counter create hit If I Can Cook/You Know God Can: African American Food Memories, Meditations, and Recipes - Download Free eBook
Hot Best Seller

If I Can Cook/You Know God Can: African American Food Memories, Meditations, and Recipes

Availability: Ready to download

Acclaimed artist Ntozake Shange offers this delightfully eclectic tribute to black cuisine as a food of life that reflects the spirit and history of a people. With recipes such as "Cousin Eddie's Shark with Breadfruit" and "Collard Greens to Bring You Money," Shange instructs us in the nuances of a cuisine born on the slave ships of the Middle Passage, spiced by the jazz o Acclaimed artist Ntozake Shange offers this delightfully eclectic tribute to black cuisine as a food of life that reflects the spirit and history of a people. With recipes such as "Cousin Eddie's Shark with Breadfruit" and "Collard Greens to Bring You Money," Shange instructs us in the nuances of a cuisine born on the slave ships of the Middle Passage, spiced by the jazz of Duke Ellington, and shared by all members of the African Diaspora. Rich with personal memories and historical insight, If I Can Cook/You Know God Can is a vivid story of the migration of a people, and the cuisine that marks their living legacy and celebration of taste.


Compare

Acclaimed artist Ntozake Shange offers this delightfully eclectic tribute to black cuisine as a food of life that reflects the spirit and history of a people. With recipes such as "Cousin Eddie's Shark with Breadfruit" and "Collard Greens to Bring You Money," Shange instructs us in the nuances of a cuisine born on the slave ships of the Middle Passage, spiced by the jazz o Acclaimed artist Ntozake Shange offers this delightfully eclectic tribute to black cuisine as a food of life that reflects the spirit and history of a people. With recipes such as "Cousin Eddie's Shark with Breadfruit" and "Collard Greens to Bring You Money," Shange instructs us in the nuances of a cuisine born on the slave ships of the Middle Passage, spiced by the jazz of Duke Ellington, and shared by all members of the African Diaspora. Rich with personal memories and historical insight, If I Can Cook/You Know God Can is a vivid story of the migration of a people, and the cuisine that marks their living legacy and celebration of taste.

55 review for If I Can Cook/You Know God Can: African American Food Memories, Meditations, and Recipes

  1. 5 out of 5

    Faith

    I knew this author was a playwright but it wasn’t until after she died that I learned that she wrote other things too. This isn’t a cook book per se, and the recipes aren’t conventionally written. For Dominican Bread Pudding for example, “Let your raisins, half a cup or so, soak in about 3 tablespoons of dark rum. Put that somewhere the children can’t reach it.” The recipes are interspersed with snippets of information about the diaspora of black Africans. There are brief history lessons and eve I knew this author was a playwright but it wasn’t until after she died that I learned that she wrote other things too. This isn’t a cook book per se, and the recipes aren’t conventionally written. For Dominican Bread Pudding for example, “Let your raisins, half a cup or so, soak in about 3 tablespoons of dark rum. Put that somewhere the children can’t reach it.” The recipes are interspersed with snippets of information about the diaspora of black Africans. There are brief history lessons and even a few gardening tips. Sucking raw turtle eggs is absolutely not something I am ever going to do and chitlins are never going to pass my lips. However that is not the author’s attitude. “I was raised to experiment with taste and sound, thus my interest in music, language, and food, but more importantly to never turn my nose or chin up to any kinda food that anybody ate.” The author traveled widely and picked up stories and recipes everywhere. For a while she even barrel raced in Texas rodeos under the name Gypsy Cowgirl. I found the book interesting although the presentation of information was a little too scattered for me and I wasn’t drawn to cook any of the dishes. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Julianne

    Food is an ideal lens for thinking about the black diaspora. Poetry-prose with history/memory/lore all mixed together. I love her recipe writing style too. Have been putting off Michael Twitty's book but think I'll move there next. Food is an ideal lens for thinking about the black diaspora. Poetry-prose with history/memory/lore all mixed together. I love her recipe writing style too. Have been putting off Michael Twitty's book but think I'll move there next.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Gwen

    Part memoir, poetry, cookbook, and history of the African diaspora ... this book defies categorization while it captivated your senses. Can’t wait to make Savannah’s vegan chocolate torte! Thank you, Caitlin, for the suggestion.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Caitlin V

    This book exists somewhere between memoir, essay collection, cookbook, and poetry. Evocative and lyrical.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Laura Avellaneda-Cruz

