22 Apr

As noted in the earlier post, the diet of slaves varied widely depending on where they lived, the type of plantation they lived on, and even the years they lived. Here are some excerpts from books written by former slaves detailing their diets.

“The food of the slave is this: Every Saturday night they receive two pounds of bacon, and one peck and a half of corn meal, to last the men through the week. The women have one half pound of meat, and one peck of meal, and the children one half peck each. When this is gone, they can have no more till the end of the week. This is very little food for the slaves. They have to beg when they can; when they cannot, they must suffer. They are not allowed to go off the plantation; if they do, and are caught, they are whipped very severely, and what they have begged is taken from them.”
—Peter Randolph, Sketches Of Slave Life: Or,Illustrations
Of The ‘Peculiar Institution.’ 
Boston: published for the author, 1855.

“Slaves every Monday morning have a certain quantity of Indian corn handed out to them; this they grind with a handmill, and boil or use the meal as they like. The adult slaves have one salt herring allowed for breakfast, during the winter time. The breakfast hour is usually from ten to eleven o’clock. The dinner consists generally of black-eyed peas soup, as it is called. About a quart of peas is boiled in a large pan, and a small piece of meat, just to flavour the soup, is put into the pan. The next day it would be bean soup, and another day it would be Indian meal broth. The dinner hour is about two or three o’clock; the soup being served out to the men and women in bowls; but the children feed like pigs out of troughs, and being supplied sparingly, invariably fight and quarrel with one another over their meals.”
—Francis Fredric, Slave Life in Virginia and Kentucky; or, Fifty Years of Slavery in the Southern States of America. London: Wertheim, Macintosh, and Hunt, 1863.

“The supply of food given out to the slaves, was one peck of corn a week, or some equivalent, and nothing besides. They must grind their own corn, after the work of the day was performed, at a mill which stood on the plantation. We had to eat our coarse bread without meat, or butter, or milk. Severe labor alone gave us an appetite for our scanty and unpalatable fare. Many of the slaves were so hungry after their excessive toil, that they were compelled to steal food in addition to this allowance.
During the planting and harvest season, we had to work early and late. The men and women were called at three o’clock in the morning, and were worked on the plantation till it was dark at night. After that they must prepare their food for supper and for the breakfast of the next day, and attend to other duties of their own dear homes. Parents would often have to work for their children at home, aftereach day’s protracted toil, till the middle of the night, and then snatch a few hours’ sleep, to get strength for the heavy burdens of the next day. “
—Thomas H. Jones, The Experience Of Thomas H. Jones, Who Was A Slave For Forty-three Years.Boston: Bazin & Chandler, 1862.

“The slaves got their allowance every Monday night of molasses, meat, corn meal, and a kind of flour called “dredgings” or “shorts.” Perhaps this allowance would be gone before the next Monday night, in which case the slaves would steal hogs and chickens. Then would come the whipping-post. Master himself never whipped his slaves; this was left to the overseer.

We children had no supper, and only a little piece of bread or something of the kind in the morning. Our dishes consisted of one wooden bowl, and oyster shells were our spoons. This bowl served for about fifteen children, and often the dogs and the ducks and the peafowl had a dip in it. Sometimes we had buttermilk and bread in our bowl, sometimes greens or bones.”
—Annie L. Burton, Memories of Childhood’s Slavery Days. Boston: Ross Publishing Company, 1909.

4 Jul

If you are a fan of sports, you must have eaten and watched football or other games in a restaurant. This type of restaurant is best described as a sports bar where people can eat nice food, drink and have a good time while watching latest sports games. These types of bars are designed to fit specific customers, which are sports fans. Therefore, this type of business must meet specific standards for a bar as well as a restaurant. Since there are so many sports fanatics, these bars are mushrooming at a rapid rate. This is because most people prefer watching games in a restaurant so that they can socialize and analyze the game rather than watching alone in the house.


However, there are some characteristics that these types of restaurants have that make them attractive to customers. It does not matter how many televisions you have in your bar. What matters most is understanding the critical elements that will make your customers come back to your bar again and again.

Take chef’s table Los Angeles for example. This is a restaurant with exclusive services where customers can watch FIFA Worldcup and enjoy a great meal. Chef’s table is one of the most visited restaurants because of the food that is deliciously prepared and the TVs that display latest sports events. The service offered in this restaurant is on another level and customers who visit this place for the first time will go back for a second and a third time.

Features of these bars:
Technology is what keeps this kind of business to bloom. This is because people enjoy being in a place that uses the latest technology. Customers need to feel that you have a sense of technology even if you will just be discussing which athletes are likely to participate in the upcoming Olympics.

