A Sacred Feast: Reflections on Sacred Harp Singing and Dinner on the Ground
By Kathryn Eastburn
Hardcover, 166 pages
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Some have called Sacred Harp singing America's earliest music. This powerful nondenominational religious singing, part of a deeply held Southern culture, has spread throughout the nation over the past two centuries. In "A Sacred Feast," Kathryn Eastburn journeys into the community of Sacred Harp singers across the country and introduces readers to the curious glories of a tradition that is practiced today just as it was two hundred years ago. Each of the book's chapters visits a different region and features recipes from the accompanying culinary tradition--dinner on the ground, a hearty noontime feast. From oven-cooked pulled pork barbeque to Dollar Store cornbread dressing to red velvet cake, these recipes tell a story of nourishing the body, the soul, and the voice. The Sacred Harp's deeply moving sound and spirit resonate through these pages, captured at conventions in Alabama, Kentucky, Texas, Colorado, and Washington, conveyed in portraits of singers, and celebrated in the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of all-day singing and dinner on the ground echoing through generations and centuries.