The Food Culture Connection:
I don’t know about yours, but in our family, food is an important part of our culture. I am a southern, all American girl married to a black man whose culture is deeply rooted in the Caribbean. After we wed, it took some time to get used to the foods his mother prepared. I still remember that first Christmas morning as a couple, I leaned over her shoulder watching her stir a pungent smelling fish in the pan.
“What’s this called?” I’d said.
“Ackee and Salt Fish,” She answered in her thick West Indian accent. She gave me a spoonful and I made a face. “Awe daughter, you’ll get used to it. I’ll make you some eggs.”
Twenty-two years later, I’ve come to appreciate West Indian food. I now love ackee and salt fish, curry goat, rice and peas, roti, but to the ox tail, I still say, “pass the fried chicken.” I can’t get used to the idea of chewing on a gristly, beast tail.
The Infamous Potato Salad:
Growing up in Suffolk, Virginia, all of our holiday celebrations included Granny’s potato salad. No one made potato salad like my Granny. It is a dish often thought to accompany barbecues, but for us we had it at Thanksgiving, Christmas, July 4th and any other holiday dinner when Granny and Paw Paw came over to eat.
Have you ever noticed eating a family member’s dish after they’ve passed away seems to connect them back to you? After Granny passed, I missed her so much that I practiced making her potato salad just to feel like she was near. After serving it at my in-laws house one Thanksgiving it became requested for every holiday since. This southern potato salad has made its home amongst the West Indian flavors at our family holidays. The foods at our feasts represent the blending of our cultures, because food connects people like nothing else.
As we celebrate Christmas. I hope you will find peace and connection in sharing food with your family. Besides, we could all use a little more connection these days. Maybe, you’d even like to have a little of my Granny’s potato salad. Just in case, I’ve included the recipe below.
Granny’s Potato Salad:
1 1/2 jars of speared Kosher dill pickles finely diced
2- plus cups of mayonnaise (Make it creamy now!)
1 onion finely diced
Chopped fresh dill or green onion (optional)
Skin and chop potatoes into bite-size pieces, boil until soft. Hard boil the eggs, peel, and chop into small pieces. Dice the dill pickles. Dice the onions. Once potatoes are soft, drain and immediately add the dill pickles, onions, eggs, and mayo. The potatoes will absorb the flavors better if they are hot when you add these things in. Stir until creamy. Salt and pepper to taste. As decoration, sprinkle paprika over the top, along with either chopped green onion or fresh dill.
The team at The Hallelujah House will be taking a short break for the holidays. We wish you and your family a healthy Christmas and a blessed new year. We are already planning some amazing content for 2021. In January, we will discuss Vision. Some of the article topics include: Praying over your kingdom vision or goals for your new year and we will be inspired by the amazing missions of several women like Eliza Shirley and Lydia in the Bible.
In February our articles will focus on relationships. The most important relationship being with our Lord and Savior we will be offering a Bible study podcast titled Abiding in the Vine written by Richard Case. This podcast will cover how to abide in Christ and hear the Father speak to you on a personal level.
We’d like to thank all of our subscribers for a blessed year at The Hallelujah House, and if you haven’t signed up via email to our blog, I hope you’ll consider doing that before we say goodbye to 2020.
Have a Merry Christmas! When our red doors swing open again, we hope to see you on the porch.