Vibration Cooking: or, The Travel Notes of a Geechee Girl by Vertamae Smart-GrosvenorVibration Cooking: or, The Travel Notes of a Geechee Girl by Vertamae Smart-Grosvenor

Vibration Cooking: or, The Travel Notes of a Geechee Girl

byVertamae Smart-GrosvenorContribution byPsyche Williams-Forson

Paperback | April 15, 2011

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Vibration Cooking was first published in 1970, not long after the term "soul food" gained common use. While critics were quick to categorize her as a proponent of soul food, Smart-Grosvenor wanted to keep the discussion of her cookbook/memoir focused on its message of food as a source of pride and validation of black womanhood and black "consciousness raising."

In 1959, at the age of nineteen, Smart-Grosvenor sailed to Europe, "where the bohemians lived and let live." Among the cosmopolites of radical Paris, the Gullah girl from the South Carolina low country quickly realized that the most universal lingua franca is a well-cooked meal. As she recounts a cool cat's nine lives as chanter, dancer, costume designer, and member of the Sun Ra Solar-Myth Arkestra, Smart-Grosvenor introduces us to a rich cast of characters. We meet Estella Smart, Vertamae's grandmother and connoisseur of mountain oysters; Uncle Costen, who lived to be 112 and knew how to make Harriet Tubman Ragout; and Archie Shepp, responsible for Collard Greens à la Shepp, to name a few. She also tells us how poundcake got her a marriage proposal (she didn't accept) and how she perfected omelettes in Paris, enchiladas in New Mexico, biscuits in Mississippi, and feijoida in Brazil. "When I cook, I never measure or weigh anything," writes Smart-Grosvenor. "I cook by vibration."

This edition features a foreword by Psyche Williams-Forson placing the book in historical context and discussing Smart-Grosvenor's approach to food and culture. A new preface by the author details how she came to write Vibration Cooking.

VERTAMAE SMART-GROSVENOR (1937–2016) was a poet, actress, culinary anthropologist, and writer. She is the author of Thursdays and Every Other Sunday Off: A Domestic Rap, Vertamae Cooks in the Americas’ Family Kitchen, and Vertamae Cooks Again: More Recipes from the Americas’ Family Kitchen. She has served as a correspondent and host fo...
Title:Vibration Cooking: or, The Travel Notes of a Geechee GirlFormat:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 8.5 × 5.53 × 0.68 inPublished:April 15, 2011Publisher:University of Georgia PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0820337390

ISBN - 13:9780820337395


Table of Contents

Foreword by Psyche Williams-Forson
Preface to the 2010 Edition
The Demystification of Food

Bird, Hunting and Gator Tails
The Smarts, the Ritters and Chief Kuku Koukoui
Philadelphia, Mrs. Greenstein and Terrapins
First Cousins and the Numbers

Away from Home

Forty Acres and a Jeep
Hospitals Ain't No Play Pretty
Taxis and Poor Man's Mace

I Love Dinner Parties
. . . My Friends
. . . African Clothes
. . . Bon Voyage Parties

Mixed Bag
Collards and Other Greens
Poultices and Home Remedies
Aphrodisiacal Foods
Cocktails and Other Beverages
White Folks and Fried Chicken
The Jet Set and Beautiful People

Some Letters to and from Stella and One to Bob Thompson

Editorial Reviews

The fact that Vibration Cooking is now in its fourth reprinting bespeaks both its popularity and its necessity. The current scholarly interest in women's studies, African American studies, African diasporic studies, and food studies provides no better time for reacquainting readers with Vertamae's work. Her book is no less important now than when she first penned it over forty years ago. . . . Black food is more than kitchen scraps; black women are more than mammy figures, and black culture is more than a monolith. . . . I like this book! - Psyche Williams-Forson - from the foreword