Cover image for Sylvia's family soul food cookbook : from Hemingway, South Carolina to Harlem
Sylvia's family soul food cookbook : from Hemingway, South Carolina to Harlem
Woods, Sylvia (Sylvia Pressley)
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Willam Morrow an Co., [1999]

Physical Description:
xi, 275 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 25 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TX715 .W893 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



Sylvia's Family Soul Food Cookbook begins as Sylvia recalls her childhood, when she lived with both her mother and her grandmother -- the town's only midwives. The entire community of Hemingway, South Carolina, shared responsibilities, helped raise all of the children, and worked side by side together every day in the bean fields. Perhaps most important, the community shared its food and recipes. When Sylvia set out to write this cookbook, she decided to hold a cook-off back home in Hemingway at Jeremiah Church. Family and friends of all ages shared their favorite dishes as well as their spirit and love for one another. The recipes offered at the cook-off were then compiled to create this incredible collection, along with many of Sylvia's and the Woods family's own recipes.

Here are the kinds of recipes you'd find if you visited the Woods family's home. Sylvia's daughter Bedelia is well known for her Barbecued Beef Short Ribs, which are as sassy and spicy as Bedelia herself. Kenneth, Sylvia's youngest son, has loved to fish ever since he was a child, spending his summers by the fishing hole in Hemingway. Now Kenneth's son, DeSean, enjoys fishing, too. Kenneth's Honey Lemon Tilefish, DeSean's favorite, is just one of Kenneth's special recipes presented here.

And there are many, many other wonderful dishes, too. In this remarkable cookbook, Sylvia has gathered more than 125 soul food classics, including mouthwatering recipes for okra, collard greens, Southern-style pound cakes, hearty meat and seafood stews and casseroles, salads, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, and more. These recipes are straight from the heart of the Woods community of family and friends. Now Sylvia gives them to you to share with your loved ones. Bring them into your home and experience a little bit of Hemingway's soul.

Author Notes

Sylvia Woods, born in Hemingway, South Carolina, started the world-famous Sylvia's Restaurant

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

The extended African American family gathered around the groaning board gracing the book's cover testifies to the power of food to bind people together through all sorts of life changes. Woods' introduction tells the stories of many members of her family: how they started out in Hemingway, South Carolina, and eventually opened Sylvia's, New York City's premier soul food restaurant. The Woods' family recipes reflect the way food is really cooked by soul food aficionados around the country. Fried chicken sizzles in less oil than most use, but the barbecued sparerib recipes are all rich with plenty of tomato-based sweet-sour sauce. Detailed instructions on preparation make the chitlins accessible to anyone with the time and patience to cook them right. Game recipes include that soul food favorite: raccoon. Pies and cakes round out these homey, filling recipes. --Mark Knoblauch

Publisher's Weekly Review

When Sylvia and Herbert Woods bought a small Harlem luncheonette in l962, they never dreamed that it would become famous as the premier soul food restaurant in New York City. Their four children and many friends and relatives all contributed to this accomplishment, and Sylvia's latest book (after Sylvia's Soul Food) is as much a testament to them as it is to the Southern food she serves. A friendly introduction describes Sylvia's early life in Hemingway, S.C., emphasizing hard work, spirituality, devotion to family and cooking according to the seasons. Seventy photographs illustrate the stories she tells, creating the atmosphere of a family album. All her famous dishes are hereÄfrom Bedelia's Oven-Fried Chicken, Holiday Chitlins and Bert's Catfish Stew to Candy Yams Souffl‚, Frances's Old-fashioned Collard Greens, Hush Puppies and Creamy Banana Pudding. Soups, main courses of all kinds, sides ("the heart of soul food"), breadstuffs and lavish desserts are all deeply flavorful; Chicken Soup, for instance, is loaded with vegetables, black pepper and hot sauce. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introductionp. 1
Warming Soups and Relishesp. 67
Chicken and Turkeyp. 75
Beefp. 97
Porkp. 109
Gamep. 133
Fish and Seafoodp. 145
Side Dishes and Saladsp. 165
Biscuits and Breadstuffsp. 209
Puddings, Pies, and a Poonp. 221
Sweet Cakes, Sugar Cookies, and Lemonadep. 239
Indexp. 265