The Importance of Soul Food for the Whole Family

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What type of food or meal is important to your family? Well my important meal is a thanksgiving dinner. The way we get prepared to cook everything. Before thanksgiving we would go to the grocery store. My mom would get some cranberry sauce in a can. She would also get some packs of dressing. My sister would get the turkey and caramel cake bake mix. My sister is throwing down on the caramel cake so it’s good. My other sister would get the greens and cabbage. She would get the greens in can and would cut them so the greens would fit in the pot. Sweet potato pies were generationally passed down by my grandmother. If the pies ain’t done right you banned from the family.

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After getting all that we need for thanksgiving we’ll start preparing the meals at home. I would have to clean the house and the tables off to make sure everything is looking good for the guests. When cooking for thanksgiving you have to make sure your ham and turkey don’t over cook make sure it’s in the oven for the right time. You gotta stir the mashed potatoes up correctly. Perfectly moist and bursting with flavor, a smoked turkey makes an impressive and delicious centerpiece for the Thanksgiving table.

Yes, you can master this next-level Thanksgiving feat just follow our step-by-step guide and soon you’ll be serving up succulent slices that impress even die-hard turkey doubters. With ham rub it in the seasonings to make sure the flavor is there and make sure the meat is pink for not to pink.

My family is also big on barbecue, baked mac and cheese and chicken. If one of them is not on Thanksgiving, my family will go crazy. Especially my mom because she loves baked mac and cheese. We also like greens, dressing, and ham because they are holiday traditions in my opinion. These foods make a thanksgiving dinner feel like thanksgiving. Last year my sister cooked Thanksgiving. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia, so we drive down there to go see for the week. She did a very good job on the cooking. She made the sweet potato pies just grandmother would make them. Personally, the only thing that I will eat is ham and dressing and caramel cake. Maybe a lil bit of greens on my plate. I don’t eat the pies but will eat mac and cheese. It’s only right.

Also my family likes Soul food is a term used for an ethnic cuisine, food traditionally prepared and eaten by African Americans of the Southern United States…. African slaves were given only the ‘leftover’ and ‘undesirable’ cuts of meat from their masters (while the white slave owners got the meatiest cuts of ham, roasts, etc.). For centuries, soul food has been cooked and seasoned with pork products, and fried dishes are usually cooked with hydrogenated vegetable oil (‘shortening’ or ‘Crisco’), which is a trans fat. Unfortunately, regular consumption of these ingredients without significant exercise or activity to work the calories off often contributes to disproportionately high occurrences of obesity, hypertension, cardiac/circulatory problems and/or diabetes. It has also been a factor in African Americans often having a shortened lifespan. More modern methods of cooking soul food include using more healthful alternatives for frying (liquid vegetable oil or canola oil) and cooking/stewing using smoked turkey instead of pork. Though soul food originated in the South, soul food restaurants — from fried chicken and fish ‘shacks’ to upscale dining establishments-are in every African American community in the nation, especially in cities with large Black populations, such as Chicago, New York, New Orleans, Los Angeles and Washington, DC.

The traditions of soul food depend on one’s family and where one’s family is from. For instance, my family is originally from Chicago, Illinois and we eat soul food on holidays, during family reunions, and Sunday dinners. Sunday dinners are common in most families and became that way because it was a time for families to get together. They can be compared to the “good times” meals of the old days. For Sunday dinners it was common for relatives to travel some distance just for a good home cooked meal. Relatives such as aunts, uncles, and cousins (both pretend and real) would come together to the house with the best-cooked food. In my family, holidays are the main event for soul food. Soul food is pretty good depending on what you are cooking.

Soul food is really more about what African Americans are eating outside of the South. It’s an immigrant cuisine. If you look at what Americans describe as immigrant foods, it’s usually special occasion food of the immigrant’s home country. Much of what we call soul food is the celebration food of the rural South. Fried chicken, fried fish, cakes, cobblers and pies all that stuff was meant for celebratory occasions, not everyday eating. Inside the South, the lines between Southern and soul are blurred because of common heritage. Anyone can make good soul food, as long as they’re true to its traditional flavor profiles and preparation techniques. Again, a lot of it comes down to seasoning and the expectations of those eating the food. Soul food tends to be more intense than its Southern food counterpart—fattier, saltier, spicier, and sweeter. When my mom makes greens (collard, kale, mustard, or turnip),she season with onion, garlic, and red pepper and she gets a smoky flavor from smoked turkey or ham hocks. Without that seasoning it’s not gone be right.

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