Welcome to this month’s Thymeline – the #BlackLivesMatter edition.
[Disclaimer: This post does not contain affiliate links. I encourage you to purchase from your favorite small business, as they need our help most of all right now.]
June is Pride Month, and as a queer woman I would normally be eager to exalt some celebratory rainbow recipes right now. But the fight for civil rights of LGBTQ+ and people of color are intrinsically linked (read up on Marsha P. Johnson if you haven’t already), and transgender black men and women are statistically the most vulnerable in our population. All lives won’t matter until black lives matter, and in an small effort of support this month’s Thymeline is focused on marginalized voices in the world of food and drink.
As a note: Talking about food might seem trivial in a time like this, and maybe it is a bit of a distraction. I’ve struggled with producing content during a pandemic, let alone when our BIPOC friends and family need our support. It’s important to remember that what makes it to our plates is always political however, and seeing as how food can also bring comfort in times of strife, maybe this is when we need to remember that the most.
For more of my personal feelings on the matter, visit my public post on Patreon.
Cookbooks by Black Authors
- Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African American Cooking by Toni Tipton-Martin – This is a James Beard Award Winning cookbook, and for good reason. I absolutely love this cookbook for the history and the recipes. The only reason I haven’t done a review post of it yet is because I worry I won’t do it justice.
- Caribbean Potluck: Modern Recipes from Our Family Kitchen by Suzanne & Michelle Rousseau – This was the first cookbook I bought after my honeymoon, where I fell in love with the melting pot that is Caribbean food. Its very accessible as well as educational, and everything I’ve made comes out fabulous.
- Tiki: Modern Tropical Cocktails by Shannon Mustipher – Not only is this a wonderful guide with beautiful photography, I just found out that it is the “first cocktail recipe book written by a working African American bartender and released by a major publisher in more than 100 years.”
- Ethiopia: Recipes and Traditions from the Horn of Africa by Yohanis Gebreyesus – I love geographic and cultural cookbooks like this, not only for the recipes, but because of what they can teach me about food around the world. I haven’t cooked anything from Ethiopia (yet), but the book is a work of art.
- The Dooky Chase Cookbook by Leah Chase – The Dooky Chase Restaurant is a New Orleans landmark. This cookbook chronicles Chase’s classic recipes and their origins.
- Grandbaby Cakes: Modern Recipes, Vintage Charm, Soulful Memories by Jocelyn Delk Adams – I haven’t had a chance to check out the cookbook for myself yet, but the reviews are spectacular. I wouldn’t expect anything less from Adams, whose work is showcased in her blog of the same name.
News & History:
- Food52 created this useful guide to black-run businesses by city, including restaurants.
- Speaking of African-American bartenders, have you heard of Tom Bullock? David Wondrich gives a narrative telling of the forgotten history of black bartenders here.
- Scholars are actively looking at (and teaching) the influence of the African slave trade on the evolution of what we now recognize as “southern” and “soul” food – sometimes to the chagrin of museum goers. I just ordered Michael Twitty’s 2017 book, The Cooking Gene to learn more about this area of American history.
- Earlier this week, contributors to Bon Appetit Magazine spoke out about racial discrimination across social media and editor-in-chief Adam Rapoport resigned amidst the backlash. This was a disappointing discovery for a lot of fans who have been watching their videos while self-isolating.
- Not news exactly, but a friend shared this black-owned online bake shop with me. I’m going to be dreaming of these cookies for DAYS.
If you need a wholesome break between activism and the news, I recently started streaming She-Ra & the Princesses of Power on Netflix. I know I’m late to the party, but its a really lovely way to decompress for short periods while still supporting diversity in popular media. It also has themes of fighting ingrained propaganda and revolution against tyrannical oppressors, so its hard to feel guilty about this kind of self care.
And now, something important: Rather than something fun, I wanted to share the powerful words of Kimberly Jones, who says things far better than I ever could. If you haven’t seen this viral video, I urge you to watch it all: How Can You Win?