Unlike Proust, Maya Angelou didn't have to bite into a madeleine to unleash a flood of memories. Favorite dishes and newfound delights have been focal points in her life from the time she was a little girl living in Stamps, Alabama, with her brother and beloved grandmother, to the present as a world-renowned poet, writer, performer and teacher. She makes that quite clear in her latest book, Hallelujah! The Welcome Table: A Lifetime of Memories with Recipes. The memories come as self-contained vignettes that take us through her fully lived life, each amplified by recipes for the food that was so much a part of them. There's her grandmother's heavenly Caramel Cake made to reassure a troubled young Maya, Braised Short Ribs of Beef improvised when she cooked for a Creole restaurant, the cassoulet that pleased M.F.
K Fisher, the Smothered Chicken and Biscuits that delighted Oprah and many more that mark Maya Angelou's passage "up and away from the days of poverty and the Southern place of need."