    I loved the recipes and look forward to cooking them. She narrates them the way someone would if you were standing in the kitchen or grocery store with them. I also love the way she weaves together historical/sociological knowledge with personal experience of people and places and food, and relates all of this to food, the way food structures our lives. Food is the best way to learn history for me, and so I appreciate this structure and the conviction with which she tells these stories. This wou I loved the recipes and look forward to cooking them. She narrates them the way someone would if you were standing in the kitchen or grocery store with them. I also love the way she weaves together historical/sociological knowledge with personal experience of people and places and food, and relates all of this to food, the way food structures our lives. Food is the best way to learn history for me, and so I appreciate this structure and the conviction with which she tells these stories. This would be a great introduction to the African diaspora for someone who likes food, and is an effective way of narrating the story of the diaspora, of slavery and migration and language. My only complaint are that she often references people without any explanation and makes quick asides that divert the reader in a confusing way. I didn't always understand her writing--not clear and straightforward, sometimes desultory and flowery and vague.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    This book is filled with much more than recipes. Every story contains food for the soul.

  7. 5 out of 5

    April

    If I Can Cook/You Know God Can: African American Food Memories, Meditations, and Recipes By Ntozake Shange 1998, Epilogue 2019 Using memories of food, Ntozake Shange,takes the reader on a trip through time and around the world. On this trip, we visit Canada, all over the U.S. (the North, the South, the Midwest, Texas and the wild west), Mexico, Central America, South America, the American Islands, and even Africa - any where African people have made their homes - or the African -American Diaspora. If I Can Cook/You Know God Can: African American Food Memories, Meditations, and Recipes By Ntozake Shange 1998, Epilogue 2019 Using memories of food, Ntozake Shange,takes the reader on a trip through time and around the world. On this trip, we visit Canada, all over the U.S. (the North, the South, the Midwest, Texas and the wild west), Mexico, Central America, South America, the American Islands, and even Africa - any where African people have made their homes - or the African -American Diaspora. Not one to shy away from the subjects of slavery and racism, the author, using first hand experience, as well as stories from family and friends, explains how and why the people are there and what foods are important and why in a scholarly and poetic manner. Recipes of many of the foods mentioned are included in the book. I found this slim tome to be riveting and extremely interesting. As a non-African-American, I did not grow up with a lot of the food mentioned, or a detailed understanding that the enslavement of Africans was not just a North American evil, but was all over the Americas. This was a truly enlightening read. 3 1/2 stars

  8. 5 out of 5

    Rebekah

    So much more than recipes!! (I received a copy of this book from a Goodreads giveaway.) Ms. Shange showcases an intense connection with her family's history--their struggles, sufferings, and joys. I have said this often: I can only wish I knew as much about my own family's past (where they came from, what they did, what brought them heartache)--we lost connection with our past long ago, and it makes me immensely sad. Just as her recipes (which are fabulous, btw--retaining as much authenticity as p So much more than recipes!! (I received a copy of this book from a Goodreads giveaway.) Ms. Shange showcases an intense connection with her family's history--their struggles, sufferings, and joys. I have said this often: I can only wish I knew as much about my own family's past (where they came from, what they did, what brought them heartache)--we lost connection with our past long ago, and it makes me immensely sad. Just as her recipes (which are fabulous, btw--retaining as much authenticity as possible, but also making substitutions for us village-idiot Americans) are transferred conversationally, I love how Ms. Shange combines southern down-home colloquialisms with her knowledgeable, educated musings (sometimes even in the same sentence). It adds a beautiful depth of flavor to her writing. The only reason I deducted a star for my rating of this book is because I often felt out-of-the-loop. And I couldn't tell if it was done purposely or if I'm just the typical white woman who doesn't know heads from tails....

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kay F.

