Tuesday, April 21, 2009


In the mid 1960's when the civil Right Movement was just beginning, terms like soul man, soulful and just soul were used in connection with blacks. It caught on with main stream American and someone coined the term, soul food for the black cuisine and it stuck. My dad said when they gave pork the name soul food the price of pig parts and pig inners double in price and everything the Government though was soul food the price was double and that was the end of low cost PIG PARTS.

Each black family, however, has it’s own idea of what is soul food.
Today most people think of soul food, is a table heavy with trays of watermelon, ribs, candied sweet potatoes or yams, greens and fried chicken. Hogshead cheese sliced on saltine crackers with hot sauce and beer is one such dish. Crab cakes, carrot and raisin salad, fried cornpone, hush puppies, red beans and rice, greens, liver and onions, lima beans with ham hogs, stewed okra and tomatoes, cornbread dipped in buttermilk, fried catfish, smothered chicken, pickled pigs feet, cabbage, neck bones, tongue, chittlin’s, tripe, gumbo, breaded fried pork chops with a mess of green, black-eyed peas…..…… and grits. Although grits is truly a southern dish.

Our family idea of soul food cooking is how really good southern
Black Cooks, cooked. They would cook with what they had available to them; such as chickens from their own back yard and collard greens they grew themselves, as well as home cured ham, and baking powder biscuits, chitlins and other pig parts.

Sunday, April 19, 2009



Here is a simple recipe for chunky vegetable soup using ingredients that you have on hand. This is easy to make and can be served as a starter or as a main course. Don’t worry if you don’t have every vegetable listed; this soup recipe is very flexible. Use whatever you have on hand.

1 onion, diced
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
2 carrots, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons oil
8 cups water or vegetable stock
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 sweet potato or rutabaga, diced
1 white potato, diced
1 cup green beans, cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 cup fresh peas
1 cup chopped cabbage, kale, collards, or other green
1 tablespoon fresh or 1 teaspoon dried herbs (thyme, rosemary, tarragon, savory, etc.)
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
salt and black pepper to taste

Place onion, celery, carrots, and oil in large soup pot. Sauté 10 minutes over medium heat until onions are soft.

Add water or stock, garlic, potatoes, beans, and vegetables. Bring to boil. Cover and simmer 20 to 30 minutes until potatoes are tender.

Add remaining ingredients except parsley, and seasonings. Simmer 10 minutes until vegetables are tender.

Remove from heat. Stir in parsley. Season with salt and black pepper.

Don’t forget the corn bread.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Saturday, April 11, 2009


The story of Easter is one of persecution and rebirth, making it the central experience of the Christian belief system. On the Friday before Easter, Christians believe that Jesus was executed by crucifixion. His body was removed from the cross and buried in a guarded cave, with a large boulder blocking the entrance.
On the following Sunday, Jesus' gravesite was visited by faithful women and his mother Mary may have been among them-who discovered that the cave was empty. Later that day and for several days after, Jesus' followers sighted him and came to believe that Jesus had been risen from the dead by God.
Jesus' resurrection holds central importance in Christian liturgy, as the pinnacle expression of sin and redemption. Romans 4:25 explains that, "Jesus was put to death for our trespasses and raised for our justification."
Jesus' resurrection - his being "raised" - is understood as evidence that he, through his righteousness, can redeem not only himself in death, but also the entire Christian community in life. As Romans 5:18 says: "Just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men."
Happy Easter and Happy Resurrection Day to all.

Friday, April 10, 2009



Carrot cakes first became commonly available in restaurants and cafeterias in the United States in the early 1960s. It was at first a novelty item, but people liked them so much that carrot cake became standard dessert fare. In 2005, Food Network listed carrot cake, with its cream-cheese icing, as number five of the top five fad foods of the 1970. My mother added carrot cake to or family Easter Dinner in the late 60th and my sister and I add the cream-cheese icing to my mother recipe in 1972.


1 1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups shredded raw carrots
1/2 cup crushed pineapple, drained well
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Combine oil, sugar, and eggs. Mix well. Add cinnamon, vanilla, carrots, and pineapple. Add dry ingredients mixing well.
Pour in 9x13 grassed pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes. Cool in pan.

1 3-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
1 tablespoon margarine, softened
1/3 cup crushed pineapple, drained
1/4 cup pecans, chopped
Mix cream cheese, sugar, and margarine, until fluffy. Add pineapple and pecans mix well.


Lamb is flavorful enough on its own that it doesn't need much seasoning, but conversely, lamb's flavor is robust enough that it pairs beautifully with any number of herbs.

Seasoning the Meat
You can do this right before you begin roasting, or do it a day ahead of time for a more intense flavor.
Season the lamb however you like--but don't salt it until just before cooking, as salt can draw moisture out of the meat.

