The amazement of the holidays are over. Our Christmas trees and decorations are put away. Everyone is back to work and to the same boring schedules. No more visiting friends for holiday cocktails; no more baking cookies and cakes; and no more running around buying presents for everyone on your list – until next year when the holidays come around again!
What are we supposed to do now? Well, we continue eating and enjoying new and delicious types of foods of course! This month we celebrated Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Rev. King Jr. born in Georgia, an believed in non-violence towards all. He spoke-out for his fellow citizens who were being wrongly mistreated and judged. He believed in equality and hope. He was an African-American man who was highly redemed in the scholarly halls of education and successfully rose up in the eyes of many. Even so, he was tired of the way that he, along with all African-American people, were being regarded as second-class citizens. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in in 1964 for all of his hard work towards equality.
Let’s side-step alittle bit and talk about the area where Rev. King Jr. was born. He was born in the South where soul-food began in the U.S. in 1960. Soul-food is basically the food that was made in this region with recipes created by those brought over from Africa during the slave-trade movement during the 16th-19th century. Those who were enslaved were improperly treated and were often regarded after the animals on the many farms they worked on. They had to invent some way to feed themselves based soley on the resources that they were allowed to use. From their creation a new genre of food was developed in the U.S.
Let’s honor the many sacrifices that African-Americans had to make in order to give their succesors a chance for freedom. We can do that by celebrating the foods that were created and by recognizing them as a style of food. Some of these food are collard greens, hush puppies and Hoppin’ John (rice and black-eyed peas). Take a trip to the south-east region of the U.S. and you will find these foods to be commom. Up here in NYC, we have to search a little bit more to try this cuisine. Fortunately, there are some great food establishments to enjoy them in. There are also markets where they can be bought. You can make these dishes at home for your family to try.
2328 12th Ave
(between 132nd St & West 132nd St)
New York, NY 10027
Neighborhood: Harlem(212) 234-3883
1590 Park Avenue at 115th Street
New York, NY 10029
Also, check out this website on info regarding a fresh-food distribution center on 132nd & Amsterdam Ave. in Harlem:
Sweet Potato Pie
- 1 pie shell (9-inch), unbaked
- 3 medium sweet potatoes
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup milk
- 1½ sticks butter
- 1¼ cups sugar
- 1 Tablespoon flour
- 1½ Tablespoons lemon extract
- 2 Tablespoons nutmeg
- Wash and scrub sweet potatoes. Place them in a large saucepan and add water to cover them.
- Boil them in their skin until easily pierced with a fork (about 20 minutes). Allow potatoes to cool slightly. Peel and mash until smooth.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Add butter, sugar, flour, milk, eggs, and nutmeg. Mix well.
- Add lemon extract and stir until smooth.
- Put ingredients in pie shell and bake for 30 minutes.
Some recipes can be substitued with more healthier-conscious versions. When going out to the soul-food restaurants in NYC, why not ask the waiter if they recommend any healthier subsitutions for certain high-caloric dishes. As we get ready for African-American Awareness Month, February, why not indulge your tastebuds in some delicious soul-food entrees!