Last Wednesday, June 17th I called myself finishing this post, reading over the ingredients, shutting down my laptop and going over my plans for the day and weekend ahead.
Waking up the next morning, I'd learned of yet another occurrence of hate in my community, against my community and this post and everything else floated away- rage and deep sadness took it's place.
I still do not have the ability to express what I'm feeling. Police Brutality, Church Massacres, pool attacks as the Confederate flag waves above. I'm living the stories of my mothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers and all those before... The stories of their past have become a part of my daughters present.
Generational hatred, a elephant people like to sweep under the rug but always let's us know that it does in fact still remain. Standing proud like the bronzed encased Confederate soldiers that Lord over Federal buildings in the south. Highways and bypasses named after generals that are no heroes of mine. It is a weapon in every sense of the word, used to continuously bring down a community that refuses to be broken, we are descendants of people with unwavering resilience and faith. Growing up in an A.M.E church we sang praises to Mother Emanuel, the church that paved the way. Wednesday night bible study was followed by snacks in the fellowship hall. All this is part of my journey in food, all of this is part of my heritage, all of this makes me weep at the thought of how we are not safe even in worship. Weep at the thought of the times that I have stood in Emanuel A.M.E Church and heard Pastor Pickney speak, shaken his hand and been in his presence. It really hits close to home.
I keep hearing this song in my head, I keep hearing my grandmother singing as she did often everywhere that she went..
" When Darkness veils his lovely face,
I rest on his unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
my anchor holds within the veil.
On Christ the solid rock I stand,
all other ground is sinking sand; "
Standing on solid rock.. No weapon formed against us shall prosper.. It won't work.
The thousands of people that stood upon Ravenel Bridge in Charleston Sunday night, is a testament of that.
The rainbow of diners that broke bread with me on June 13th in the honor of the ladies of South Slocumb Street is a testament of that.
With that being said, I'll move on.... for now.
|Photo by Meghan of Stir and Scribble|
|Photo by Meghan of Stir and Scribble|
There are an endless amount of ways to give thanks.. The simplest is to say the words standing face to face with those who you deem deserve it.
Often this could hardly depict just how grateful you feel.
Last Saturday, 20 guest sitting at wooden tables, enjoyed 4 courses of love in the form of fried chicken, blackened fish and peach cobbler. A celebration of dishes that at heart, represent me as a cook and the vast history that I've carried with me for years. Other than a few mishaps here and there, I'd say it was a great success, one that could've never happen without the help of a few folks that I call friends.
Forever thankful I am for my dear Joni and her charming appeal and knowledge of wine, thank you for keeping the guest engaged and that wine flowing.
Rick, you were a master at all that was asked of you, for that I owe you many thanks.
Meghan, I would have drowned in a sea of commercial kitchen inexperience and plate prep as well as a host of other things (like flowers arrangements) if not for you... I'm serious about our vacation.. So much love to you..
Lastly, to my one and only Mr. Southern Soufflé your support of all my endeavors. If it's designing some new computer automation to deciding to embark on pop up dinners, it's what keeps me going. Just those words.. "Sure my dear, I think you should give it a shot" give me wings to take flight, knowing ultimately you'll always catch me if I fall.
A special thanks to all those that dined with us and the kind words you shared. We hope see you again at the next one. Here is one of the most praised dishes from Saturday's dinner, potato "salad" with crispy pancetta topped tangy roasted potatoes.
Roasted Potato Salad
Prep Time- 25mins Cook Time- 35mins Yield- 6 servings
*Toast the potatoes in just olive oil or grapeseed oil and remove the pancetta completely to make this vegetarian. Take it one step farther and substitute the mayo for veganaise or this tofu mayo and make this dish vegan friendly*
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup pancetta, diced
12 fingerling potatoes, halved (or you can use whatever white potatoes that you have on hand)
Kosher salt to taste
1/2 cup of mayo (Duke's Mayo is magic-that is what I always use)
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh chives, minced
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups arugula leaves
Preheat oven to 400
In a large cast iron skillet add the olive oil and pancetta and cook until crispy. About 10 minutes of med-high heat. Remove the pancetta using a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel lined plate to drain. Using the same skillet, add the potatoes and cook in the fat for about 10 minutes or until they turn slightly golden.
Place the skillet in the oven and roast the potatoes for about 15 minutes until they are golden brown and tender on the inside.
While the potatoes are roasting, whisk together the mayo, mustard, lemon juice, chives, and pepper in a large bowl. When the potatoes finish, fold them into the mayo mixture. Toss in the arugula and pancetta. Serve while warm.