My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Four centuries. Four families. One delicious treat. The recipe for Blackberry Fool is made over the centuries with the same ingredients. But we see the changes in how they get the ingredients, the tools they use to make it, how long it takes, who is making it… and who gets it eat it.
The notes from both author and illustrator at the end of the book really put this book over the top for me. Jenkins goes into detail about the research she undertook and the deliberate decisions she made to show slavery and the feminization of domestic work. Likewise, Blackall talks about the research she did to show the differences in clothing, season and location, and emotional state of those making, eating, and serving such a fine dessert. Her illustrations are perfect and delicate.
Blackall painted the endpapers with blackberry juice, guys.
My picture doesn’t do them justice. Once I knew it was blackberry juice I wanted to lick the page!
From her note:
“After I’d painted the last dot on the last page, I squished blackberries through a sieve with a spoon and used the purple juice to paint the endpapers. With the leftover blackberries, I made the fine dessert and I served it to my family. And the very last thing I did? I licked the bowl.”
The recipe for Blackberry Fool in the back of the book! My daughter , my son, and I made it together and it WAS a fine dessert! Perfect for a hot Texas summer. One delicious book!