southern soul food

washingtonpost.com
His Paula Deen takedown went viral. But this food scholar isn’t done yet.
Michael Twitty’s mission: To evangelize about the African roots of Southern food.

Wow this guy is amazing uhhhhhh uhhhhhh such awesome work

-blogger at Afroculinaria.com

“Twitty is deeply engrossed in both the African American and Jewish food traditions. “Blacks and Jews are the only peoples I know who use food to talk about their past while they eat it,” says Twitty, 38.”

“From Richmond it was a short jaunt to Colonial Williamsburg, where Twitty spent the week lecturing, conducting training sessions and cooking in period costume at three of the living history museum’s venues. In all his talks, Twitty emphasized the impact of chefs and cooks of African descent on shaping American and Southern cuisines in colonial times and after.”

“At a conference he met the scholar Robert Farris Thompson, author of “Flash of the Spirit,” a book about the influence of African religions on African American art that helped him see that “soul food” was, among other things, a spiritual term describing a mystical connection between humans and the animals and plants they eat.”

“He cooked and he gardened. He studied heirloom seed varieties, some that had been brought from Africa and some that had been carried from the New World to Africa and then, on slave ships, back to North America, among them okra, black-eyed peas, kidney and lima beans, Scotch bonnet peppers, peanuts, millet, sorghum, watermelon, yams and sesame. He called those seeds “the repositories of our history” and wrote about them in a monograph published by Landreth Seed in its 2009 catalogue.”

“Twitty’s embrace of all the various parts of himself — African, African American, European, black, white, gay, Jewish — sometimes raises hackles, as does his habit of speaking his mind. An article he wrote in the Guardian on July 4, 2015, suggesting that American barbecue “is as African as it is Native American and European, though enslaved Africans have largely been erased” from its story, elicited scorn and worse: Many commenters were outraged by his idea of barbecue as cultural appropriation.”

3 Perfect Days In Seattle: A Guide

Day 1

Morning Coffee: Elm Coffee Roasters

240 2nd Avenue South | Seattle, WA 98104

If you fly in take the Link (Seattle Public Transit) downtown.

Right when you get off, you can walk a few blocks until you find Elm Coffee.

This place was recommended by new friends I found from Instagram the wide open space is filled with a white marble bar, and tables accompanied by wicker chairs that seem to fit you just right.

 Petite pastries lay across the bar. The most tempting are the vegan donuts, although you won’t be able to tell the difference.

 The coffee has a light, citrus scent to the roasted beans and the pitter patter of feet fill your ears as customers line up for their morning latte. The ambience is very relaxing, light chatter feels comfortable, and is a sweet spot that isn’t so touristy (like Original Starbucks, you can go there, too!)

Mid-Day Brunch: Biscuit Bitch

1909 1st Ave | Seattle, WA 98101

Walking down to Pike Place, the infamous marketplace is next. To satisfy the itch to try new food in the city, you can get your southern soul food fix closeby.

 The sidewalk is usually lined up with hungry brunchers in line or waiting for one of the (few) coveted tables. The popularity of this place is obvious with people casually walking by end up joining in on the biscuit madness. Biscuit Bitch has all the sass and snarkiness that lives up to its name. The staff has hair all colors of the rainbow, tattoos that dot their arms, and are quirky and loud. I blushed a bit while ordering the “Hot Mess Bitch” but I’ll admit it felt cool to cuss when I ordered.

 The Hot Mess Bitch had me exploring every corner of my cardboard to go box (everything is packaged to go). One bite had me chomping down smooth grits with cheese and the next bite I’d get a flavor whirlwind of sausage, jalapeno and biscuit. Every bite was a new experience depending on which ingredients I wanted to combine next.

The Hot Mess Bitch- Biscuit Bitch

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Recipes for a Southern Sunday 

After re-watching Forks Over Knives recently, I was reminded of how good I had been eating the past five years and how poorly I’ve been eating the past few months. You can even see it in my last few articles. Never would I have promoted so much sugar, oil, and processed food when I first started Cheap Vegan back in 2012.

I’m purposefully documenting it on here because I want people to see that even someone who has been vegan for 12 years and eating a Whole Foods Plant-Based diet for 5 years, is still very capable of slipping into the convenience of processed food, sugar, and caffeine. They taste good and are literally addictive, but even though it takes more work, in the long run it feels even better to make the right choices for our bodies.

So this Sunday I did what I always advise others to do: I went to the farmers market when it was closing down, bought $1 produce from someone trying to get rid of their excess, and I made a delicious meal out of my findings, big enough that I would have left overs for at least part of the week.