 Before seasoning the lamb, trim some of the excess fat if you like, in addition to any silver skin.
 Make small incisions in the surface of the meat and push slivers of garlic and sprigs of *herbs into the slits. Chop up herbs/seasonings and rub the mixture evenly over the surface of the meat.
 Wrap the coated meat tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate it overnight for the best flavor.
Roasted to Perfection
Before roasting your lamb, remove it from the refrigerator and allow it to sit for 30 minutes. A piece of meat at room temperature will roast more evenly, and using a roasting rack will ensure even browning and heat circulation.
The amount of fat that your piece of lamb has surrounding the outside and marbled through the middle will determine the cooking time and temperature you use:
 For a lean piece of meat, cook at 450 degrees F (230 degrees C) for the first 15 minutes, then turn the temperature down to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) to continue roasting--the meat will take about 25 minutes per pound to reach medium rare.
Using a hot oven in this manner will allow leaner cuts of meat to get nicely browned on the outside before they become overcooked and dry in the middle.
 For a fattier piece of meat, roast at 325 degrees F (160 degrees C) for a longer period of time, allowing the fat to slowly melt and bathe the roast in its own juices. Meat cooked with this method will take about 30 minutes per pound to reach medium rare.
Avoid cooking your lamb beyond this temperature as the meat can become dried out and tough.
Rest Your Roast
Once your roast is within 10 degrees F (5 degrees C) of its ideal cooked temperature, remove from the oven, place a foil tent loosely over it, and allow the meat to rest for 15-20 minutes. As the meat rests, the internal temperature will increase by several degrees, the muscle fibers will relax, and the juice that has come to the surface of the meat during cooking will begin to return to the center. A well-rested piece of meat will be tenderer, and will retain its juices better when you slice it.
*Some additions that complement lamb well are rosemary, oregano, marjoram, thyme, lemon zest, cumin, coriander, mint,


Almost all hams have either been partially or fully cooked before they are packaged.
A partially cooked ham has been brought to an internal temperature of 137 degrees F, which kills any bacteria. This ham still need to be cooked more before serving in order to make it more tender and delicious.
A fully cooked ham is one that has been brought to an internal temperature of 148 degrees F and needs no further cooking. You can eat it directly out of the package, but heating will enhance the flavor.

Baking Your Ham

The most traditional way to prepare a whole ham is to bake it.
For a ham that has only been partially cooked, you will need to allow about 20 minutes per pound in a moderate (350 degrees F/175 degrees C) oven.
A fully cooked ham will require about 10 minutes per pound in order to be heated all the way through.
Although ham is perfectly delicious all by itself, you can make it extra-special by using a glaze. The most popular glaze recipes contain combinations of fruit juice, wine or whiskey, honey, mustard, brown sugar, fruit preserves and spices. Brush some of the glaze over the surface of the ham before placing it in the oven.
To help keep your ham moist and juicy:
Place the ham cut-side down in a baking pan. If it's going to be in the oven for more than an hour, you also may want to place a foil "tent" over your ham in order to keep it from drying out.
Continue to brush the ham with glaze and baste it with the pan juices every 20 minutes or so, until it is heated through.
To finish the ham and give it a deliciously caramelized coating, remove the foil tent, brush it with glaze and pan juices one more time, and then turns your oven to the broiler setting. Allow the outside of the ham to get nice and browned-this should only take about 5 minutes, but watch it closely so it doesn't get too dark.
When the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F (80 degrees C), the ham is ready for serving.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Ham is the star at most Easter Dinners, my grandmother always prepare a Leg of Lamb for our Easter Dinner,I will the give recipes for both dinners. Here are some tips that will help you make the most of your Holiday Ham or Leg of Lamb.
I will start with the Ham, there are three basic varieties: city hams, country hams and fresh hams, my family only prepare the city ham because it the one you are most likely to encounter in the grocery store. These hams have been soaked in brine and then either smoked or boiled. City hams are moist and tender. Their flavor ranges from mild and salty to rich and smoky, depending on how they have been cooked.
Lamb is flavorful enough on its own that it doesn't need much seasoning, but conversely, lamb's flavor is robust enough that it pairs beautifully with any number of boldly flavored seasonings. Some additions that complement lamb well are rosemary, oregano, marjoram, thyme, lemon zest, cumin, coriander, mint, and garlic.

The menu for Easter dinner:



Lets get cookin’

Thursday, April 2, 2009


WOW it’s April already, and resurrection day (Easter) is right around the corner. I always give up something for lent, this year I gave up red meat for 40 days. I will share some of my vegetable dishes; resurrection day dinner and tips on the perfit boil egg.
My dad said for us to always remember that all soul food is southern food not all southern food is soul food.