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America I AM Pass It Down Cookbook : Over 130 Soul-Filled Recipes

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Contains essays and photographs celebrating African American cooking, along with celebrity menus and over 130 recipes to be treasured for years to come.

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Contains essays and photographs celebrating African American cooking, along with celebrity menus and over 130 recipes to be treasured for years to come. The smells in the kitchen, the unforgettable flavors—these powerful memories of food, family, and tradition are intertwined and have traveled down from generations past to help make us the people we are today. Now, Tavis Smiley’s America I AM exhibit has joined forces with Chef Jeff Henderson and Ramin Ganeshram to create the America I AM Pass It Down Cookbook. This special keepsake preserves African Americans’ collective food history through touching essays, celebratory menus, and over 130 soul-filled and soul-inspired recipes. There’s something for everyone—from traditional southern cooking like Apryle’s Seafood Gumbo, Craig Robinson’s Mom’s Buttermilk Fried Chicken, and Russel Honoré’s Barbecued Boston Pork Butt, to healthy new millennium twists, including the Duo Dishes’ Honey Dijon Spiced Pecan Coleslaw, Ron Johnson’s Crunchy Collards, and Scott Alves Barton’s Fragrant Jerk Chicken. Irresistible desserts like Mama Mabel’s Apple Dumplings and Saporous Strawberry Cheesecake, and beverages like Very Exciting Fruit Punch and Tom Bullock’s classic Lemonade Apollinaris are sure to delight.As you read this book, you’ll discover the voices of real cooks and their triumphs in the kitchen, and the ways in which African Americans have impacted the way the whole nation eats. You’ll learn healthy cooking variations filled with heart and soul, and how to make cooking with kids fun. There’s even a section for you to add your own family recipes and "pass it down" to the next generation.It’s time to turn the pages and join us at the table. After all, our shared experience is the greatest feast of all.


Hay House
Book Format
Original Languages
Number of Pages
Jeff Henderson
Publication Date
February, 2011
Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H)
9.06 x 7.38 x 0.70 Inches

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Its not uncommon for ...

It's not uncommon for me to get excited about a recipe, but a cookbook is a different story. I can easily find something in a book that makes me glad I picked it up but I haven't had a whole book get me interested like this one. America I Am is a line of books catering to the history of African Americans. Pass It Down shares African American recipes old and new. I'm not African American but there was something about the description of this cookbook that I liked. It's old Southern recipes (hubby's family is from the south) and maybe something I could add to my growing collection of recipes for my husband. What I didn't expect is a look into the life and history of food for those who came from Africa to America. I learned more than I thought possible from a cookbook. To start with, the book talks about how plantation owners choose slaves from various regions of Africa for their knowledge of certain crops, rice being a big one. Now I'm no agricultural dummy but that surprised me. I didn't even know we grew rice in the US. That was it, I was hooked in the history of food in America. Then came the next "story" about a man who converted to Judaism and re-discovered his heritage through food. That was it, I couldn't put it down. We forget, in this day and age of fast food and busy schedules, how much of our history comes from the kitchen. This book was a great reminder. There were tales of food as a catalyst for civil rights. Cooking and gardens as tools to better communities. Ways to teach our children to not only cook but to preserve their history. As if that wasn't enough, there are amazing Soul Food recipes. Many I can't wait to try in my own kitchen. My favorites - recipes written by George Washington Carver to promote peanuts (peanut doughnuts, anyone?). I have to admit he has got to be my favorite unrecognized historical figure. I owe that man most of my diet since, to me, peanut butter is a must and it made my pregnancy that much easier. I may have to find a time machine and send that man a letter of thanks (or maybe to his descendants). You know, I may be a foodie and I love learning about food in history but this book should be required reading for everyone who calls themself an American. We have so much to thank those who came before us and to honor them, we need to remember what we have that they gave us.

Family permeates throu...

Family permeates throughout this book, including family as a unit, as history, and as culture. Mini-biographies are given of chefs as well as traditional recipes that occasionally include the history of a recipe as well. Interspersed throughout the book are cultural and historical notes as well as "pass it down" cooking tips. Pictures of the food and the chefs are in a sepia tone, reminiscent of old family photo album, emphasize the familial connections.

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