Black History Month – Larry & Jereline Bethune

Larry & Jereline Bethune:

  • The Bethune’s restaurant, Brenda’s Bar-B-Que Pit, served as the unofficial center for Montgomery, Alabama’s Civil Rights Movement; holding meetings with NAACP leaders and organizing and promoting boycotts, including Rosa Parks’ infamous Bus Boycott.
  • Jereline Bethune quietly held lessons to teach African-Americans to read so they could pass the literacy test (a way to suppress the black vote during the height of the Jim Crow era.
  • Jereline also participated in the Selma to Montgomery March that led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

 

Let’s learn how to read. Let’s learn how to vote. Let’s go after our own rights so we never have to be treated in a way that we’re not equal to again.”  

— Donetta Bethune

Granddaughter of Larry & Jereline Bethune

Source: AL.com

    Black History Month – Leah Chase

    • During the Civil Rights Movement, Dooky Chase’s was the only upscale restaurant where African-Americans could dine. There, restaurant owner Leah Chase fed Freedom Riders and hosted meetings for the Association for the Advancement of Colored People. 
    • Princess Tiana, from Disney’s The Princess and the Frog, was based on Leah’s life and was the 1st African-American princess in a Disney movie. Leah is considered to be of “a generation of African-American women who set their faces against the wind without looking back”, as quoted by Jessica B. Harris, author and expert on food of the African Diaspora.
    • Beyond her countless culinary awards, Leah has been recognized by the NAACP receiving the Weiss Award & Torch of Liberty Award. Other recognitions include University of New Orleans’ Entrepreneurship Award & the Outstanding Woman Award from the National Council of Negro Women. Leah, along with 75 women of color, were featured in “I Dream a World: Portraits of Black Women Who Changed America.”

    In my dining room, we changed the course of America over a bowl of gumbo and some fried chicken.”

    — Leah Chase

    Source: NYTimes, African American Chef’s Hall of Fame

      Black History Month – Zephyr Wright

      Zephyr Wright:

      • Zephyr Wright began her culinary career in 1940 to help pay her tuition at Wiley College located in Texas where she received her degree in Home Economics. Once hired by the Johnson Family, she became a personal advisor to Lady Bird & LBJ on all civil rights & equality topics.
      • Wright and her husband’s accounts of racial injustice were said to be a key factor in President Johnson’s signing and adoption of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. So much so, that LBJ gifted her the pen used, saying, “You deserve this more than anybody else.”
      • When asked to accompany (then) Senator LBJ back to Texas:

      I’m not going to do it…I’m not allowed to go to the bathroom…we can’t go into restaurants…Not until there’s change.”

      — Zephyr Wright

      Source: New York Times

        Kale & Butternut Chopped Salad

        Serves 8

        Ingredients

        1 butternut squash, peel, cut ½”
        2 T olive oil
        s&p
        10 c tuscan kale, chopped
        ½ dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
        ½ c pumpkin seeds, toasted
        ½ c feta cheese, small crumbles
        ¾ c vinaigrette (balsamic or champagne)

        Procedure

        1. Preheat oven to 400 °F
        2. Toss squash, olive oil, s&p. Roast 20 mins, cool
        3. Mix kale with 2 T vinaigrette, marinate for 20 mins
        4. Toss chopped kale, squash, cranberries, pumpkin seeds, more vinaigrette

        Originally featured in “Flat & Green” – February 2015

        Cider Glazed Salmon

        Serves 8

        Ingredients

        8 salmon fillets
        1 c tamari
        1 c apple cider
        4 t sesame oil
        4 t bourbon, plus additional c for soaking planks
        2 t brown sugar
        splash+ tabasco
        1 t black pepper
        1 t minced garlic
        ½ t tumeric

        Procedure

        1. Purée all glaze ingredients
        2. Pour over salmon, marinate for 4 hours
        3. Soak cedar planks in 1 gal water & 1 c bourbon
        4. Lightly spray planks with pan spray, top with salmon
        5. Heat gas grill to med high
        6. Put planks with salmon on grill
        7. Cook with grill top down, 15-20 mins, or until nicely browned

