Monday, April 27, 2015

GM Worker Solidarity and Cuban Food

Cuban sandwich, recipes below
In the 1960s unionized workers at General Motors (GM) assembly line in North Tarrytown had solidarity between African American and Latinos. In part that developed over Cuban food at Corona’s Luncheonette located near the assembly plant. The menu included Cuban fritas (Cuban-style hamburgers), empanadas, and a traditional Cuban sandwich. “I had customers from all parts of the world, Cubans, Venezuelans, all kinds of Hispanics” and “a lot of African Americans,” recalls Cuban immigrant and owner Francisco Corona. He estimates that he had more African American customers than Hispanics because perhaps twice as many of them worked at the plant in the 1960s. 

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Black and Latino Relations Series and Recipes: http://frederickdouglassopie.blogspot.com/search?q=Black+and+Latino+relations+

Fred Opie's New Books
     Zora Neale Hurston on Florida Food

Listen to The Breaking Bread Podcast: [Listen Now] http://fdopie.podomatic.com

Fred Opie's NYC Appearance at the Schomburg, May 7, 2015 http://www.eventbrite.com/e/conversations-in-black-freedom-studies-black-and-brown-coalitions-tickets-15185032842

Traditional Cuban sandwich recipe: http://hubpages.com/hub/Cuban_Sandwich_Recipe

Vegan Cuban sandwich recipe: http://www.veganhappyhour.com/?p=367

Friday, April 24, 2015

Eating Between Meals at Boarding School

(Grocery Store in the African American Section of Jacksonville, Florida)
Zora Neale Hurston attended Florida Baptist Academy, a boarding school in Jacksonville, Florida. As someone who came from a middle class family, it took her time to get use to eating “grits and gravy for breakfast” daily in the school cafeteria.   As a supplement she slipped through a crack in the school fence and crossed the street to a grocery store where she purchased “ginger snaps and pickles which were forbidden between meals.” 

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Florida Food Stories and Recipes: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=Florida

Zora Neale Hurston Stories and Recipes: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=Zora+Neale+Hurston

Fred Opie's New Books
     Zora Neale Hurston on Florida Food


Listen to The Breaking Bread Podcast: [Listen Now] http://fdopie.podomatic.com


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Street Cart Food in Nassau, Bahamas

Selling Clams circa 1900 (Courtesy of the Library of Congress)  
Historically people in urban centers turned to selling seafood from street carts as way of accumulating capital because it required little in the way of supplies, equipment, licenses, or formal training. Location and a catchy signature cry that advertised your product represented important keys to one’s success.  Hurston describes the mother of a successful attorney and politician in Nassau, Bahamas who “Poor people down on the waterfront remembered that, though he went for a great man now, [his] mother had stood down on the waterfront night after night, selling fried fish to send him to England to be educated.”

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Caribbean Food Stories and Recipes: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=Caribbean+Food

  
Zora Neale Hurston Stories and Recipes: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=Zora+Neale+Hurston

Fred Opie's New Books
     Zora Neale Hurston on Florida Food


Listen to The Breaking Bread Podcast: [Listen Now] http://fdopie.podomatic.com

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Food and Weddings, A History

Strawberry rhubarb cobbler, recipes below
It's finally spring here in New England, which is traditionally the start of the wedding season. Country weddings often featured seasonal local foods. In the nineteenth century elites had some wedding receptions indoors and some outdoors. They featured large buffet tables filled with roasted fowl and pies more often than cakes because pies stood up to the heat better. If you’re planning a wedding and you want something old and something knew, try a rhubarb pie. Here's one from a 1887 White House cook book with a recipe written according to the period. 