•TV placement
Additionally, the placement of the Televisions around this restaurant is crucial. Restaurants that have only three well-placed TVs might and up attracting more guests than a bar having more than ten TVs that are placed anyhow.

•Types of Games offered
Also, guests like knowing what the restaurant offers before they decide to go there. Customers go to these restaurants specifically to watch sports. Therefore, it is important to post a list of games you can show to let the guests know that games are a priority.

The Seats
These restaurants cannot function without comfortable seats. Since this is not a regular food joint where you sit to eat for thirty to forty minutes and leave, the seats in this type of restaurant should be comfortable. This is because guests will spend hours watching game after game, socializing, eating and having a good time Comfortable cushioned seats with backs and arms will make customers feel relaxed and comfortable. Thus they will pick your restaurant again and again.

Internet Connection
Another feature that this type of bar has is free and fast and steady WI-FI connection. People like browsing thus installing internet in your bar will attract more and new customers to your joint.
There are so many games-fans who want to pass the time watching current games as they enjoy a great meal with friends. Therefore, if you have been thinking of this kind of business, or you have been looking for the best restaurant to pass your evening watching football, the features mentioned above will be an excellent guide.

22 Apr

An excerpt from An Irresistible History of Southern Food, copyright 2011by Rick McDaniel

Barbecue: Nature’s Most Perfect Food

Barbecue is one of the South’s most beloved foods and has long played an important role in the foodways of the region.

As much as we Southerners love our country ham, tenderloin biscuits and smothered pork chops, we will run over them all to get to a plate of barbecue. It is a subject that is guaranteed to get two people from different parts of the South into a spirited discussion ending in either a lifelong friendship or a fistfight.

Almost everywhere in the region, but especially in North Carolina, barbecue is spoken of in the reverential tone usually reserved for ’65 Mustang convertibles, large bass that slipped the line and the cheerleader everyone was in love with in high school.

The word barbecue more than likely entered the English language via the Spanish, who observed native people in the West Indies using a method of slowly cooking meat over coals they called barbacoa. Native Americans were cooking meat over coals using essentially the same method as the West Indian peoples, and the English settlers who set up shop in the South were soon happily cooking pigs over hot coals.

The typical method for barbecuing a hog was to dig a pit or trench and build a hardwood fire in it. After the fire had burned down to coals, the hog was placed on poles or a sheet of corrugated iron laid across the trench. Barbecue made by this method came to be known as “pit cooked,” and the term is still in use today. Even in modern barbecue restaurants where the hole in the ground has been replaced with concrete block cookers, they are still called pits, and the person who is the head cook is called the pit master or pit boss.

In the modern South, the word barbecue is most often used as a noun, as in a plate of barbecue. It is rarely used as a verb, as in “we barbecued a pig.” Most people who do so simply say they cooked a pig, with the cooking method implied. In a final note on usage, nothing will mark someone as a barbecue novice and possible Yankee spy quicker than referring to a grill as a barbecue or using the term in any connotation when referring to cooking hamburgers or hot dogs.

15 Apr

An Irresistible History of Southern Food is the first book by Southern food historian, chef and author Rick McDaniel. The book examines how European, Native American and African influences, foods and cooking techniques combined to form the unique blend that is Southern cooking.

From the earliest interactions between Spanish explorers and Native Americans to the Farm to Table movement of the 21st century, An Irresistible History of Southern Food is a history lesson that will make your mouth water.

The 240 page hardback features more than 150 recipes for traditional Southern favorites from whole hog barbecue to jambalaya to brunswick stew, with an extensive chapter on elegant Southern desserts. The book features color photographs of many of the recipes as well as rare archival photos, many of them seen for the first time in print.

An Irresistible History of Southern Food is available at bookstores nationwide. For a hardback copy signed by the author, use the buy now button to order by credit card, debit card or PayPal.

9 Jan

Scripture cake was also known as “Bible Cake,” “Scriptural Cake” and “Old Testament Cake,” and was extremely popular in the latter part of the nineteenth century, especially in the southern Appalachians. The cake was meant as a way to teach young girls baking and Bible verses; the original recipes didn’t include the ingredients out to the side as provided on this one. The earliest recipe for this cake I have been able to find was published in the Atlanta Constitution on June 27, 1897. Some researchers believe the cake dates to the late 1700s in England or Ireland, while others claim the cake a favorite of Dolly Madison, wife of U.S. president James Madison.An old engraving of Eve in the Garden of Eden.

