Friday, February 20, 2009

Bring Me Some Apples on Foodie Friday

I've got a great picture book with rhymes and recipes on this Foodie Friday. It's Bring Me Some Apples and I'll Make You a Pie: A Story About Edna Lewis by Robbin Gourley. Edna Lewis was born in 1916 in a farming community founded by her grandfather and two other emancipated slaves. She grew up to be a famous, award winning chef when there weren't many celebrated female or African American chefs. She was a proponent of Southern regional cooking and bringing ingredients fresh from the field to the table. I learned this about her from the author's note at the end of the book. The bulk of Bring Me Some Apples follows one growing and harvesting season in Edna's childhood. She and her family harvest and eat strawberries, wild greens, wild honey, cherries, blackberries, peaches, tomatoes, watermelon, corn, beans, grapes, apples, pecans and walnuts as they ripen. With each new crop, Edna speculates on what she should make with that food. For instance, when she and her father collect wild honey, she thinks about honey sweetening hot biscuits in the morning. For each food, there is also a bit of folk wisdom or poetry, such as
"A swarm of bees in May is worth a load of hay
A swarm of bees in June is worth a silver spoon
A swarm of bees in July is not worth a fly."
Gourley's beautiful watercolor illustrations make me long for summertime and fresh fruits and vegetables. She wisely includes four of Edna Lewis' recipes updated for modern kitchens and young cooks. The title of the book tells us this is "a story about Edna Lewis." I want more stories about her. It inspired me to learn more about her adulthood and career which makes it successful nonfiction for children in my opinion.


Ginny Marie said...

What a great book to show kids where food comes doesn't just grow on the shelf at the grocery store! Sometimes I wish we lived in the country.

Doret said...

I loved the illustrations. Made me want to trade my chocolate bar for some strawberries