        Originally featured in “Savor the Seasons” – January 2017

        Just Figure a Way

        In the spirit of ‘let no crisis go to waste,’  MG has regrouped, rallied, scrapped, and scraped to try our best to take care of our circle. This has meant sacrifice for all and extreme sacrifice for many. This pandemic doesn’t define us, but how we’ve met the challenge does. And as we enter this typically special time of year, we have an atypical sentiment in our hearts and on our minds. How grateful we are for our capacity to—no matter what—love food, people, and serving others. With a nod to core value #6, build fun, flexible teams……..MG’s own Emily Dickenson, Sara Thompson, gives us this.

        ‘Tis December 2020, the world turned on its head,
        Time for a jingle about how we’ve stayed fed?
        Despite all the upset, we have cause to rejoice,
        Our clients still need us – their #1 choice.
        “Please help us through this” we heard them say
        “Can you still feed us – just figure a way?”
        So we put our heads down and went straight to the task
        What will it look like? So glad you asked…
        We can give you a bag to take food away
        or rearrange tables if you’d like to stay
        We’ll get in a truck and bring food to your door,
        We’ll pour you a drink, and wait there is more
        We’ll put food in a box or a bowl or a dome,
        We’ll serve your whole meal, just like at home
        We’ll make you a cookie and wrap it up tight
        in case you require a snack late at night
        A reception or meeting – hey, that will be great
        We’ll give you a party – all on one plate!
        We’ll give you an app to order your meal,
        When your food arrives – how happy you’ll feel!
        We’ll learn some new lingo – RTS, PPE
        Social distance, contract tracing, and Dr. Fauci
        We’ll redo our kitchens with 6’ in between
        And sanitize things like you’ve never seen
        We’ll text out a form to be sure we’re ok
        Have you coughed, wheezed, or gasped – temperature normal today?
        You will not believe all the things we’ll go through
        To be sure you are getting the safest of food.
        For 35 years we’ve served menus with wow
        We’re not going to let a virus stop us now!
        In our core value tees, with a vaccine in sight,
        Safe Holidays to all and to all a good night!

        Just Figure a Way

        In the spirit of ‘let no crisis go to waste,’  MG has regrouped, rallied, scrapped, and scraped to try our best to take care of our circle. This has meant sacrifice for all and extreme sacrifice for many. This pandemic doesn’t define us, but how we’ve met the challenge does. And as we enter this typically special time of year, we have an atypical sentiment in our hearts and on our minds. How grateful we are for our capacity to—no matter what—love food, people, and serving others. With a nod to core value #6, build fun, flexible teams……..MG’s own Emily Dickenson, Sara Thompson, gives us this.

        ‘Tis December 2020, the world turned on its head,

        Time for a jingle about how we’ve stayed fed?

        Despite all the upset, we have cause to rejoice,

        Our clients still need us – their #1 choice.

        “Please help us through this” we heard them say

        “Can you still feed us – just figure a way?”

        So we put our heads down and went straight to the task

        What will it look like? So glad you asked…

        We can give you a bag to take food away

        or rearrange tables if you’d like to stay

        We’ll get in a truck and bring food to your door,

        We’ll pour you a drink, and wait there is more

        We’ll put food in a box or a bowl or a dome,

        We’ll serve your whole meal, just like at home

        We’ll make you a cookie and wrap it up tight

        in case you require a snack late at night

        A reception or meeting – hey, that will be great

        We’ll give you a party – all on one plate!

        We’ll give you an app to order your meal,

        When your food arrives – how happy you’ll feel!

        We’ll learn some new lingo – RTS, PPE

        Social distance, contract tracing, and Dr. Fauci

        We’ll redo our kitchens with 6’ in between

        And sanitize things like you’ve never seen

        We’ll text out a form to be sure we’re ok

        Have you coughed, wheezed, or gasped – temperature normal today?

