Black History Month: Recipes, Cooking & George Washington’s Head Chef

Recipes, cooking & George Washington’s Head Chef

Hello, today I'm sharing online literature. I have to tell you I'm fascinated with history, especially Culinary History, people's gastronomic taste, family recipes, traditions and collected recipes can reveal who people really are or what's important to a culture! Sitting down breaking bread with others is a very intimate function. How many people do you trust to serve you food that their hands have been all over?

Cooking can be as easy as 1, 2, 3 or an enormous amount of work, monumental amounts of work. Have you ever had to cook without electricity. Maybe you went camping, lived on the road, streets, and had to start a fire?  One time and you get such an understanding of the basic necessities and how much work goes into preparing a meal, before electricity, and a banquette...what we call Events today. How spoiled we are today, we tend to take so much for granted, because some of us have so much. Even our freedom. Go take a look at the kitchen Hercules cooked in.
Behind the Face is a Brilliant Mind
That quietly found freedom even
though he left family
When you start digging you find all sorts of things! Here is an excerpt from the article at Philly.com posted in 2010 about Hercules a slave of George Washington, that escaped from slavery not long before or on Washington's 65th birthday. Never to be seen or heard from again.

A great article on The Presidents Chef's  during slavery and after it. They talk about living and cooking in the White House. I loved this site because you can listen to the Authors and Historians as they interview and tell of the Black Chef's who worked in the White House. There is more to read or listen to more at NPR.org

African American Children's Book Fair This article talks about a book depicting Hercules cooking with his daughter, when in reality he had to leave her behind to escape from slavery. It was petitioned not to be sold, because it was not truthful in it's depiction, in light of his life as a slave and of slavery painful reality of separating families. The author of this article had an interesting perspective about children's books on the subject of slavery. History doesn't have to  traumatize children but it should disturb them..if it is in fact horrific and disturbing...an interesting perspective.
To me a big part of being a child is growing, in turn growing up. The adults in there world are key guides as they go through the growing process where they will become Adults. Children naturally want to please and understand the adults in there life for a long time before they want to try out all their learning and test what they've learned for themselves. They count on us to show them how to be in the world, the good the bad and sometime the ugly that shows up too, to know what is the best way to live in this world. Books are a good way to share what we know and believe. Our life experience will show them best. How we are day to day with others. They will... like Maya Angelou poetically stated.. They will "catch" on to who we are and what they want to be or not be.

I hope you get to visit these sites and discover something about Black History Month.  To me it's not just about Black People and all our amazing accomplishment, but also about the human race. The thing that make one race decide to maliciously treat another and the human spirit of the mistreated race to come from under that maliciousness. Personally I'm very grateful for those examples of the human spirit that rises above baseness, because it has been the mainstay why I never ever give up on myself...others can but never me. I model this for my children so they will do the same.
My daughters class studied the UDHR in class...they took a trip to the UN here in NY. I didn't let her go, those trips are always rushed. I will take her on a tour myself.  Maybe you will take time to read The UDHR.


Happy Chinese New Year: Cecilia Chang, The Seventh Daughter

I'm a cookbook fanatic! I have so many favorites. The scrapbook style, of the authors family history, are at the top of my favorites list. For instance the amazing Story by Cecilia Chang...a great read and  recipe book for The Lunar New Year celebration. I love the details of her childhood. The cook's life and how her mother ran the house and did the family shopping. Things she learned from her mother...things even I follow in my culinary beliefs today...so many similarities. Such as eating lighter in the summer, but Cecilia's mother did it for cleansing, and staying away from MSG! The trama of war and how she and her sister were able to escape...covered in fleas but their family inheritance for the trip in tact. Then all that hardship prepared her for success here in the states. Everyone has a story! This story was close to home in many ways for me and I still refer to the lessons now and then. That smile on her face is so real and I've very thankful she wrote the book!

Happy New Year...May the Year of the Monkey Be a Very Happy One!

Black History Month: A. Fillmore's Cookbook

The featured book today  is by  A. Fillmore. This is a picture of Chef Fillmore.  We'd love to have a peak inside his cookbook, but alas that would require a trip to TX.  The Lone Star Cook Book and Meat Special (From the Slaughter Pen to the Dining Room Table). What a title, right? He created his dishes at the Hotel Lubbock, 1929. Click on his name in blue to be directed to the article. It talks about a librarian who is a collector of cookbooks and in her vast 1600 books she has Mr. Fillmore cookbook of culinary cuisine for butchering and serving fresh meat. His Great great grandaughter left a comment and says the family has a copy as well. I thought it was so neat she would leave a comment, unfortunately she didn't get a response...I'd respond in a heart beat.

You will be utterly surprised at what the Book is really about go here. I'm intrigued because, this is the year that I work on eating less meat...and fulfilling a desire to eat vegetarian at least work up to 85% This year.  Below is an exert by A. Fillmore...


How to Make Candy Books: Hard Candy, Chocolate Candy and Non-Cook Candies

Sweets, for the Sweetie with a Sweet Tooth the size of Manhattan!
Don't be scared of the photo, you will be pleasantly surprised at the candy recipes in this book. Who doesn't like quick and easy...I can safely say you'll be enjoying your treats in no time. With the silicone explosion to the cooks kitchen, you can bring the magic and the fun in minutes.

I love a book for beginners...no fuss, basic and fun!
Oh Fudge


If I could have one candy wish...eating one of these everyday and not get cavities or adverse effects to my physical self...this book would fit the bill to explore all those fudge dreams...!!Baker's Field Guide to Holiday Candy: Sweet Treats All Year Long
This is the book of which I found the inspiration for my Sweet Life Candy Hearts! Perfect for Holiday Candy and Confections.