    I love love love this book! In these short chapters, Ntozake makes you fall in love with African and African-American cooking through her memories, experiences, and her ultimate passion for food. One of my favorite things that she has written in this book is, "I was raised to experience with taste and sound, thus my interest in music, language, and food, but more importantly to never turn my nose or chin up to any kinda food that anybody ate. First of all, who was I to do such a thing." The recip I love love love this book! In these short chapters, Ntozake makes you fall in love with African and African-American cooking through her memories, experiences, and her ultimate passion for food. One of my favorite things that she has written in this book is, "I was raised to experience with taste and sound, thus my interest in music, language, and food, but more importantly to never turn my nose or chin up to any kinda food that anybody ate. First of all, who was I to do such a thing." The recipes featured throughout were unusual yet familiar. For instance, the Louisiana gumbo (because I'm from New Orleans) brought me back to Thanksgiving or dinners with my family during those colder months. Also, the "unusual" recipes that she mentioned were just as familiar. I could almost taste them as I was reading them even though I've never seen nor heard of them before in my life. With that, this culinary memoir has easily become one of my favorites.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kanika Samra

    A complex but beautiful tale of food and migration (often forced in context of slavery). What the author presents is a template for thinking about food, our relationship with it especially how it shapes who we are. Dense with references and notes, this is a great gateway to learning about the continuing effort of preserving the culture of descendants of west African slaves. Ties to the homeland are never to far.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Amber

    "But seriously, and here I ask for a moment of quiet meditation, what did L’Ouverture, Pétion, and Dessalines share for their victory dinner, realizing they were the first African nation, slave-free, in the New World? What did Bolivar crave as independence from Spain became evident?...I only ask these questions because the New York Times and the Washington Post religiously announce the menu of every Inauguration dinner at the White House every four years." "I need to know how we celebrate our vic "But seriously, and here I ask for a moment of quiet meditation, what did L’Ouverture, Pétion, and Dessalines share for their victory dinner, realizing they were the first African nation, slave-free, in the New World? What did Bolivar crave as independence from Spain became evident?...I only ask these questions because the New York Times and the Washington Post religiously announce the menu of every Inauguration dinner at the White House every four years." "I need to know how we celebrate our victories, our very survival. What did we want for dinner? What was good enough to commemorate our humanity?"

  12. 4 out of 5

    Patricia

    Reading this book was like traveling with Ntozake Shange through a history of the African diaspora and a history of food. A great read.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    A beautiful book. Not conventional cook book. Sort of a memoir. A history of the African diaspora.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Phanesia Pharel

    Amazing critique and wholistic look at how food can affect some pan Africans. Rest in power and peace Shange ❤️

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jem

    Part memoir, part cook book and entirely captivating. Yet the book could have been improved by having pictures of the dishes.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    This exploration of the African diaspora through traditional cuisine has its moments of brilliance. The writing can be a bit uneven, but the recipes, told in the voice of the original cook, make it invaluable: New Year's Day Collard Greens Hoppin' John Chitlins (if that is your thing) Gumbo Fish Curry Hush Puppies Couscous Royale Dominican Bread Pudding This exploration of the African diaspora through traditional cuisine has its moments of brilliance. The writing can be a bit uneven, but the recipes, told in the voice of the original cook, make it invaluable: New Year's Day Collard Greens Hoppin' John Chitlins (if that is your thing) Gumbo Fish Curry Hush Puppies Couscous Royale Dominican Bread Pudding

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kayla Stace

  18. 4 out of 5

    Natalie

  19. 4 out of 5

    K

  20. 5 out of 5

    Clayton Neal

  21. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

  22. 4 out of 5

    Alexandra Mikell

  23. 5 out of 5

    Amy

  24. 4 out of 5

    Crystal

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lateefah C.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Karina

  27. 4 out of 5

    Morgan

  28. 4 out of 5

    Buddhathedog

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sherrie

  30. 4 out of 5

    amelia

  31. 5 out of 5

    Nina

  32. 4 out of 5

    Heather Marie

  33. 4 out of 5

    M

  34. 5 out of 5

    Bayta Tai

  35. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay Knisely

  36. 4 out of 5

    Angel

  37. 4 out of 5

    Atena Oyadi

  38. 5 out of 5

    Tisa

  39. 4 out of 5

    Devoya

  40. 4 out of 5

    Amy

  41. 5 out of 5

    Khelani

  42. 5 out of 5

    Katherine Lewis

  43. 5 out of 5

    Solomon

  44. 5 out of 5

    Erin

  45. 5 out of 5

    Tiffany

  46. 4 out of 5

    Rosemari

  47. 5 out of 5

    Brandi

  48. 5 out of 5

    kate

  49. 4 out of 5

    Vy

  50. 4 out of 5

    Yasmin

  51. 5 out of 5

    Lee

  52. 4 out of 5

    Edi

  53. 4 out of 5

    Meaghan

  54. 5 out of 5

    Sky

  55. 4 out of 5

    Nash Tysmans

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.