It was my good fortune to speak recently with Caroline Randall Williams and her mother, Alice Randall. They are the co-authors of Soul Food Love-Healthy Recipes Inspired by One Hundred Years of Cooking in a Black Family. I hope you will make the time to listen, buy the book, read their amazing story, and use the many creative recipes while creating your own kitchen legacy.
The book has two distinct parts-a narrative written by Alice that tells the story of three generations of cooks in her family who each weighed more than 200 pounds, and the fourth generation's different story penned by Caroline, who refused to succumb to the same weight issues. Caroline developed the recipes that make up the second part of the book.
This week, Alice discusses over 100 years of cooking in her family, stories of both the men and women. She describes the historical reality of the kitchen from an insecure, scary place, to a spot filled with warmth and community, and how that positive change in the kitchen’s personality along with the rise of industrialization resulted in the current health issues affecting the African American community.
The message of Soul Food Love is powerful and inspiring. Though it ostensibly deals with one African American family, the stories and recipes are tools that anyone can use.
Alice Randall is the bestselling author of four novels, and the writer of one of my all-time favorite country songs, "XXX's and OOO's (An American Girl)," sung by Trisha Yearwood. For more information on Alice, who teaches at Vanderbilt University, check our her website.
Stephanie Westlund has been conducting research with veterans for five years, and her book, Field Exercises: How veterans are healing themselves through farming and outdoor activities integrates empirical evidence along with intimate portraits of numerous veterans. Stephanie is continually inspired by these men and women who strive to maintain their drive to serve society, and use their difficult experiences in the armed services as a springboard to transform themselves and others through a commitment to sustainable agriculture and other endeavors.
Stephanie holds a PhD in Peace and Conflict Studies. You can find her blog about the human-nature relationship at www.ourcommonnature.blogspot.com.
Sip, Slurp, Swish, and Taste are four critical elements when tasting wine. Corey Morrow of Earth & Water explains why the world of wine is his latest passion. Give a listen to what he says during our "Iowa Cooks" show segment, especially if the topic of wine is new to you or seems intimidating. His aim is to make you comfortable. Make a reservation for one of his weekly wine tastings, and relax into the experience. I guarantee you some surprising things will happen. My key tasting was really an aroma moment as an umami-like perfume from wine #4 captivated my senses. Was it Worcestershire sauce or A-1? Still not sure, but the experience was great fun.