Soul Food Love
My daughter, Caroline Randall Williams, says that the recipes in Soul Food Love are love letters to me. And I say the history chapters that open our cookbook are love letters to our foremothers, to all they cooked and didn't cook. To their beautiful life giving and life sustaining bodies.
The two great summers of my life with daughter Caroline were the summer of 1987 and the summer of 2013. In the summer of 1987 I carried her in my belly. The summer of 2013 she fed my belly. That was the summer she cooked her way through our family recipes and through the recipes she had developed feeding herself in Mississippi three times in her Mama's kitchen--feeding her Mama powerfully every day. After the summer of 2013 I knew my daughter was grown.
It wasn't an easy summer. It was the time we talked about all the women in the family who had been conceived in kitchen rape. And we talked about how I was afraid, as my grandfather had been afraid, a man who was afraid of no one and nothing else, of the sugar. How fruit hanging from the tree could remind someone who had seen a lynching of dead bodies and terror. We talked about all the ways women in our family had become frightened of the kitchen--then my daughter wooed me into love with my kitchen. Soul Food Love our cookbook is very much a collaboration. Soul Food Love is the fruit of conversations between a mother and daughter and it is the fruit of our conversations with women and men in our family and sometimes even with their ghosts.