Black History Month: Harlem

How much do you want to Know? How far do you want to travel back...to understand a culture, in tiny spot in the world. Before The Settlers, Before Slavery Trades here in the US...There were millions of Natives living in Americas but for the sake of this post we're talking about Harlem, N.Y. Africans and Indians have a long intertwining relationship in this country. It is curious to me that Harlem became a mecca, in a future time where a whole culture of Native Tribes were forced to live and left to themselves until it was deemed...well, takable!
This link Here takes you to the pages about Haarlem/Harlem and the history of How it came to be Harlem.
Then We fast forward Jumper Style, to after World War I and  Learn more about 
what the Renainnassance Period and who were some of the Key Players of the time.

Do you recall that Sesame Street segment of the song that went "You gotta go where you want to go and
Be who you want to be. Believe in Yourself"

The rebirth or renaissance for African Americans during 
the time makes me think of that song.

Before we moved to Harlem...3 yrs. ago, my Husband would talk about Harlem. People of all walks of life but they dress here, like nowhere else. Good people here. There is a news paper just about what goes on in Harlem. In the summer especially good weather the streets are filled with vendors selling their wares and music I grew up with and always makes you feel welcome even if you are from Baltimore. Maybe that's another reason people come by bus loads to see Harlem!  So we were having a daily discussion about where we wanted to live, because there are five boroughs in NYC and each one being different from the next an even having different culture vibes within a single borough depending on where you live. Harlem, he always would say I like Harlem. If you find this book in the library or in a book store. Stop a min. or two and go through it Once for the Art again for the poetry. It is Poetic Harlem.
I didn't find this book on Good Reads. It exist because I have it! Maybe I'm off my search game
today. Either way the Poetry of Walter Dean Myers pulls out all the feeling of a culture in the
Middle of Manhattan. "Where a note is handed down from Marcus and Malcolm to a brother too
bad and too cool to give his name." If you find this book Sit down and take a trip
to Harlem.

I can walk to the Apollo in 20 min. There is 
more to the Apollo that meets the eye or ear.
go there and find out what I mean.

A Jackie Robinson park Resident... enjoying the scenery. 


Black History Month: 32 Authors

I'm kicking off Black History Month with Alicia Keys entry into the Writer club with her new book. I've always appreciated Alicia Keys since the very first time she appeared with her crystal clear voice and infused her classical training to her music! Classical training always lifts everything you do up to a higher level. I believe it is partly why she's a class act and well rounded entertainer...which she exibits by an app that is the prelude to her book Blue Moon!
Alicia Keys and her Son Egypt

Go visit this article about her book and 31 Black Celebs Authors of Children's books of books featuring several of my favorite authors such as LeVar Burton and books we've read the past year as well as some I look forward to reading.

At the top of my list...

Kim Wayans "Amy Hodgpodge"
Ziggy Marly "I love you too"
Bob Marly "ONe Love"
Tay Diggs "Chocolate Me"


Good Manner's Makes it Work

Gunn's Golden Rules: Life's Little Lessons for Making It WorkGunn's Golden Rules: Life's Little Lessons for Making It Work by Tim Gunn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ok first I have to say I appreciate good manners above, good looks, fancy clothes and most everything. So I really appreciate Tim Gunn because he's got it all. I've never met him but on several occasions my husband has met him commuting around NYC. He always says...Tim Gunn is a really down to earth person and he asked how's the family, when he saw my husband last time. Well reading his book confirmed everything I'd already thought about him, honest, kind and very proficient in his work. I laughed out loud and was touched by so much of what he wrote. I really hated putting the book down and I will read it again. I kept hoping I'd run into him like my husband, so he could sign my book and I could thank him for everything he shared. Thanks Tim Gunn!

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The Borrowers

Already I'm really missing Summer...after just one day of Real Feel  of 3 degree winter weather! Reading aloud chapter books is a summer tradition I started with my children partly to introduce them to the love of reading, voice acting and power of words and ideas. The tradition continues with the youngest of my 8 children.
With That said our first read aloud book over the past summer we read, The Borrowers is a story about tiny people who have to hide from the human beans, barrow what they need, while being virtually invisible and living out their simple lives underneath an elderly lady, her grandson and two caretakers.
Every family has their dilemmas ... what would life be without them, right?  Momma and Poppa are doing their best to keep food on the table and make life pleasant for Arietty but boredom, curiosity and getting seen create a shift that changes everything for them and the whole household. It may be good to read the book before you see the movie by Hayo Miyazaki.

Bud not Buddy....

This is a very touching book. A child's mother dies. He discovers her and is placed into foster care. He only know of his father from the limited clues his mother told him. All his worldly goods are kept in his one suit case. Go on a journey with Bud..find out why his name is not Buddy,  experience  the rights of passage of his age and be touched my how wonderful it is to realize one's dreams by just not giving up on it. What strikes me in the story that he never really had to face the audacity of anyone telling him that he is hoping in something that he has no evidence that it's real...only within himself. Or that it is only his imagination. Inside of him he can be left to come to realize his hopes in reality.Just on faith alone... Beautifully told by Christopher Paul Curtis, of the failed foster care system ... even 50 yrs. ago! Sure there are wonderful people out there in the massive tom foolery and mockery of charity we call foster care. Even as dangerous as the world was with bigotry running rapid in the time this book is depicting...I couldn't help but applaud Bud for escaping with as simple a plan as he had.  Read it for yourself to your children. You won't regret it.