October 18, 2014
Soul music, soul sistah, soul food. Even if you can not relate to the terms, I’m betting you can relate to the experience. When something feeds your soul, it makes a difference in your entire being. You feel free, comfortable, just right. And that is exactly what I’d like to experience and share with some special guests. So I’m going back to my roots of soul food and will host a HalloWINE Soul Food dinner event at Frichette. WIth the help of Ethos Bakery, we are creating soul food dishes with some modern love that will be sure to feed your soul.
As a young’un, I didn’t understand the history of soul food. I just knew the euphoria I experienced when the food hit my palate and the flavors danced on my taste buds. I’d eat until my belly poked out like a pot belly pig. With grease on my lips and kool-aid stained teeth I found a paradise that visited like a courteous guest. Staying long enough to bring a sweet pleasure and leaving with me wanting more. My soul sang like the old lady in the church choir exhaling soprano bliss into the eardrums of church goers. And my spirit danced like a well trained ballerina. Soul food brought happiness, celebration and excitement. It brought comfort and companionship. It brought life. It brought love and understanding. And it created a lot of memories around big oak tables.
As an adult my appreciation for soul food has grown. I graduated from drinking kool-aid to sipping sweet iced tea and I eat watermelon in cut up chunks instead of from the rind. The tradition of sharing soul food is still one of my favorite things to do. Some of my soul food favs are fried chicken, fish, black eyed peas, collard greens, macaroni and cheese, okra corn bread and sweet potato pie.
It still amazes me that this staple of black families and friends originated when slaves and sharecropper families had to use meager ingredients for food. Using the least desirable cuts of meats and vegetables, a cuisine was developed that is the highlight of some Thanksgiving meals and sunday dinners today. Almost every ethnic group has what it would call soul food – dishes that are soothing comfort foods that bring back warm memories of family, friends and good relationships.
I’m excited to try a twist on traditional soul food, using the core foods and preparing them in a little different way. The menu will include:
Smoked beechers cheese lasagne Ham hock, braised collards
Fried game hen Root vegetable slaw, chili aioli
Sweet potato custard Maple marshmallow, bacon-pecan crumb, caramel-whiskey jus
Instead of red kool-aid, we’ll enjoy red wine. Here’s to feeding the soul. Cheers!