Southern Scribe
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 Cookbook Review   

Hallelujah! The Welcome Table
A Lifetime of Memories with Recipes
by Maya Angelou
Random House, 2004
Hardcover, $29.95 (218 pages)
  Maya Angelou puts one in mind of the cook during a time of celebration -- family reunion or holiday gathering -- where all congregate around the smell of comfort food as the cook spins stories while stirring the pot. Hallelujah! is a visit to Maya's kitchen.

What is amazing is the food connection with Maya Angelou's career as a writer. Through the collection of stories behind the recipes, the reader learns she got her a Hollywood writing job by charming a potential boss with her cooking of sausage and spoon bread; and that making éclairs helped her battle writer's block.

Maya Angelou revisits her childhood in Stamps, Arkansas through Lemon Meringue Pie, Caramel Cake, Crackling Corn Bread. She takes the reader on her travels with wilted lettuce, roasted turkey, and molded eggs polignac.

Oprah had been after Maya Angelou to do a cookbook since tasting Maya's smothered chicken, which Oprah renamed 'suffocated chicken.' The cookbook is dedicated to Oprah and all wannabe cooks.

Maya Angelou is a poet, writer, performer, teacher, and director. In addition to her autobiographies, she has also written five poetry collections. She lives in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.


Joyce Dixon
Southern Scribe Reviews

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