It's a rare long time since we've seen a book on foods so intimately bound to the seasons and farming rhythms as Edna Lewis' loving recreation of how folks prepared and ate their meals in the small Piedmont village founded by freed slaves where she grew up. This is not soul food--just good Southern cooking: after sheep-shearing, braised forequarters of mutton; after hog-butchering, country breakfasts of fried pork sweetbreads, cornbread, and apples cooked in bacon fat. Urbanites will find some of these meals difficult if not impossible to recreate. There are salads and skillet dishes that call for wild watercress, beet tops, and lambs'-quarters which may be hard to find--but the sweet-potato pie, sour-milk griddle cakes, and hickory-nut cookies are happily manageable. Not many beef dishes and hardly any fish, but succulent hams and sausages and a lavish assortment of chicken dinners--all enhanced by memories of down-home traditions. Just splendid.