Juneteenth’s History of Food and Tradition

Juneteenth’s History of Food and Tradition

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Historically, Juneteenth marks the day enslaved Africans in Texas were finally freed from slavery. It may sometimes be painful, but history serves only to educate us about the racism and inequality that Black people still face today.

Red foods and beverages are staples of the commemorative day in June. In many West African cultures, red represents strength, spirituality, and life and death. RED is also a symbol of perseverance. In the latter half of the 1800s, following the Civil War, Black Americans occasionally used a South American dye called “cochineal” to color foods red.

BARBEQUE

Barbeque always brings a crowd together. Whether its ribs, chicken, pork, or brisket it’s always a crowd pleaser.

RED VELVET CAKE

GREENS

TEA CAKES

Tea cakes are not your typical cookies. While they visually look like sugar cookies; one bite and you are immediately surprised. The unique spices are enchanting. Back during slavery, the taste of one of these cakes was like a small slice of heaven.

In my hometown of Jonesville, Louisiana, they go all out for the Juneteenth Festival of Events. This has been a tradition for as long as I can remember. You will be sure to find all types of foods and events going on including a Juneteenth Parade. While we continue to move ahead; it is imperative that we remember our past. Happy Juneteenth. Omniley.

 

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Belle Omniley
Belle Omniley

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Lou’s Sour Cream Pound Cake

 

Greetings, I hope this post finds you well. Spring has sprung here in Louisiana and what better way to bring in beautiful weather, than with a slice of homemade sour cream pound cake.

This pound cake recipe brings back so many memories of my NaNa. She was known for her great cooking, but it was something about her Sour Cream Pound Cake that was an absolute crowd-pleaser. If you were to taste it you would immediately know why. It was the perfect combination of sweetness and decadence. The tartness of the lemon icing pairs perfectly with the sweet and creamy pound cake. Oh, and let’s talk about moisture–it held its moistness for days after sitting on the kitchen counter.

I remember when she would be in the kitchen preparing it and would ask me if I wanted to help and I would say “No NaNa I’m gonna have a maid that does all that”. Well fast forward little did I know I would be getting a maid to help with all my other household duties so I could spend time in the kitchen pulling all her great recipes out of mind and putting them in action. I normally have to elicit the help of my Aunt Maxine because at times I seem to have quite an imagination on how NaNa prepared some things. She never fails by guiding me in the right direction.

This should have been the first recipe I shared with you guys,  but to be honest  I didn’t think I could ever make this cake with as much love and soul as she put into it. I think I succeeded my son was the discount double-check quality check on this one. I think I made my NaNa proud today and that’s all folks. 

As always thank you for following me on this journey. You are my daily inspiration to keep sharing. If you try any of my recipes inspired by my grandmother please leave me a comment and like. Be Well. Omniley ?

Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Lou's Sour Cream Pound Cake

This pound cake is made from scratch and is super moist and decadent.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr 20 mins
Resting time1 hr
Total Time2 hrs 40 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 16 people
Calories: 340kcal
Author: Belle Omniley

Equipment

  • Bundt Cake Pan

Ingredients

  • 3 c flour all purpose sifted
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter softened
  • 1/2 c butter flavored shortening
  • 3 c sugar
  • 6 eggs room temperature
  • 8 oz sour cream
  • 2 1/2 tsp pure lemon extract
  • 2 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 300° and spray bundt pan with Baker's Joy well.
  • Mix together flour, kosher salt, and baking powder and set aside.
  • Cream together butter and sugar adding about a 1/3 c at a time.
  • Next add in eggs one at a time. Make sure each egg is fully incorporated in mix before adding the next.
  • On low speed add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture 1 c at a time.
  • Add in sour cream and extracts on medium.
  • Pour batter in to prepared bundt pan and bake for 1 hour 20 minute. Watch closely during the last 20 minutes as ovens cook time may vary.
  • Once done remove from oven and place on wire rack for 10 minute and then turn out immediately and let cake completely cool on rack.
  • Top with lemon icing (optional) and move to display cake stand.

Notes

Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature before preparing cake.

 

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Traditional Mardi Gras King Cake

Traditional Mardi Gras King Cake

Greetings, I hope this post finds you well. I finally found some time to make a traditional king cake for everyone that requested. Just in time for Fat Tuesday…late than never right? If you want to learn more about the King Cake history click here.

Even though Mardi Gras was canceled this year you can still celebrate by eating your share of King Cake. Don’t let the weather stop you. Here’s a no fail recipe that checks all the boxes for the Louisiana style traditional King Cake.

