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Teresa McCarthy

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#TuesdaysWithDorie kicks off their bake-along through #DoriesCookies this month. Here's my first foray into the new book!

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When we talk about cooking, we're not having a neutral, apolitical discussion. Our histories are entwined with our foodways and the failings of our present culture are as present in discussions about food and history as they are in all other aspects of life.

This is chef and culinary historian Michael W. Twitty @koshersoul on tw.
He's writing a really great book #TheCookingGene23 (+HarperCollins Publishers 2016) about food, history, politics, genealogy, genetics, and the Old South. He's tracing his ancestors' "journey from Africa to America and from slavery to freedom."
Check out this story he shared on +Twitter today about the reaction he got to his idea at a food event full of food writers, editors, and agents...

Wanna hear a really interesting but annoying story?
When I first started pumping the idea for The Cooking Gene I told people it's the history of African American food from the lens of my family.
I said, "Now you'll get a chance to see how the food traveled with my people from Africa to America & from slavery to freedom."
People at a gathering of very prominent food writers, editors and agents were dumbfounded and annoyed with my idea.
And I'm like yes, this history is personal and genealogical, genetic and cultural, and I am the voice of this story. The voice of my Ancestors.
Well honey...
"I don't think that's very interesting at all." One woman flat out told me. "You should write about my husband's family."
She continued..."See my husband's grandfather went to Texas from Tennessee. 1st wagon held the family, the next two their belongings... and the next wagon…
and you know what she's about to say…
She sho nuff said it.
"The fourth wagon had your people in it. Now THAT and how their Mammy cooked for them is an interesting story."
So here I am with this look on my face of complete bewilderment. She isn't keen on me telling my own history but…
One of the best editors in the food writing business said, "We are tired of the same old stories, we're hungry for a new family story."
I was excited to talk to her. I get up there and she half ignores me and talks to a friend during my two minutes and says, "I mean honestly would anybody be interested in your family history?" She looked exasperated, handed me a card and whisked me along.
I had just told her about how my great great grandfather got his freedom at Appomattox and the feast they had and she was nonplussed.
Never let people get you down about your vision.
I was one of maybe 20 people of color present. Most of the people I spoke to were totally like "Slavery and food and family history… nope."
I was mad but undeterred. I heard more no's than even "ok's". Nobody wanted to hear about a Black man reclaiming his food roots from the slave ship until today. But I didn't care. I had a job to do.
I was surrounded by the very people I needed to impress and yet I was failing miserably. My culinary version of ‪Roots‬ held no appeal.
And I was like, "And I'm not just talking about history, I'm talking about food activists and chefs today..."
Response: "There aren't that many Black food activists you could really get an interesting story from. This really isn't a thing. Sorry."
Don't listen to people like that. Love your truth.Keep telling it until the gates of heaven open themselves to you. Myopia is a bad thing.
Re: Ms. Wagon: She didn't believe that without the bandana Black people had a food voice. That was more disturbing than "your people."
Ignorance is gross but complacency is worse.
People didn't want me to write about being Jewish and how that affected my journey..."America's not ready for you."
And I'm like "Heifer, I AM AMERICA."
The American dream isn't a damn club. It's a RECIPE.
This book has never just been about Black people. The Southern people are my people, and they are my family. The table is where we reconcile.
Southern people like in Langston Hughes' poem, Daybreak in Alabama.
But after all the nonsense...guess what? I have a great agent ‪@kalyarn‬(on Twitter) and I've got a great seasoned editor at HarperCollins and I'm HERE.
If you have the love, the rest WILL Mom drilled that into me. Her prayers were stronger that their no's.
I am going to tell an AMERICAN story that started with AFRICAN people and happened in the SOUTHERN states and has touched all HUMAN beings.
Thank you for listening and following. Never let people steal that joy. Your voice is as strong as your willingness to keep it.

Like that? Now head on over to Afroculinaria and help out with a small donation for the last research trip for the book! Paypal button on the right column...

#food   #roots   #genealogy   #culinary   #books   #southern   #oldsouth   #slavery   #africa   #heritage   #race   #blacklivesmatter  

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It's #Pride weekend in Vancouver (also the BC Day weekend). If you're celebrating on #TheDrive you have lots of coffee options. #EastVan

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A review and a chance to win a copy of a beautiful book that will have you making pastry like a Parisian.

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My partner sometimes struggles to find good vegan, gluten-free alternatives for brunch. This recipe, using +The Little Potato Company's fingerlings, goes a long way toward making brunch delicious for him.

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On the blog: Creamer potatoes, Italian cheeses, and charcuterie add up to a delicious snack. #LilPotatoCo #spon

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This week, the #frenchfridayswithdorie crew wishes +Dorie Greenspan the happiest of birthdays and previews some recipes from #BakingChezMoi  
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