Each time we prepare for a Gullah Campfire Supper with Stories and Songs event we select a chef to feature and our menu choices. The first supper in February for Black History Month featured South Carolina peach farmer and author Dori Sanders. We know Ms. Sanders personally and speak with her now and then. We selected a salad recipe from her cookbook, Dori Sanders' Country Cooking: Recipes and Stories from the Family Farm Stand. The recipe Mess O’Greens with Warm Pecan Dress is a family favorite and we weren’t surprised that it was a big hit at the supper. We also served collards, Carolina Gold Rice and fried Whiting, Tony’s sweet potato pie was fantastic!
In March for Women’s History Month we choose another SC author Sallie Ann Robinson, a sixth generation Gullah native, and one of Pat Conroy 's students when he taught on Daufuskie Island. Ms. Robinson is also a chef and tour operator. We choose her recipe for collards and cabbage prepared together and a pork stew with potatoes and carrots. Both dishes were delicious. For dessert our daughter Sarah made gingerbread served with lemon hard sauce, another family favorite.
For the May supper we are celebrating Decoration Day with more Gullah and traditional Southern recipes that will reflect the Civil War and WW2 time periods of the United States Colored Troops and the Montfort Point Marines. The chef we have studied for this occasion is none other than the late Edna Lewis, said to be “the Julia Childs of the South”. We have learned so much from reading her cookbooks and studying the culture of Black culinary traditions.
"Every group has its own food history," Miss Lewis scribbled, with the kind of hurried penmanship that happens when thoughts are jumping out of your head and onto the page faster than you can capture them. "Our condition was different. We were brought here against our will in the millions, enslaved, and through it all established a cuisine in the south . . . the only fully developed cuisine in the country." ~Edna Lewis
For this supper we are preparing a few items from the cookbooks of Edna Lewis and tradition Gullah dishes. We made a trip to Marsh Hen Mill, formerly Geechee Boy Mill, on Edisto Island to shop for some ingredients for a couple of dishes. It’s truly been a wonderful learning experience for us and we look forward to hosting the supper this Saturday evening.
Our June event will be a little bit different, it’s a Women’s Camping Weekend to teach outdoor skills to women. It will include campsite setup with tents, hammocks, and camper vans, outdoor cooking, foraging for edible and medicinal plants, camp safety, and crafts. We will also include fishing and crabbing basics. Our campfire supper will feature the catch plus a few other items to complete the meal. Details about that event or on the events tab of the members area or can be reached from the link in the website Home page.