Cooking by vibration

Vibration CookingIn 1958, at the age of 19, Vertamae Smart-Grosvenor left the US for Paris in search of a career in the theater. What began as a simple search for black-eyed peas in France ended up being far from simple, and led Smart-Grosvenor down the path of writing about food and cooking as a way of expressing one's culture.  Known as an American culinary anthropologist, she celebrated the Gullah food and culture of her native South Carolina. Smart-Grosvenor died last month, and Tejal Rao of The New York Times recently memorialized the author by making one of her recipes

Although she wrote several books, Smart-Grosvenor is best known for her first book, 1970's Vibration Cooking, which was reprinted in 1986, 1992, and 2011. The title  comes from Grosvenor's discussion of "vibrations" in the book, which meant using your intuition and all of your senses while cooking. "When I cook, I never measure or weigh anything; I cook by vibration," she wrote as explanation. 

Rao recalls marveling at the way Smart-Grosvenor "shifted from memoir to recipe, often without breaking the flow of a sentence," and the manner in which the author "embroidered her stories with politics, sarcasm, romance and family mythology, defining the food-memoir genre as we now know it." Smart-Grosvenor died in New York on September 3 at the age of 79. 

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