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Sylvia's Family Soul Food Cookbook: From Hemingway, South Carolina, To Harlem Hardcover – June 23, 1999
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From Publishers Weekly
When Sylvia and Herbert Woods bought a small Harlem luncheonette in l962, they never dreamed that it would become famous as the premier soul food restaurant in New York City. Their four children and many friends and relatives all contributed to this accomplishment, and Sylvia's latest book (after Sylvia's Soul Food) is as much a testament to them as it is to the Southern food she serves. A friendly introduction describes Sylvia's early life in Hemingway, S.C., emphasizing hard work, spirituality, devotion to family and cooking according to the seasons. Seventy photographs illustrate the stories she tells, creating the atmosphere of a family album. All her famous dishes are hereAfrom Bedelia's Oven-Fried Chicken, Holiday Chitlins and Bert's Catfish Stew to Candy Yams Souffl?, Frances's Old-fashioned Collard Greens, Hush Puppies and Creamy Banana Pudding. Soups, main courses of all kinds, sides ("the heart of soul food"), breadstuffs and lavish desserts are all deeply flavorful; Chicken Soup, for instance, is loaded with vegetables, black pepper and hot sauce.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
About the Author
Sylvia Woods, born in Hemingway, South Carolina, started the world-famous Sylvia's Restaurant in 1963 and opened a second restaurant in Atlanta in 1997. She owned a line of canned and bottled food products that is sold in supermarkets across the country.
Top customer reviews
Sylvia founded a wonderful restaurant business in Harlem, NY and in Atlanta, Georgia. She reveals some of her secrets to soul food here. But the recipes are deceptively simple and unless you grew up on great soul food (I did not) you might have trouble to reproduce the complexity of flavor. Like Cajun cooking, soul food seems to be based on experience and a honed sense of taste for seasonings that defies documentation.
But you can try, and this is a fine book for recipes, especially for chicken and for vegetables like limas and greens. Mmmmmmm.
Sylvia's book has stayed in the kitchen for several years now, where I can get to it quickly. I've tried many of the recipes in her book, and have been immensely pleased. Other reviewers have all said it as well or better than I could, but I have to add the fact that, when we're trying to come up with an idea for something for dinner, my husband has developed a habit of grabbing the book from its home on the counter between the refrigerator and microwave and saying, "well, let's see what Sylvia recommends today."
I don't know about her other cookbook, but this one is definitely a keeper.
Edited 10-12-2003: we tried the chicken perlow from this book tonight, essentially a one-pot dish featuring highly seasoned chicken and rice with a bit of bacon and onion. Absolutely delicious! I can see why it's been a family favorite across the south for generations.