Gather all your ingredients and let’s get started.

Add warm milk, yeast and sugar to a bowl and stir with a fork or whisk. Let sit for 5-10 mins.

After 10 mins, pour yeast mixture, eggs, melted butter into bottom of stand mixer or whisk by hand. Mix until combined, then add flour, sugar, salt, and flour. Mix until well incorporated

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead* for 5-7 mins. After dough ball is nice and smooth, place 2 tbsp olive oil in the bottom of a large bowl and place dough on top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (preferably near the oven) for 60 mins.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead once again for 1-2 mins.
Roll the dough out into a large rectangle, about 20 inch long.

Brush on softened butter, cinnamon and brown sugar. Cover the entire dough. Sprinkle on pecans at this time.

Tightly roll the dough long ways. If you need to use a bench scraper because your dough is sticking, use one. Roll the dough similarly to a jelly roll. Transfer to a parchment lined baking dish. Bring the two ends together in a circle or oval shape and seal with water or milk.

Cover and let rise for an additional 60 mins. Brush with milk before baking. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 25-30 mins or until golden brown.

Let the cake cool for 15-20 mins. To make the glaze, combine powdered sugar, milk or water and vanilla in a bowl. Stir until smooth. Icing should be thick but pourable. Drizzle or pour glaze over the King cake. Sprinkle with green, yellow and purple sanding sugar.

Traditionally a plastic baby is added to the cake at this point. Cut a small slit into the inside or outer side of the dough and slide in the plastic baby.

 

Serve and enjoy.

Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Traditional Mardi Gras King Cake

If you can't get to Mardi Gras in New Orleans this King Cake recipe is a must. Make sure you don't get the baby.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Rising Time2 hrs
Total Time3 hrs
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Southern
Servings: 10 people
Calories: 415kcal

Equipment

  • Stand mixer or hand mixer
  • Pastry brush

Ingredients

  • For the dough:
  • 1 c milk warm
  • 1 packet yeast instant rise
  • ¼ c butter melted
  • ¼ c granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 eggs large
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 4 c all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • For the filling:
  • 2/3 c brown sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 6 tbsp butter softened, unsalted
  • ½ c pecans chopped
  • For the icing:
  • 1.5 c powdered sugar
  • 1.5 tbsp milk
  • ½ tsp vanilla

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Remove egg from fridge and place into a bowl of warm water for 5 mins to bring it up to room temperature.
  • Add warm milk, yeast and sugar to a bowl and stir with a fork or whisk. Let sit for 5-10 mins. *If the yeast does not begin to bubble or grow in size, throw it out and start over*
  • After 10 mins, pour yeast mixture, eggs, melted butter into bottom of stand mixer or whisk by hand. Mix until combined, then add flour, sugar, salt, and flour. Mix until well incorporated.
  • Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead* for 5-7 mins. After dough ball is nice and smooth, place 2 tbsp olive oil in the bottom of a large bowl and place dough on top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (preferably near the oven) for 60 mins.
  • After 60 mins, punch dough down to release the air. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead once again for 1-2 mins. Roll the dough out into a large rectangle, about 20 inch long.
  • *Brush on softened butter, cinnamon and brown sugar. Cover the entire dough. Sprinkle on pecans (this is optional)
  • Tightly roll the dough long ways. If you need to use a bench scraper because your dough is sticking, use one. Roll the dough similarly to a jelly roll.
  • Transfer to a parchment lined baking dish. Bring the two ends together in a circle or oval shape and seal with water or milk. Cover and let rise for an additional 60 mins. Brush with milk before baking.
  • Bake in a 375 degree oven for 25-30 mins or until golden brown.
  • Let the cake cool for 15-20 mins.
  • To make the glaze, combine powdered sugar, milk or water and vanilla in a bowl. Stir until smooth. Icing should be thick but pourable.
  • Traditionally a plastic baby is added to the cake at this point. Cut a small slit into the inside or outer side of the dough and slide in the plastic baby.
  • Drizzle or pour glaze over the King cake. Sprinkle with green, yellow and purple sanding sugar.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Notes

To knead, use the taco method. Fold over and press together. Fold over and press together.
Butter can be brushed on melted or softened. The butter can also be mixed with the brown sugar and cinnamon as a paste and added to the dough as well.
The plastic baby is optional, but in New Orleans, the host of the party adds the baby to the cake so that as it is served, whomever gets the slice with the baby will be the following year’s host.
*I recommend researching the history of the King Cake and why it’s celebration is important.

 

 

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Belle Omniley
Belle Omniley

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