For a while, I've been planning on preparing a soul food dinner for my family so my daughter could try some food from her culture. Well the soul food night has happened!
Although I do enjoy starches, carbs, sugars, and grease. I am much more of a baked fish, brown rice, and salad with a little balsamic vinegar kind of a girl. I consider myself to be a pretty good cook, but I typically don't cook fried foods, collard greens, or grits. Since I was cooking a little bit out of my element and I was planning on preparing a lot of food, I recruited the help of my cousin, my cousin's daughter, my mom, my aunt, and my oldest daughter.
We cooked for hours. The kitchen was a disaster. The countertops were covered in flour, batter, and grease. The floors matched the mess of the countertops...times 10. However, the smells of cobbler, cornbread, and chicken frying made me completely overlook the mess, carbs, and calories we had before us. The six of us crowded into my kitchen as we cooked, listened to Motown, debated the best way to tackle a recipe, taste-tested, talked, and laughed.
When dinner was complete our families crowded around the long dining table, It was a beautiful sight to behold...fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, grits, collard greens, cornbread, sweet potatoes, egg pie, and fresh peach cobbler.
Throughout the day, I talked to my youngest daughter about soul food. Even though she wasn't completely sure what soul food was or why we were having it, she was very pleased at the prospect of having "chicken on the bone."
The meal was a huge success in many ways. We had the old favorites like fried chicken and cornbread, but some new things thrown into the mix like the collards and grits. We all tried a little bit of everything even those things that were a little sketchy...still not sure I like the egg pie. My cousin's face when she tried the collard greens told me she probably wouldn’t cook those again!
But the best part of all was the togetherness, the joy of having all of us there...in the kitchen, trying new recipes, laughing, sharing stories, and as my cousin said making our soul food together was a great way to "make memories."
Before we dug into the food, my youngest daughter, that led us to this path of discovery, said the prayer..."Thank you for our soul food," which for me...said it all!