The American Beach Cookbook
By Marsha Dean Phelts
University Press of Florida
Details: 320 pages 6 x 9
Paper: $19.95 ISBN 13: 978-0-8130-3210-8
The American Beach Cookbook, by Marsha Dean Phelts, celebrates the food, drink, and culture of American Beach on Amelia Island in Florida. The Afro-American Life Insurance Company, started by the first African American millionaire Abraham Lincoln Lewis, purchased the beach in 1935 to ensure that African Americans had unrestricted access to the Florida Coastlines.
The American Beach Cookbook gives us unrestricted access to the food and beverage that is at the heart of the party, along with vintage photos, maps, and anecdotes. Even if you can’t make the party, you can relish in American Beach resident and historian Marsha Phelt’s community recipes for Grannie’s Tomato Gravy (click here for recipe), Jalapeno Hoecakes, Sweet Potato Pone, Big Mama’s Tea Cakes, He Shorty’s Pigs Feet in BBQ Sauce, and Mrs. Mary’s Sweet Tomato Pie.
Whether your plans this summer are to visit the beach or not, this cookbook should be in your kitchen. Filled with recipes that aren’t fussy, it is a cookbook that puts celebration and community in the substance of each recipe. The National Historic Register added American Beach to the list in 2002.