The idle ramblings of a Jack of some trades, Master of none

Ntozake Shange's classic of Black literature Sassafras, Cypress and Indigo, is filled with descriptions of and recipes for fine Negro food. Reminds me of a trip to New Orleans years ago, where after laying into Cajun munchies, I repaired to a soul food joint to sate my stomach, salve my spirit, and harden my arteries.

Here's a small intro, first.
"Mama, this gumbo is ridiculous." Sassafrass was eating so fast she could barely get the words out of her mouth. "Mama, you know if I told them white folks at the Callahan school that I wanted some red sauce & rice with shrimp, clams, hot sausage, corn, okra, chicken & crab meat, they'd go around campus sayin','You know that Negro girl overdoes everything. Can you imagine what she wanted for dinner?' "
But even better is this:

Sassafrass' Rice Casserole #36

1-1/2 cups medium grain brown rice     2/3 pound smoked cheddar cheese
3 ounces pimentos                      1/2 cup condensed milk
1 cup baby green peas                  Diced garlic to taste
1/2 cup fresh walnuts                  Cayenne to taste

Cook rice as usual. In an eight-inch baking dish, layer rice, cheese, pimentos, walnuts, and peas. Spread garlic and cayenne as you see fit. 
Pour milk along side of dish so it cushions rice against the edge. Bake in oven 20-30 minutes, or until all the cheese melts and the top 
layer has a nice brown tinge.


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