Growing up in Mississippi and St. Louis, Robbie Montgomery, the oldest of nine children, was often responsible for putting meals on the family table. Working side by side with her mother in their St. Louis kitchen, Robbie learned to prepare dozens of classic soul food dishes.
Now, at seventy-two, Miss Robbie passes down those traditions for generations of fans to enjoy in Sweetie Pie's Cookbook. Robbie takes you into the kitchen to prepare her most favored meals—smothered pork chops, salmon croquettes, baked chicken—and tells you heartfelt and humorous stories, including amazing tales from her life at the restaurant and on the road as a back-up singer. Miss Robbie began her culinary career on the road—in the segregated America of the1960s, finding welcoming restaurants in small cities and towns was often challenging for African-Americans. When a collapsed lung prematurely ended her singing career, Miss Robbie returned to St. Louis, using her formidable cooking talent to open a soul food restaurant that would make her legend.
Through her show and this special cookbook, Miss Robbie hopes to maintain the place of soul food cooking—its recipes, history, and legacy—in American culture for decades to come.
Sweetie Pie's Cookbook includes 75-100 gorgeous color photos and an Index.
A renowned culinary historian offers a fresh perspective on our most divisive cultural issue, race, in this illuminating memoir of Southern cuisine and food culture that traces his ancestry—both black and white—through food, from Africa to America and slavery to freedom.
Southern food is integral to the American culinary tradition, yet the question of who "owns" it is one of the most provocative touch points in our ongoing struggles over race. In this unique memoir, culinary historian Michael W. Twitty takes readers to the white-hot center of this fight, tracing the roots of his own family and the charged politics surrounding the origins of soul food, barbecue, and all Southern cuisine.
From the tobacco and rice farms of colonial times to plantation kitchens and backbreaking cotton fields, Twitty tells his family story through the foods that enabled his ancestors’ survival across three centuries. He sifts through stories, recipes, genetic tests, and historical documents, and travels from Civil War battlefields in Virginia to synagogues in Alabama to Black-owned organic farms in Georgia.
As he takes us through his ancestral culinary history, Twitty suggests that healing may come from embracing the discomfort of the Southern past. Along the way, he reveals a truth that is more than skin deep—the power that food has to bring the kin of the enslaved and their former slaveholders to the table, where they can discover the real America together.
Illustrations by Stephen Crotts