I am an 80s baby (that is the extent to which I will be revealing the details of my age ha!). The point is, as I get older, I find myself channeling the spirits of my elders. Like, for example, the time I found myself jamming to the gospel rhythms of Bobby Jones Gospel on a cold, New York Sunday morning like my late maternal grandmother, Theresa Greenwell. Or humming while flat twisting my natural tresses at night like my late paternal grandmother, Mamie Green. Or becoming transfixed when historical epics like Dances With Wolves or The Patriot come on television like my father. Or…you get the point! And, as I’ve grown wiser, I’ve become increasingly more concerned with my health and my bank account. As a
soon to be corporate slave full time law student, I know too well how easy it is to fall back on Seamless as a source of dietary sustenance — unfortunately, this is not sustainable for my waste line or my wallet. This led to my resolution at the beginning of the year to not only eat healthier, but to cook more meals at home.
Now, as a Black girl who is a native of Louisville, Kentucky — which may be considered the South or the Midwest, depending on who you ask (I like to think of it as the Gateway to the South) — my cuisine growing up was largely comprised of what one might
stereotypically expect. I ate a lot of food that tastes oh so good, but is oh so bad for you. One of the things I miss most about being a child (and all of the accoutrements that accompany said state, i.e. high metabolism) is the ability to (over)indulge in such food without the smallest inkling of guilt. Alas, nothing lasts forever. But, what these fond and delectable memories of the food I ate as a child — and particularly the food prepared first-hand by both of my grandmothers — has inspired me to do is recreate them. Now, I know I will never be Sister Greenwell or Sister Green in the kitchen, but I do hope to be just a fraction of the cooks that they were. So, I will channel their memories and spirit as my muse, of sorts, as I seek to put new spins on old family recipes, or Theresa and Mamie’s spin on new, currently-undiscovered recipes. In the process, I hope to find my own style so that my children and grandchildren, too, can look back with fondness on the food — and memories created by eating and communing with family — of their childhood.
To kick off this experiment, I begin with a Green classic — I can literally see my grandmother (and my father) serving these up: salmon croquettes (think crab cakes made with salmon instead). The recipe is extremely easy to prepare, generally healthy (regardless of whether or not you deep or oven fry them), and absolutely delicious. Take a look!
Before going into the frying pan.
Yeah, I was lazy and hungry and didn’t want to oven bake.
Served with white rice/mixed veggies and broccoli spears.
Topped off with made from scratch banana bread with a coconut accent (thanks to the recipe of a dear, dear sister-friend *wink*).
It was filling, generally healthy, and hopefully I will want to eat it post-day 2 of the leftovers state. Who’s coming over for dinner?! 🙂