Jubilee – Recipes From Two centuries of African American Cooking by Toni Tipton-Martin was the perfect book to celebrate family, food, and history for Thanksgiving.
Toni Tipton-Martin writes cookbooks that have added value. The Jemima Code – Two Centuries of African American Cookbooks by Toni Tipton-Martin, is also in the kitchen at The Cottage In The Court. This book had me mesmerized and intrigued. Trying to convince my non-minority peers of this is often an uphill battle. Reflecting on the great pot of greens that someone of color shared with them is a lifelong memory. The importance of these books for those who cook and those in the gardening community is significant. Both of these books serve as an educational tool for everyone. Cookbooks that share how and why we cook the way we do prove #wegrowmorethancollards.
This year, Thanksgiving was at The Cottage. I cooked two dishes from Jubilee as a treat to my family with a twist. Growing up, cooking from scratch was the norm. As I began to experiment with cooking on my own, Mom encouraged the use of different recipes. I chose baking cookies at Christmas as my signature experiment.
Grandpa Herron, my Mom’s father, would visit on Christmas eve to pick up the cookies and deliver to my Mother’s sister’s in Washington, DC. I remember carefully choosing the recipes from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbooks. My parents subscribed to this cookbook club to encourage my efforts in cooking. I read these cookbooks cover to cover. Memorizing recipes in case the books would stop coming became a hobby. I knew we could not afford them, it was a splurge.
I can’t say Thank You enough to my parents for encouraging each of us to pursue our passions. My youngest grandson has become the brownie expert – which to me shows that he has an interest in cooking …not just eating.
BISCUITS FROM SCRATCH
The first recipe I chose from this wonderful book Jubilee was on page 85, Baking Powder Biscuits. I showed Terreance how to measure the flour, whisk in the salt and baking powder, cut in the chilled shortening and knead the dough. Kneading is an art form. 8 to 10 times like Chef Edna Lewis was my choice per the recipe. To use a recipe from James Beard Award-winners like Toni Tipton-Martin and Chef Edna Lewis was an honor.
I was so emotionally full after making these biscuits for my family. It took me back to my youth watching my Mom cook the only way she knew how…from scratch.
MACARONI AND CHEESE MY WAY
The Baked Macaroni and Cheese, page 177, was my second act. Holidays at the Speight household were special. The excuse to buy all the ingredients for the Macaroni and Cheese. This was a big deal for our family. Mom was a stay at home parent whose job was to raise us right. Dad went to work and Washington Bible College as he pursued his passion to become a Minister. Purchasing large quantities of cheese was a holiday event and quite the splurge. Somehow, they made it happen every single holiday.
Did you know James Hemmings cooked “Nouilles a maccaroni’ for Thomas Jefferson? Found in some of the notes Mr. Hemmings left behind, I think he put his thumb in it. Historical documents show in 1802, this dish was served at a White House dinner. Toni Tipton-Martin has included tidbits like this throughout Jubilee.
Sharing family, history, and food at any time of the year is a very important part of my world. Each of us can find familiar dishes from the African America community somewhere in the pages of this book. Memories of the Maque Choux, my South Carolinian grandma cooked to the Country Style Potato salad from my North Carolinian Grandma. I found my roots in this book.
GIFTING HERITAGE AND HISTORY
Need a gift to self to share a bit of knowledge at the next holiday celebration or Sunday dinner? Planning what to grow in next year’s garden? Jubilee – Recipes From Two Centuries of African American Cooking by Toni Tipton-Martin is a great book to have in your kitchen. This book would be a great gift of knowledge for today’s youth.
By the way, we had collards with shallots and garlic from my garden…mmm…good! Afterall…#wegrowmorethancollards!
Teri, Cottage In The Court
Need this book, click hereby