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A Kwanzaa Keepsake and Cookbook

Celebrating the Holiday with Family, Community, and Tradition

Introduction by Carla Hall

About The Book

From the award-winning author of High on the Hog—inspiration for the “energetic, emotional, and deeply nuanced” (The New York Times) Netflix series of the same name—comes a new and updated edition of A Kwanzaa Keepsake, another important exploration of African American culture, food, and family, featuring recipes and stories to help this generation create unique holiday traditions.

Now with a new introduction by award-winning writer and iconic culinary historian Jessica B. Harris, a foreword by chef and television personality Carla Hall, revised recipes and stories, and a fresh new package, A Kwanzaa Keepsake offers proverbs, ceremonies, family projects, inspirational biographies, blessings, and of course, wonderful recipes. Structured around the seven days of Kwanzaa and the virtues each day represents, Harris shares a themed feast for each night, designed to reflect the principle of the day. Some of the menus include:

-Umoja (Unity), featuring dishes of multinational origin such as Seasoned Olives, Mechoui-Style Leg of Lamb with cumin, mint, and chili, and a classic Caribbean rum punch, and reminds readers of the union of all peoples of African descent.
-Kujichagulia (Self-Determination), composed of dishes from the African continent including Sweet Potato Fritters, Grilled Pepper Salad, and Piment Aimee, a hot sauce from one of the author’s friends.
-Kuumba (Creativity) is a healing supper and communal meal that opens the gates of remembrance through food. The repast is centered around a heritage recipe and includes others for Pickled Black-Eyed Peas, a fish dish from the the Ivory Coast, Spicy Cranberry Chutney, and a killer pecan pie with molasses whipped cream.

Interspersed throughout the book are spaces to record family memories, sayings, and recipes. Rich in culinary history, and a source of inspiration for treasuring and recording family traditions both old and new, A Kwanzaa Keepsake is a book to cherish, and one that families will turn to again and again.

About The Author

Photo credit: J. Pinderhughes

Jessica B. Harris holds a PhD from NYU and taught English at Queens College for more than thirty years. She lectures internationally. She is the author of High on the Hog, which inspired the hit 2021 Netflix show of the same name. She is also the author of a memoir, My Soul Looks Back, as well as twelve cookbooks. Her articles have appeared in VogueFood & WineEssence, and The New Yorker, among other publications. She has made numerous television and radio appearances and has been profiled in The New York Times. Considered one of the preeminent scholars of the food of the African Diaspora, Harris has been inducted into the James Beard Who’s Who in Food and Beverage in America, she received the James Beard Lifetime Achievement Award in 2020, and an Augie Award from the Culinary Institute of America in 2022. She also received an honorary doctorate from Johnson & Wales University and recently helped the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture to conceptualize its cafeteria.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Scribner (November 5, 2024)
  • Length: 224 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781668035870

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