Recipes differ on amounts of ingredients and occasionally the Bible verses used to find them; this recipe is based on one found in Key to the Pantry, published by the ladies of the Church of the Epiphany in Danville, Virginia in 1897. This cake may also be baked in two 9-by 5-inch loaf pans, with a reduction in cooking time of about 15 minutes.

For the cake:

3/4 cup Judges 5:25 (butter)
1 1/2 cup Jeremiah 6:20 (sugar)
5 Isaiah 10:14 (eggs, separated)
3 cups sifted Leviticus 24:5 (flour)
3 teaspoons 2 Kings 2:20 (salt)
3 teaspoons Amos 4:5 (baking powder)
1 teaspoon Exodus 30:23 (cinnamon)
1/4 teaspoon each 2 Chronicles 9:9 (spices-nutmeg, ginger, allspice)
1/2 cup Judges 4:19 (milk)
3/4 chopped Genesis 43:11 (nuts)
3/4 cup finely chopped Jeremiah 24:5 (figs
3/4 cup 2 Samuel 16:1 (raisins)
Whole Genesis 43:11 for garnish (almonds)

In a 4-quart mixing bowl or the bowl of an electric stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolks, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Sift together flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon and spices.

Beat flour mixture into butter and egg mixture, alternating with milk, until flour is just blended in.  Beat egg whites untill stiff; fold into batter. Fold in chopped nuts, figs and raisins. Turn into 10-inch tube pan that has been greased and dusted with flour.

Bake at 325 degrees F until a cake tester inserted into cake comes out clean, about an hour and ten minutes.
Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. After fifteen minutes, turn cake out from pan onto wire rack to cool completely. Drizzle with Burnt Jeremiah Syrup.

Burnt Jeremiah Syrup:

1 1/2 cups Jeremiah 6:20 (sugar)
1/2 cup Genesis 24:45 (water)
1/4 cup Genesis 18:8 (butter)

in a 2-quart saucepan over low heat, melt sugar, stirring ocasionally to prevent sticking. After sugar melts, continue cooking, stirring continuously, until it is a deep golden brown. Add water and cook, stirring frequently, until smooth. Remove from the heat, add butter and stir till until it melts; allow to cool.

Drizzle over cooled scripture cake and garnish with whole almonds.

4 Jan

You need a good electric juicer to be able to squeeze juice from fruits or vegetables. This is the secret southern foods rely on to prepare a variety of juice recipes. Electrical juicers can whiz up juice recipes to give thicker juices.

When preparing juice, there are a number of critical issues that should be considered. First, the texture of the juice must be good especially if it is to be used to make smoothies. If you are juicing greens and herbs, blending the ingredients is important since it plays a role in mellowing the smoothies.

Southern foods are known for its innovativeness. It hires chefs that are passionate about what they produce and make use of top equipment including electrical juicers to prepare juice to be used to make dishes.

Buying a Juicer

Buying an easy to use juicers is important since it is extremely difficult to devour vegetables or a plate of fruits. A juicer machine is certainly one of the machines you can rely on to add vegetables and fruits to your diet. In fact, juicers make the fruits more appetizing compared to eating them raw.

Even though research shows that eating raw fruits is the best because of the accompanying fiber, not everyone has an opportunity to access and eat fresh produce. Juicing can help you include a little fresh produce into your diet. In addition, fresh juice tastes great and can easily be incorporated into our diet.

What to Look For When Buying an Electrical Juicer

Before you spend your hard-earned money on a juicer, it is important you check out whether it is a blender style juicer or centrifugal one. The blender- style and centrifugal blenders remove pulp but add oxygen and heat to the juice. This may subtract the nutritional benefits from the fruits. Check out the following.

The Capabilities

A juicer that makes good use of the produce you put in them is ideal. Look for a machine that has a powerful motor and which is capable of yielding more juice.  In fact, one of the reasons that make you consider buying juice is to make vegetables and fruits more palatable. The objective is to help you get the smoothest juice with the least amount of pulp. If the machine leaves less pulp, the better the juice you get from it.

Cleaning and Preparation

If it is not easy to clean a centrifugal and masticating juicers, chances are high that it will end up in the appliance graveyard. A juicer that requires little preparation and cleaning is certainly the best. Look at how many parts will you have to wash, how many cuts you must have so that the recipe can fit in the juicer. A machine that does not require you to cut the ingredients into many pieces is the best.


The design of the juicer matters a lot. There are juicers that make a lot of noise that will bother your neighbors. The amount of noise generated by the machine should, therefore, be a deciding factor before you actually buy one.