Rhubarb Pie Recipe

Ingredients
Pie Crust
Rhubarb
Butter
Sugar
Lemon-zest
Cinnamon
Nutmeg

Instructions
Cut the large stalks off where the leaves commence, strip off the outside skin, then cut the stalks in pieces half an inch long; put them in a stew pan with no more water than what adheres to them; when cooked, mash them fine and put in a small piece of butter; when cool, sweeten to taste; if liked, add a little lemon-peel, cinnamon or nutmeg; line your pie plate with thin crust, put in the filling, cover with crust and bake in a quick oven; sift sugar over it when served. Rhubarb pies made in this way are altogether superior to those made of the fruit stewed.
F.L. Gillette, The Whitehouse Cookbook (1887)

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Fred Opie's New Books
     Zora Neale Hurston on Florida Food


Listen to The Breaking Bread Podcast: [Listen Now] http://fdopie.podomatic.com

Vegan Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler Recipe: http://dairyfreecooking.about.com/od/piesandcobblers/r/strawrhubcobbler.htm

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Rent Parties in Depression Era Harlem

Fish fry, Lake Talquin, Leon County, Florida (Courtesy of the State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory)
To make ends meet during the Depression some turned to strategies like throwing rent parties which featured the sales of fried fish dinners. On a Saturday night during the Depression, one could always find buffet-flats, rent parties, whist parties, and dances, where, for a small fee, one could purchase down-home food and dance to good music. Langston Hughes recalled: The Saturday night rent parties that I attended were often more amusing than any night club, in small apartments where God knows who lived—because the guests seldom did—but where the piano would often be augmented by a guitar, or an odd cornet, or somebody with a pair of drums walking in off the street. And where . . . good fried fish or steaming chitterling were sold at very low prices. 

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Florida Food Stories and Recipes: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=Florida

Zora Neale Hurston Stories and Recipes: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=Zora+Neale+Hurston

Fred Opie's New Books
     Zora Neale Hurston on Florida Food


Listen to The Breaking Bread Podcast: [Listen Now] http://fdopie.podomatic.com


Fried Fish and Hush Puppy Recipes: http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=346878

Monday, April 20, 2015

How to Properly Eat Fried Fish

Bread and Fish Fry for Spanish-American War Soldier, Brevard County, Florida, 1898 (Courtesy of the State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory)
In a work camp in Polk County, Florida Hurston recorded an elder instructing some young men on how to properly it fried fish.  Gene Oliver, one of the younger men, asked Jim Allen to explain the correct way to it fried fish. “First thing you chooses a piece of corn-bread for yo' plate whilst youse lookin' de platter over for a nice fat perch or maybe it's trout,” says Allen.  Put one fish at a time on your plate, with your fork start at the tail and eat the meat all the way up to the head with some cornbread.  “Not a whole heap of bread -- just enough to keep you from swallerin' de fish befo' you enjoy de consequences.” Then turn the fish over and start on the other side. “Don't eat de heads. Shove 'em to one side till you thru wid all de fish from de platter, den when there ain't no mo' fish wid sides to 'em, you reach back and pull dem heads befo' you and start at de back of de fish neck and eat right on thru to his jaw-bones.”

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Florida Food Stories and Recipes: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=Florida

Zora Neale Hurston Stories and Recipes: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=Zora+Neale+Hurston

Fred Opie's New Books
     Zora Neale Hurston on Florida Food



Listen to The Breaking Bread Podcast: [Listen Now] http://fdopie.podomatic.com

Friday, April 17, 2015

Tell My Wife To Fear God and Cat Fish

Fishing on the Saint Johns River, Florida circa 1910, (Courtesy of the State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory)
In a work camp in Polk County, Florida, Zora Neale Hurston recorded a fishing story from a man named Joe Wiley which illustrates the centrality of fish in Floridian foodways:

Ah knows a man dat useter go fishin' every Sunday. His wife begged him not to do it and his pastor strained wid him for years but it didn't do no good. He just would go ketch him a fish every Sabbath. One Sunday he went and just as soon as he got to de water he seen a great big ole cat-fish up under some water lilies pickin' his teeth with his fins. So de man baited his pole and dropped de hook right down in front of de big fish. Dat cat grabbed de hook and took out for deep water. De man held on and pretty soon dat fish pulled him in. He couldn't git out. Some folks on de way to church seen him and run down to de water but he was in too deep. So he went down de first time and when he come up he hollered -- "Tell my wife." By dat time de fish pulled him under again. When he come up he hollered, "Tell my wife --" and went down again. When he come up de third time he said: "Tell my wife to fear God and cat-fish," and went down for de last time and he never come up no mo'.”

