During the month of February, I’ll be reflecting on and celebrating Black History Month by cooking from Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African American Cooking by Toni Tipton-Martin.
The first thing you notice when you flip through this cookbook is how beautiful it is. But next, at least for me, was the challenge to my expectations of what African American cooking is. Like so much of cooking, these recipes under the “African American” umbrella reflect a variety of cultural and regional influences, in this case from West Africa, the Caribbean, Cajun cooking, and of course the South.
Our food journey starts with sweet potato biscuits and George Washington Carver. Most people associate George Washington Carver with peanuts. It seems that Carver also advocated for growing sweet potatoes both for their nutritional value and to prevent soil depletion. See: How the Farmer Can Save His Sweet Potatoes and Ways of Preparing Them for the Table.
Tipton-Martin’s sweet potato biscuits are a modern take, sweetened lightly with brown sugar and cinnamon. Kiddo ate two with dinner – a simple pan roasted chicken breast, steamed broccoli, and salad. In the morning, she ate two more as I was trying to snap these photos.
Protip: yams versus sweet potatoes
Most people don’t have access to yams in the United States. What Americans call yams are actually sweet potatoes, which have flesh in colors including white, yellow, orange, and even purple.
Looking for inspiration?
Sign up to get recipes full of kitchen tips and tricks.