Everybody’s talking about Cookin’ Up A Storm……

What a feast this book is. With infinite Grace Lee Rankin gifts us with her beloved Annie, her life and her food. This goes on the “keeper” shelf where in a few weeks it will be stained and splattered. Each recipe is a little siren’s song and I have no intention of resisting.
Lynne Rossetto Kasper, host of public radio’s The Splendid Table

I highly recommend this cookbook. Cookin' Up A Storm is a power full story about an unforgettable woman featuring classic Southern recipes. It is a must have for every cookbook collection.
Nathalie Dupree author of Southern Memories: Recipes and Reminiscences

A body could live on just these timeless dishes and never want for anything else to eat.
John Egerton, author of Southern Food: At Home, on the Road, in History

I’m a great admirer of this book. With compassion and warmth, Jane Lee Rankin pays homage to the fortitude and culinary mettle of a beautiful woman.
John T. Edge, author of Southern Belly: The Ultimate Food Lover’s Guide to the South, Director of the Southern Foodways Alliance
“Cookin’ Up a Storm preserves the marvelous wit and wisdom of a generous, loving old Southern cook and her very real Old South recipes—Buttermilk Pound Cake, Fried Chicken and Gravy, Chicken and Dumplin’s, and Sweet Potato Pie…dishes that you would have loved not just in your childhood, but would love in your life today. Now, with Annie’s recipes, you too can Cook up a storm.”
Shirley Corriher, Food Styles, LA Times, Syndicate and author of Cookwise.

A Book Review...

Jane Adams Finn (Independent food writer for The Washington Post).

The stories and biographies of many white women who grew up in the South are incomplete because they do not include the African American women who taught and nurtured them. This omission is often because the subject is simply too delicate to confront. Jane Lee Rankin, in her warm and personal book, Cookin' Up a Storm, has confronted it head on and with grace.

Rankin's account of the life of Annie Johnson explores the extreme differences in the opportunities which they were afforded and the close relationship which developed between them. These differences brought about that relationship and, no doubt, account for much of its value to both of them.

Annie Johnson entered the Rankins' Louisville home as a housekeeper and cook when the author was six weeks old. Her journey there and the time they shared are recounted in their own words and touch upon difficult points in both lives without rancor or self-pity.

The recipes, meticulously transcribed by Rankin, provide simple directions for classic and whimsical Southern fare. They are a special gift to those of us who grew up with delicious Southern food and whose providers left it to us to figure out how to cook much of it by observation or osmosis.

When Annie Johnson and Rankin join forces to produce the food for seventy-five of Johnson's family and friends, the bond between them is as adhesive as flour and water.

Cookin' Up a Storm should be a treat for anyone who has shared a kitchen with a mentor and it will inspire some to re-examine, and perhaps to write about, their own special relationships. I know that I shall.

Jane Adams Finn (Independent food writer for The Washington Post).

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