cover image Cooking the Gullah Way, Morning, Noon, and Night

Cooking the Gullah Way, Morning, Noon, and Night

Sallie Ann Robinson, , foreword by Jessica B. Harris. . Univ. of North Carolina, $22.50 (154pp) ISBN 978-0-8078-5843-1

Gullah are the hardscrabble South Carolina Low Country descendants of plantation slaves, and their meals reveal African, Jamaican and Caribbean influences. Robinson was raised on Daufuskie Island, an isolated Gullah bastion near Hilton Head. She combines a memoir of growing up with her nine siblings and down-to-earth recipes to cover each meal of the day. Most of her remembrances involve chores and the fertile life of the island, though she also includes a fine chapter on “Folk Beliefs and Home Remedies,” where we learn that ear cleaning should be done with a hen’s feather (never a rooster’s) and that a “handful of spider web” makes for an excellent bandage. As for the recipes, each could be filed under one or more of the three S’s: simple, soul food or seafood. For breakfast, there is Country Fried Fish with Grits. Lunchtime sandwiches include Fried Soft-Shell Crab, which could be paired with ’Fuskie Seafood Gumbo with a stock made from fatback bacon and pig tail. Dinner entrees come stuffed, like Flounder Full of Crabmeat, which can be grilled or steamed. All the dishes can be washed down with one of her seven homemade wines, which generally involve adding five pounds of sugar to five pounds of fruit (like persimmons or peaches) and a gallon of water. (Oct.)