Book Review: Our Mother’s Table


table

Our Mother’s Table: The Culinary Journey of Beneva Mayweather

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This is a family cookbook by Emma Mayweather Lincoln and Denise Simms. It’s dedicated to their mother and it also details her interesting history and how she became a caterer. Beneva Bone and her family were dairy farmers and also cotton farmers. As a child in Arkansas in the 1930’s and 40’s, she picked cotton endlessly in the summer for the market.

There are many recipes traditional to the South; baked beans, fried chicken, cheese straws, and buttermilk biscuits; but there are some upscale items as well which may be common to the south. Our Mother’s Table is a very attractive book; hardcover with concealed spiral binding, with a homey looking graphic on the front and back covers showing a table laden with good food. All you see of the people sitting at it are their legs, feet, and some of their hands. There is also a small dog under the table to add to the hominess! For the most part, one recipe takes one page, with a wide decorative margin. Recipes are grouped in various categories; there’s Thanksgiving Dinner, there is “Down Home”, and “At Home on Provine Street” which are, I imagine, all the recipes they enjoyed at home while growing up. Other sections include Elegant Entertaining and Southern Hospitality for the most characteristic recipes. There is even a section for Wild Game Hunters including pheasant, turkey, and quail. Lincoln and Simms have put together a good quality memorial to their mother. All in all this is a very enjoyable read and I will be trying several of these recipes in the near future.

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