes will look after they are prepared. I'm still cooking up a storm from this book and I'm sure you will too if you decide to try it. Enjoy!****
2. With the exception of the cover, the entire book is black, white, and a kind of pumpkin/orangie color. Not very exciting visually.
3. It is my opinion that much too much emphasis was given to the differences between cornbread as made in the South and cornbread as made in the North. Why go to so much trouble? Just put in the recipes and let me decide if I want to try them.
4. After a while (by about page 100) I really wasn't paying very much attention to the huge amount of information regarding cornmeal and history. Too, too much information.

Now for the positives:
1. It is very obvious that this book was a labor of love for this author. She knows her cornmeal from top to bottom. She even states in the book that this project was six years in the making and I can certainly believe it.
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By B. A. Kaplin on February 5, 2008
Format: Paperback
If you are not sure you could use a whole cookbook devoted to cornmeal and cornbread, you really should check this book out - it will wipe away any doubts you have that cornbread is not important in your life. First of all, this book can be READ, actually read, like a novel, I mean night-time reading. The stories and notes on nearly every page have been my evening reading and most enjoyably so. Then the recipes - every kind of cornbread, plus all kinds of cakes and other dishes using different kinds of corn meal. You can learn all kinds of things about corn meal - its history, the different forms it can take, and the various ways it is prepared. I am now making my way through the recipes, and so far its been excellent. The Vermont custardy cornbread is excellent; my daughter just told me its great with the black bean soup I made last night, but also good enough for dessert (she said with her mouth full of it). This cook book is worth it, do try it!
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Format: Paperback
I laughed, I cried, I sat spellbound and on the edge of my seat to the very end! I was reading the newest Harry Potter book, right? Wrong. I just finished reading The Cornbread Gospels by Crescent Dragonwagon and I absolutely LOVE this book.

This is not just a cookbook. It's stories wound around history, looped with facts and hints and tied together with recipes that will join your repertoire and never, ever leave. It's not just cornbread recipes, either! It's muffins and pones and pancakes and go-withs like greens and soups.

I, like so many people that Crescent Dragonwagon met in her travels, grew up with cornbread and have a deep affection for it; not just because I love it, but because of the memories it brings with it each time it's pulled hot from the oven. When I told my mom about this book, the first thing out of her mouth was, "Grandma made cornbread every day of her life." I didn't know that! I knew grandma made it, of course, but I didn't know it was a daily thing for her. I asked mom if grandma had a recipe or if she (and I looked around and lowered my voice at this) made it from a box. Thankfully, mom said grandma always used a recipe, "...yellow cornmeal-always, a little flour, some sugar..." Just as I'd suspected.

At any rate, when I read about the history of cornbread and how it at one time was thought by some to be "poor people food", or that others were looked down upon for eating it, it nearly broke my heart. Cornbread is beautiful to me, and to think that anyone would think different was just not right. I kept reading, not able to stop, and found that thoughts turned around eventually. I didn't know there was so much to know about cornbread.

I couldn't wait to get started on making some of those recipes, so I chose 3 and got started.
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Format: Paperback
As ever, this cook book by Crescent Dragonwagon is as much at home on your bedside table as in the kitchen. Read it for history -- who'd have thought corn had so much!?; for personal inspiration -- that comes with the territory, with Crescent; for laughs -- her friends and anecdotes about them are pretty funny; for sociology -- you think I'm kidding?; and oh, yeah, for recipes. Amazing recipes. Well researched, carefully documented, easily followed, they come from old family recipes and beyond. Cornbread, we learn from Cornbread Gospels, is not just for soup, anymore. It's for breakfast. It's for dessert. It's good, 24/7.
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