cover image Homage: Recipes and Stories from an Amish Soul Food Kitchen

Homage: Recipes and Stories from an Amish Soul Food Kitchen

Chris Scott, with Sarah Zorn. Chronicle, $35 (272p) ISBN 978-1-79720-774-2

Two cultures steeped in farming find rich common ground in this captivating tribute from chef Scott. The author, who was born in South Carolina and grew up with his grandmother in Coatesville, Pa., brings the Amish customs of his adolescence and the soul food of his antebellum ancestors together in recipes shaped by German and Dutch traditions. The canning of pickles and preserves is explored with seven sweet and seven sour treats including apple butter and rhubarb chow-chow. Filling breakfast choices include cheese grits with jerk pork, while a chapter of vegetable-forward dishes is full of inspired mash-ups like ham hock and bean terrine, and charred radicchio salad with cola-boiled peanuts and Amish cheddar. In a preface to a section of “hard times food,” Scott nimbly points out the too easy trend of appreciating celebratory meals rather than the hardscrabble meals of the impoverished—“I get it: Fried chicken and waffles make a much louder noise than turkey necks and rice.” And yet his turkey neck gumbo over rice shines, helped out by a jug of homemade dandelion wine. For more joyous times, church basement fare like lemonade buttermilk fried chicken are at the ready, as are dessert classics like Southern-inspired peach cobbler, and whoopie pies of Amish market fame. This hits the spot. (Sept.)