        You will not believe all the things we’ll go through

        To be sure you are getting the safest of food.

        For 35 years we’ve served menus with wow

        We’re not going to let a virus stop us now!

        In our core value tees, with a vaccine in sight,

        Safe Holidays to all and to all a good night!

        Baked Mashed Potatoes & Yams with Parmesan, Rosemary & Garlic

        Serves 6

        Ingredients

        6 cloves garlic, unpeeled
        4 T olive oil (divided)
        1½ lbs russet potatoes, peeled, cut 2″ diced
        1½ lbs yams, peeled, cut 2″ diced
        ½ c+ milk
        2 T butter
        1 t+ minced fresh rosemary (or ¼ t dried)
        ¾  c fresh grated parmesan (divided)
        1 c sour cream

        Procedure

        1. Roast garlic cloves in ramekin with 3 T olive oil, 25 mins in 350°F oven.
        2. Cool & peel garlic, Reserve garlic cloves & garlic oil.
        3. Boil all potatoes in large pot of salted water, 25 mins.
        4. Drain & return potatoes to same pot.
        5. Add milk, butter, rosemary, roasted garlic & reserved garlic oil to potatoes. Mash until smooth & fluffy.
        6. Mix in ½ c parmesan cheese, sour cream, s&p.
        7. Spoon into oiled casserole dish, sprinkle with remaining ¼ c parmesan & drizzle with 1 T olive oil.
        8. Bake uncovered until golden, approx 45 mins

        Note: can be made ahead & refrigerated, remove from fridge an hr before cooking

        Baked Mashed Potatoes & Yams with Parmesan, Rosemary & Garlic

        Serves 6

        Ingredients

        6 cloves garlic, unpeeled
        4 T olive oil (divided)
        1½ lbs russet potatoes, peeled, cut 2″ diced
        1½ lbs yams, peeled, cut 2″ diced
        ½ c+ milk
        2 T butter
        1 t+ minced fresh rosemary (or ¼ t dried)
        ¾  c fresh grated parmesan (divided)
        1 c sour cream

        Procedure

        1. Roast garlic cloves in ramekin with 3 T olive oil, 25 mins in 350°F oven.
        2. Cool & peel garlic, Reserve garlic cloves & garlic oil.
        3. Boil all potatoes in large pot of salted water, 25 mins.
        4. Drain & return potatoes to same pot.
        5. Add milk, butter, rosemary, roasted garlic & reserved garlic oil to potatoes. Mash until smooth & fluffy.
        6. Mix in ½ c parmesan cheese, sour cream, s&p.
        7. Spoon into oiled casserole dish, sprinkle with remaining ¼ c parmesan & drizzle with 1 T olive oil.
        8. Bake uncovered until golden, approx 45 mins

        Note: can be made ahead & refrigerated, remove from fridge an hr before cooking

        Oyster & Corn Stew

        Serves 6

        Ingredients

        1 ½ c white corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
        1 stalk celery (with leaves), large dice
        ½ onion, large dice
        1 bay leaf
        6 T butter (divided)
        2 pints oysters with juice
        3 c half & half
        2 T fresh parsley, chopped
        s&p
        Note: Serve with oyster crackers & tabasco

        Procedure

        1. Sauté celery, onion & corn in 3 T of butter in saucepan.
        2. Add half & half, s&p & bay leaf, simmer on low heat 30 mins.
        3. Strain. Set aside veggies & discard bay leaf.
        4. Add liquid back in pot, keep warm on low heat.
        5. Purée cooked veggies in blender, add some reserved liquid if needed.
        6. Stir puréed veggie mixture into reserve liquid, heat on med-low (can prepare base ahead & refrigerate).
        7. Right before serving heat remaining 3 T butter in skillet, add oysters & cook until edges curl.
        8. Garnish with chopped parsley, then pass the oyster crackers & tabasco!

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