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Sylvia's Family Soul Food Cookbook: From Hemingway, South Carolina, To Harlem Hardcover – June 23, 1999

4.4 out of 5 stars 93 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Cookbooks; 1 edition (June 23, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688162193
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688162191
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #212,061 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on March 9, 2000
Format: Hardcover
My family is entirely from Kentucky (except for myself, I was born in New York) and I grew up on good southern cooking.Though I love to cook, I never learned to cook real southern food. I regret not taking the opportunity when my great-grandmother was alive and my grandmother is too ill to teach me now.
Sylvia's book covers many of the staple recipes my family whipped up and they are truly *easy* to prepare. She even has several more health conscious recipes for those who must have them (Southern and healthy are not synonymous).
I've prepared many of her recipes with great success. The tuna croquettes are easy and yummy! You probably already have all the ingredients in your cupboards. The smothered pork chops are to die for, and I finally can make a gravy my grand mother would be proud of! There are a few recipes I simple will not try. I wouldn't as a kid and I'm not starting now! (Eeewww chitterlings! ), but if you're adventurous or your taste bud run that way, enjoy! If you love real southern cooking, you can easily make it yourself with this book.
It's also filled with lots of interesting stories and anecdotes about her, her family and her restaurant. She's a wonderful woman whom I hope writes another cookbook soon!
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Format: Hardcover
When I first received Sylvia's book I thought it was just going to be another cookbook where the pictures look good but the flavor never turns out...,Well not this book. If you follow the recipes to a tee you will end up with absolutely delicious dishes. My family really thinks I learned how to cook..I tell them "honey it's not me but my best friend Sylvia". The cake recipes are excellent and are all flavorful and moist. How many times have you baked a cake from the book and it is dry and never looks like the picture? Sylvia has recipes for pound cakes that...., well I can't believe she gave out these secrets. Invite your family and your mother-in-law over for pot roast, string beans, sweet potatoes, etc., etc., etc. all seasoned great and turn out delicious. Don't forget the last recipe in the book -- Fresh Squeezed Lemonade -- do it exactly as she says -- You don't know what you're missing. If you know just the basics in the kitchen and want your soulfood meals to taste like "Mama's" get this book and you're in for a big surprise. Before Sylvia came along I just cooked but now I BURN in the kitchen!!
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Format: Hardcover
Sylvia Woods has provided a true delight to your senses! She relates rich experiences of growing up in the Hemminway S.C. community where people basically raised collected, slaughtered, canned and froze almost everything they ate.
My memories of summers in the south as a child, eating packed sandwiches in the car on the way back north and going to the community freezer locker, came flooding back. And the recipes themselves, provide an accurate taste of many of the old southern favorites. For those not privileged to have connections in the south, it may have been hard to come by some of the recipes and Ms Woods has taken the time to chronicle the old classic southern dishes that were typically learned from grandmothers and mothers. But it's not just the food, it's the "soul" that's connected to the preparation. How many of us pass down great experiences connected to the fast food and pizza that we so often eat?
Try some of my favorites: Frances's Lily White Biscuits, Nan's Extra-Special Marinated Spareribs and Peach Cobbler, put some soul into it and create lasting memories of your own.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I GUESS I MISUNDERSTOOD. I THOUGHT THAT THE RECIPES WOULD BE ALL OF SYLVIA WOODS BUT VERY FEW ARE HERS. THEY ARE MOSTLY FAMILY AND FRIENDS. ONE RECIPE FOR BBQ CHICKEN SAYS SALT, PEPPER AND YOUR FAV BBQ SAUCE. I AM A SOUTHERN COOK WHERE WE DO EVERYTHING FROM SCRATCH. THAT IS NOT A RECIPE, IT IS AN INSULT AND SOMETHING ANYONE CAN DO. NOT EXCITED AT ALL ABOUT THIS BOOK. THANK GOODNESS FOR THE DISCOUNT.
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Format: Hardcover
This cookbook is not only a great one to have for the delicious recipes of good, southern home-cooked food, but it is also one that reminds people of their own roots and heritage. Any time a family unites for a meal, there is a great deal more going on than fulfilling that need to kill the hunger. Good food is the only recipe for the soul. Sylvia has included many recipes in this book that my family has enjoyed for many, many years. I may be a bit biased in rating this book because there are some included by my aunt, Neomia Brown, and grandmother, Annie Frazier (who passed a year ago this December). Bless your heart Sylvia and to all of you who enjoy the recipes throughout the book! Thank you Sylvia for reminding us through your own story that good food may not be able to heal a broken heart, but it can at least nourish the soul when families can gather to enjoy it!
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Format: Hardcover
If your idea of soul food cooking is the extra crispy family meal deal at "Popeyes(TM)", Mrs. Woods' cookbook wants to show you the light.
I received this cookbook by accident. I belong to a cookbook club and forgot to tell them I didn't want that month's selection. I've been able to prepare many of Mrs. Woods' recipes with great success. The tuna croquettes are very easy and delicious! They reheated well for lunch the next day too. The smothered pork chops are to die for, and I finally can make gravy my grand mother would have been proud of!
The only trouble I ran into in the entire cookbook were several of her cooking times. In a few recipes, like the "Wednesday Night Special Meat Loaf", cooking took noticeably longer than specified. I know all ovens are different but when the recipe says bake for 1 hour and it took almost 2, that's a big difference. Still, the meat loaf was delicious and worth the wait.
Along with some great recipes, if you enjoy reading your cookbooks, you'll spend lots of engrossed in this one. This cookbook is a human-interest biography with lots of humor and soul.
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