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Fish Series with Related Recipes: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=For+Those+Who+Love+To+Fish+and+Eat+Fish+Part+

Florida Food Stories and Recipes: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=Florida

Zora Neale Hurston Stories and Recipes: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=Zora+Neale+Hurston

Fred Opie's New Books
     Zora Neale Hurston on Florida Food

    NYC Protest History: http://cup.columbia.edu/book/upsetting-the-apple-cart/978023114940

Listen to The Breaking Bread Podcast: [Listen Now] http://fdopie.podomatic.com

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Rivers Through the Lens of Food, The Harlem and Hudson Rivers

(High Bridge & Washington Bridge, Harlem River, N.Y.C., 1890 (Courtesy of the library of congress)
Related Links Below
Fried Porgies Recipe

Ingredients
2 pounds porgies
Salt and Pepper
¼ pound sliced bacon
Lemon slices

Instructions
Clean and wash porgies, season with salt and pepper, roll them in flour and fry in bacon fat. Before frying fish, fry sliced bacon until it is crisp and golden brown. Remove bacon and rain on brown paper until it is needed. When the fish have been browned on both sides and thoroughly done, arrange on a serving platter, garnish with the crisp bacon and four slices of lemon.
Elizabeth D. K. Dooley, Puerto Rican Cook Book (1948)

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Fish Series with Related Recipes: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=For+Those+Who+Love+To+Fish+and+Eat+Fish+Part+

River Stories and Recipes: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=River

Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Food Stories With Recipes: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=Adam+Clayton+Powell

Fred Opie's New Books
     Zora Neale Hurston on Florida Food

    NYC Protest History: http://cup.columbia.edu/book/upsetting-the-apple-cart/978023114940

Listen to The Breaking Bread Podcast: [Listen Now] http://fdopie.podomatic.com

Back Story's History of the Mississippi River [Listen Now 52 min and 1 sec]: http://backstoryradio.org/shows/that-lawless-stream/

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Native American Culinary Culture

Seminole Woman Preparing Corn ,Glades County, Florida, 1950 (Courtesy of States Archives of Florida, Florida Memory) 
Eli was an Iroquois sage I met when I became a member of the Syracuse University (SU) Lacrosse team in 1984. He represented Coach Roy Simmons Jr's way of staying spiritually connected with the game started by native people. Coach grew up around the Onondaga Reservation, playing in lacrosse games there as a youth, and being teammates at SU with many of the best players from the the res. Coach played on the 1957 undefeated SU team that included All-Americans and Hall of Famers Jim Brown (Manhasset) and Oren Lyons (Lafayette), traditional Chief of the Onondaga Nation, Iroquois Confederacy. When I think of Native American culinary culture I think of corn which they cooked in various ways. Each cooking method changed the flavor, texture, and nutritional value of the corn. 


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Native American Food History and Recipes: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=Native+American+Foodways

Corn Series with Related Recipes: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=corn+series
Listen to The Breaking Bread Podcast: [Listen Now] http://fdopie.podomatic.com


Interview with Jim Brown & Roy Simmons, Jr: [Watch Now] http://www.tewaaraton.com/?q=interviews

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Going Nuts Series, Maya Angelou

Peanut brittle, recipes below
Poet Maya Angelou was born in 1928 in St. Louis be she spent the majority of her childhood in Stamps, Arkansas where she lived in the rear of the Wm. Johnson General Merchandise Store with her grandmother and uncle. Her grandmother saved the capital necessary to start the store selling food to laborers in the town’s saw mill and cotton gin located at opposite ends of town. “Her crisp meat pies and cool lemonade, when joined to her miraculous ability to be in two places at the same time assured her business success,” says Angelou. “From being a mobile lunch counter, she set up a stand between the two points of fiscal interest and supplied the workers’ needs for a few years” until she had the capital to build a store in the center of Stamp’s black section of town. The store provided black residents an escape from the often hostile public spaces and a place to relax and share folktales, play the dozens, and enjoying simple foods and snacks like peanut brittle.