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Savvy Summer Salad Stars Black-Eyed Peas

30 Jun

As this 15th anniversary of National Soul Food Month wraps up, here is one of my favorite salads putting black-eyed peas in the limelight. I developed this recipe for Cooking Light magazine—it makes a flavor-filled addition to summer menus. You can serve it as a side or main-dish salad. It looks good, tastes good and […]

National Soul Food Month Celebrates Food Legacy

1 Jun

June is National Soul Food Month. This is the 15th annual celebration of the heritage and foodways of African Americans and peoples from the African diaspora. The yearly recognition grew out of the 2001 Chicago area conference hosted by the Culinary Historians of Chicago. In working on the conference, I realized we needed to celebrate […]

Slow-Cooker Candied Sweets

22 Dec

I’ve written a few posts about my grandmothers and some of the wonderful dishes they would make. From weekday dinners to holiday meals with all the fixins’ they were talented cooks. As far as we were concerned my maternal grandmother Gonga, was the maven of candied sweets. This was one of the dishes she made […]

Dishin’ With the Soul Food Scholar

26 Jun

The foods that form the basis of soul food go back more than 400 years, but the term soul food is a 20th century creation. This food has a rich and highly flavored history—today’s National Soul Food Month post shares a few thoughts from James Beard Award winner Adrian Miller, whose book “Soul Food” dishes […]

The New Power Green

27 Feb

As Black History Month wraps up I want to raise a shot glass of pot likker to greens. Greens are the edible leaves of plants that have provided nourishment for African Americans throughout the ages. Last year I shared that greens were on the hot list, as one of the vegetables getting lots of buzz. […]

Will Soul Food Become Extinct?

29 Jun

As June and National Soul Food Month celebrating the heritage and foodways of African Americans and peoples from the African diaspora wraps up, I’ve cooked, enjoyed and reflected on many of the dishes we’ve come to love as soul food. Greens, cornbread, macaroni and cheese are just a few of the signature foods that I […]

A Dash of Soul by Charla L. Draper

24 Sep

The food game has stepped up—it’s now high profile and interest in ethnic flavors and foods has created space at the American table for items that at one time were considered exotic or relegated to a specific ethnic group. Back in the day, sweet potatoes, greens, okra, yams, black-eyed peas, chile peppers and more were […]

Podcast – Episode 01

29 Jun

Chow-Chow & Soul podcast (episode 01) from C.L. Draper on Vimeo. The spotlight is on the Sweet Potato as we wrap up the month of June (which just happens to be National Soul Food Month).

Celebrate Soul Food on Summer Menu

18 Jun

Celebrate Soul Food by Charla L. Draper The month’s celebration is a recent addition to the food calendar and we almost missed it.  It’s officially  in June, but we can enjoy slimming versions of traditional dishes all summer. When Big Mama whipped up a family favorite back in the day, she stirred in plenty of love, […]