Simple Food Taught by Edna Lewis

I know it’s been a while since I have posted. A lot of life has been happening with issues with unexpected house repairs to getting ready to be married one week from today. There is so much emotion and story stored up, it’s hard to put into words. Sometimes silence and time away can make the words richer on the glorious return. It will happen soon after I become Mrs. Braveheart.

In the meantime as I was reading one of my favorite food blogs, Gluten Free Girl and the Chef, Shauna Ahern had posted about her new cookbook, American Classics Reinvented. She had mentioned about Edna Lewis, a Southern cook who celebrated being Southern and celebrated food being grown naturally. Her food was simple without not a lot fuss and rich flavors derived from the land. No processed food, preservatives, or junk food filled the pages of her cookbooks. Shauna posted a link to a documentary about Edna Lewis called Fried Chicken and Sweet Potato Pie. I watched the 20 minute film and began to cry. It is story about her life, her relationship with Scott Peacock, a chef and an admirer who took care of her during the last years of her life. His love for her was very touching and so unusual of a man that he made that sacrifice of his own life out of devotion. It reminded me of my grandmother who is from Louisiana and all of her southern cooking. Wonderful comfort food that filled my little girl belly – collard greens and cornbread, banana pudding, fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, seafood gumbo every Christmas eve. She learned to cook as a domestic in her 20s which has brought joy and love to her family over the last 60 years. As an 87-year-old still thriving woman, she still brings food joy to her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Food can be wonderfully simple and no fuss. Food is meant to nourish and bring families and people together. I love to cook in order to participate in the building of community. I love to hear people moan and groan and say that my food is delicious. It is so satisfying. I hope to someday leave a legacy of food like Edna Lewis and my grandmother. I would love for my tombstone to say “I helped them to eat well”.