Cassandra Harrell remembers watching her grandmother, Big Mama, fry hot-water corn bread in a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet on her electric stove. Only four years old, Harrell had to crawl onto a kitchen chair to see the yellow cornmeal batter skillfully dropped into sizzling oil. Once fried to a golden brown, the bread was served with one of Big Mama s many delicious meals like a plate of turnip greens and smoked meat or a bowl of beef stew. Growing up in a small, close-knit community in southwest Tennessee, Harrell received a culinary education from her family, learning her trade by example: she listened to her mother and grandmother and watched them in the kitchen as they cooked tomatoes, onions, and cabbage they gathered from the family s large backyard garden. Over the next forty years, Harrell honed her appreciation of good food through cooking, both at home and as a professional caterer.
"Soul Food Advisor" shares more than 150 of Harrell s personal and family recipes from Big Mama s Neck Bone Soup to Harrell s own low-cholesterol, low-sodium Country Black-eyed Peas and Okra. Recipes range from modern favorites like hush puppies, barbecue, and Tennessee-style coleslaw, to lesser-known dishes such as hoecakes, mayonnaise drop rolls, jelly cake, and a whole chicken baked on top of cornbread dressing. In addition to delicious recipes, Harrell includes snippets of southern food history, personal memories from the kitchen, and time-tested cooking tips.
Both home and professional cooks, as well as food historians, will embrace Harrell s celebration of soul food as she recounts its authentic recipes, iconic dishes, and irresistible flavors. From the home kitchens that perfected this family-centered cuisine, "Soul Food Advisor" reveals the secrets of southern cooking, one dish at a time."