I’m Every Woman, It’s All In Me!
I was raised in the “it takes a village to raise a child” lifestyle of my hometown of Washington, PA. If I was at a friends house and did something wrong, I would get disciplined by my friend’s parents and sent home to be disciplined by own parents – who by now had gotten a call about my bad behavior! But because I was such a perfect child, I rarely got into any trouble! 😉 I thank God for the love and nurturing that I received a child because it’s made me who I am today. My roots on both sides of the family firmly embed me knee deep in soul/southern/country food and cooking. I come from a long line of unbelievably good cooks with my Mother being my most memorable example! I believed my mom could cook anything! I still remember going to work with her one day and watching her make hollandaise sauce and chestnut dressing among other things. Must have been Christmas dinner for the family she was working for but I don’t remember the occasion, I just remember the food! I remember my Grandmother, my Dad’s mother making crackling corn bread, sweet potato pies and her fabulous pound cakes! Another of my great cooking influences was my Aunt Winnie! Aunt Winnie always made “different” food, that was out of the ordinary. She cooked capon, goose or pheasant for the holidays because she didn’t like turkey. She also made corn pudding and macaroni salad with shrimp and crabmeat – two of my favorite dishes. Aunt Winnie’s mother, Aunt Georgia, made the best chicken and dumplings in the world! Even my dad could cook and in fact he taught me how to make gravy when I was about 15 years old. Since his mother (my Gram) was from Alabama, his way of making gravy started with a roux (of course). I could go on and on about my food and cooking influences but that’s what this site is all about!
Soul food to me is a combination of southern food and country food. It was greens, beans and all kinds of vegetables! Some as a child I couldn’t stand – OKRA, BRUSSEL SPROUTS, CAULIFLOWER – yuck! Of course, I love them all now! Soups, stews, roasts and grilled meats. All kinds of home made bread and rolls, scrumptious desserts – cakes, pies, cookies, donuts, ice creams. It was food that I grew up eating and cooking. Now I know that soul food doesn’t come from just one culture, instead it is global cuisine! I responded to a blog post a few months ago, and I remember saying that the dish we were discussing was Polish soul food (Haluski/cabbage and noodles)! I said it and I really meant it! I realize that soul food comes from many different cultures and not just mine. The common thread is the desire to nurture, comfort and please our families and friends using simple, frugal food! My journey is about my food and what I know and grew up eating but who’s to say that we can’t learn a “new” soul food recipe or two along the way! Simple food expertly prepared by people with love and care, often in the most adverse of conditions! Taste the love! It’s my culinary heritage – it’s from whence I came and I love and embrace it!
Celebrate the special chefs and cooks in your life and let’s build the best and biggest soul food recipe sharing site on the internet! Submit your recipe, photo and short story about why your recipe is so special to you and we’ll get it online as quickly as possible. Just click on the submit recipe page, fill out the form with your recipe and submit!