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July 4th Series: Part 3 Eating Local

Dandelion greens, beets, and goat cheese salad, recipe below

Returning to a circa 1830 Kentucky July 4th barbecue based on traveler John James Audubon firsthand account. One’s see a rural slave society in which on special occasions, like July 4th, enslaved African Americans set up, cooked, and served the food but the holiday still represented a respite from the rigorous labor of most slaves. This was a community of “American woodsmen,” who probably owned one to three slaves and perhaps a couple of large planters who owned fifteen or more slaves. During the July 4th barbecue white and black participants shared cooking tips and methods and the event insured enslaved African Americans received more food and drink on one day then a typical week’s ration. Folks donated rich food such as whole hogs and chickens, and sweet desserts and beverages along with alcohol. “Fifty cooks or more” turned and basted barbecuing foods all day and “waiters of all qualities” served meats, side dishes, “punch” and “rich wines.” Here’s a dandelion greens, beets, and goat cheese salad recipe perfect for Monday’s barbecue (if you have the day off) and it’s a real eating local dish. I had this salad at the annual Southern Foodways Alliance symposium (http://www.southernfoodways.com/events/past_events/2005.html#symp) down at Ole Miss in 2005 and my mouth still waters thinking about it.

Dandelion greens, beets, and goat cheese salad recipe: http://flapperfood.blogspot.com/2009/07/dandelion-green-salad-with-beets-and.html

What Happened to that Old Soul Food Restaurant?

July 4th Series: Part I Ox and Rural Food Traditions