4-5 servings only cost me about

<$1 – Rice (from a giant bag)
$1 – Bunch of Collard Greens from Farmers Market
$.75 – onion
<$1 – garlic cloves
<$1 – Veggie Bouillon
<$.50 – 2 Celery Stalks
$1 – Green Pepper
$2 – 2 cans of beans
~$1.75 – 8 Sweet Potatoes (Trader Joes)

TOTALLING OUT TO APPROX: $10!!! That’s only about $2 a meal! And here’s how you make your own Southern Sunday:

RICE
-1.5 cups of brown rice

Put 1 part rice to 2 parts water in rice cooker and turn on.
(You may want to add a little extra water because brown rice is a little more dense)

GREENS
-½ onion
-3 cloves garlic
-1 Vegetable Bouillon cube or Vegetable Broth (adjust to taste)
- about 12 leaves of Collard Greens

1. Dice the onions very fine and chop the garlic very thick.
2. Wash and remove stems of collard greens, then cut into 1″x1″ squares.
3. Sautee the onions and garlic at a low heat until clear.
4. Add a little less than an inch of water with the cube of bouillon or just broth.
5. Once this is simmering, add collards to your rich oniony broth. Make sure you like this flavor because this is how your collards will taste. Adjust accordingly.
6. Mix collards in with broth for about 1 minute then remove from heat. You don’t want to over-cook the greens and you definitely don’t want to boil them.

BEANS
-½ onion
-2 stalks celery
-¼ bouillon cube (to taste)
-½ cup of green pepper (I actually used green poblano pepper for this one)
-2 cans of red or pinto beans

1. Dice the onions, celery, and peppers very fine and sautee at a low heat until onions are clear. 
2. Add beans and bouillon cube until everything is evenly mixed together.
3. (optional) Transfer to oven for a more robust flavor and smooth texture. Add small amount of water and cover if beans become too dry for your liking. 

SWEET POTATOES
-Sweet Potatoes

1. Wash and cut sweet potatoes into 1″ thick pieces.
2. Oil pan to prevent sticking and place in the oven at 350degrees.
3. Add small amount of water and cover with foil if sweet potatoes become too dry.

Viola! You have a soulful meal ready to eat and re-heat for the rest of the work week! Best part is, all of these dishes can be mixed and matched to eat in different ways throughout the week. Rice can be used for a stir fry. Beans can be used for Mexican. Sweet Potatoes can be mashed. Or Collards can be eaten with whole wheat pasta!

If you wanna see how I did it, check out my snap story below!

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Soul Food is a term used for an ethnic cuisine, food traditionally prepared and eaten by African Americans of the Southern United States.

Many of the various dishes and ingredients included in “soul food” are also regional meals and comprise a part of other Southern US cooking, as well. The style of cooking originated during American slavery. African slaves were given only the “leftover” and “undesirable” cuts of meat from their masters (while the white slave owners got the meatiest cuts of ham, roasts, etc.).

They also had only vegetables grown for themselves. After slavery, many, being poor, could afford only off-cuts of meat, along with offal. Farming, hunting and fishing provided fresh vegetables, fish and wild game, such as possum, rabbit, squirrel and sometimes waterfowl. Africans living in America at the time (and since) more than made do with the food choices they had to work with. Dishes or ingredients commonly found in soul food include: Biscuits (a shortbread similar to scones, commonly served with butter, jam, jelly, sorghum or cane syrup, or gravy; used to wipe up, or “sop,” liquids from a dish). Black-eyed peas (cooked separately or with rice, as hoppin’ john). Catfish (dredged in seasoned cornbread and fried). Chicken (often fried with cornmeal breading or seasoned flour) Collard greens (usually cooked with ham hocks, often combined with other greens). Grits, often served with fish. Neckbones (beef neck bones seasoned and slow cooked). Okra: (African vegetable eaten fried in cornmeal or stewed, often with tomatoes, corn, onions and hot peppers). Turnip greens (usually cooked with ham hocks, often combined with other greens).

Though soul food originated in the South, soul food restaurants — from fried chicken and fish “shacks” to upscale dining establishments-are in every African-American community in the nation, especially in cities with large black populations, such as Chicago, New York, New Orleans, Los Angeles and Washington, DC.

Slave Women Processing Pork on Wessyngton Plantation Source: http://www.wessyngton.com/blog/tag/slave-women-in-the-south/

Soul Food History: http://www.aaregistry.org/historic_events/view/soul-food-brief-history