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What Did Martin Luther King Jr. Want to Eat?

What Did Martin Luther King Jr. Want to Eat?

Martin Luther King, Jr., Speaking at a Rally, Courtesy of Library of Congres

Martin Luther King, Jr., Speaking at a Rally, Courtesy of Library of Congres

Here is an excerpt from my new book Southern Food and Civil Rights. “When Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. came back home to Atlanta from Sweden some years ago with the Nobel Peace Prize, what did he want to eat?” According to his mother, Mrs. King Sr., she explained that “Quilly,” a cool gentle dessert is necessary after the King’s favorite supper of ribs, collard greens, and baked sweet potatoes. Quilly, according to Mrs. King Sr., was the name the children had given this dessert years ago.  She speculates that “maybe because it was garnished with spikes of thin sugar wafers.”

Poppy Cannon, Food Writer, Chicago Daily Defender, December 12, 1967.

“Quilly,” a special version of a southern Charlotte Recipe

Serves 8

Ingredients

1 tablespoon gelatin

¼ cup cold water

¼ cup boiling water

1 cup sugar

1 pint heavy cream, whipped

¼ pound chopped almonds

6 stale macaroons crumbled

1 dozen marshmallows

1 can fruit salad, well drained

1 teaspoon vanilla or rum extract

Directions

Soak 1 tablespoon gelatin in ¼ cup cold water for 5 minutes. Then dissolve in ¼ cup boiling water. Add 1 cup sugar. When mixture is cool, add 1 pint of heavy cream whipped, chopped almonds, stale macaroon crumbles, 1 dozen marshmallows and 1 can of fruit salad. Flavor with vanilla or rum extract. Pour into a quart mold which has been rinsed in cold water. At serving time decorate with sugar wafers.

Chicago Daily Defender, December 12, 1967

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