The American Beach Cookbook

Marsha Dean Phelts

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Recipes from a community famous for extraordinary culinary feats

"If you can't make it to American Beach when the party flag goes up, reading The American Beach Cookbook is the next best thing. Resident historian and passionate cook Marsha Dean Phelts shares the signature recipes and secrets that are the heart of the community and good times at the beach."--Arden R. Brugger

"This book is for those who savor the tastes and smells of the foods of southern black families and communities of the past."--Carolyn L. Williams

From its founding in 1935 to the present, trips to American Beach have meant good times, good friends, and great food.

Located on Amelia Island in northeast Florida and established by the Pension Bureau of the Afro-American Life Insurance Company, American Beach today is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It remains a beloved vacation destination as well as a year-round home for many African Americans.

For The American Beach Cookbook, Marsha Dean Phelts has collected nearly 300 recipes passed down through generations. Over the years, many influences have found their way into the dishes and are represented here by everything from pig's feet to sweet potato pone and from smothered shrimp to bourbon slushes. Mouths will water at such treats as fried cheese grits, she-crab soup, seafood casserole, crab coated shrimp chops, cornbread dumplings, chicken curry, corn relish, pickled peaches, Big Mama's fruitcake, and much more.

In addition to the recipes, readers will enjoy compelling vignettes that illustrate the heritage of people and potables, vintage photographs, and area maps that together tell one of the great stories of a unique community.

Marsha Dean Phelts is the author of An American Beach for African Americans.

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"A lovingly assembled history book, scrapbook and photo album with tons of black-and-white pictures of smiling bathing beauties, cozy cottages and laughing children back in the day."
--Miami Herald

" Phelts' culinary scrapbook is a delightful slice of Americana."
--Publishers Weekly

" Nearly 300 recipes passed down through generations of visitors who frolicked and picnicked at American Beach."
--Tallahassee Democrat

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