RL Reeves Jr reports on the US soul food scene

We smoked a family pack of city-ham trim meat from Jeanfreau’s Market yesterday on our antique Weber. There’s a kettle of Camellia Navy peas packed with master stock, and that protein burbling on the stove top right now. Where do Navy peas belong in the soul food canon? We would put them in our top 50. As you move through the soul food scene in the South you’ll find them on a few menus but they will never approach Brown Crowders or Red Kidneys in the canon.

In the Scrumptious fridge here in the 9th Ward you will always, always, always find a Tupperware filled with some sort of bean soup or stew. There has not been a week that went by over the past 20 some odd years that we have not prepared a big kettle of beans or peas. They are part and parcel of our very existence.

Georgia is one of the finest soul food states in the entire US. We’ve eaten our way across the territory on countless occasions and always look forward to our visits. Writing for the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Rosalind Bentley explores the relationship between President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his cook Daisy Bonner. It’s a beautiful piece.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt loved the way Bonner prepared greens. She worked for him at the “Little White House,” Roosevelt’s Warm Springs, Georgia retreat from the 1920s until his death there in 1945.

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21 years is a lifetime in the world of restaurants. Miss Lee’s Good Food, a long-running Chicago soul food institution recently shuttered after a better than two decade run. Owner Lee Hogan is tired.

Hogan, 75, opened the restaurant at 203 E. Garfield Blvd., in Washington Park, in September 1998, using savings from her 31 years as a waitress at Gladys’ Luncheonette in Bronzeville, a historic soul food institution that has since closed.

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We’ve always wanted to venture up to Detroit but other than a few treks through their airport we’ve never visited. It’s a long-ass ways from New Orleans. GQ Magazine recently filed a field report from the Detroit suburbs where they proclaimed ‘Beans and Cornbread’ to be a new American classic. Check out the photo of the restaurant’s signature dish at your own peril. article.

Millie Peartree Fish Fry and Soul Food is shuttered. Do not read this article unless you feel like crying.

Oh, and we have zero interest in the disturbing new trend of “refined” soul food. Get that mess out of here. We want our soul food to be as rough and ready as possible. We’re not discounting safe production procedure mind you. We just hate the tweezer chef crew trying to put down stumps in our beloved soul food turf.

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