OP: Mirations and Miracles of Mandy
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Robert H. True Company, New Orleans, 1929. Paperback. Very Good. First printing.
Natalie Vivian Scott (1890–1957) was a Virgina-born, New Orleans-raised journalist, playwright, and author with particular interest in New Orleans and Mexican cuisines. The Mirations and Miracles of Mandy, self published in 1929, was her first cookbook.
The titular “Mandy” is a composite (and a character the author repeats in her 1931 book 200 Years of New Orleans Cooking) of Scott’s and her friends’ Black cooks and housekeepers: Pearl, Mammy Lou, Phrosine, Tante Celeste, Venida, Felicie, Mande, Titine, Elvy, Mona, and Relie.
It would be generous to call the language anything other than racist, and the heavily caricatured dialect attributed to “Mandy” is offensive, though the book remains historically significant for its contribution to the culinary record.
Within its 61 pages, Mirations and Miracles of Mandy includes recipes for:
- Ox-tail soup, including hearty root vegetables and the yolks of hard boiled eggs
- Crayfish bisque
- Bouillabaisse de bayou
- Beignets de pommes