A Message From Our Founder:
This month we celebrate Father's Day and Juneteenth. We'll feature a tribute to one member's dad and a recipe from another member. We'll also learn about Juneteenth. Growing up in Maine, I had never heard of Juneteenth, the celebration that marks the end of the enslavement of African-American people in the United States. On June 19th, 1865, the Emancipation Proclamation (issued on January 1st, 1863) was finally read to enslaved African–Americans in Texas - more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued. Gail Jennings, Founder of King's Pepper and a member of WE Power Food, shares her memories of Juneteenth celebrations. There are a lot of opportunities to learn more about Juneteenth and to celebrate it. Father's Day weekend would be a great time to explore historic sites in the area. My father (in the photo with me) enjoyed visiting Historic Stagville in Durham when he visited from Maine so I include it here as a small way of honoring him. I hope you all have a safe and happy Juneteenth and Father's Day. Click for Juneteenth Events in NC Meet a Maker: Gail Jennings King's Pepper King’s Pepper Vegan African Tacos - A New Flavor for Juneteenth As the calendar turns over from May to June, preparations get underway for Juneteenth celebrations across the nation. Juneteenth is a contraction of June and 19th, which commemorates the date in 1865 when Union General Gordon Granger enforced his General Order Number 3 which released the enslaved people in Texas from bondage. The day is celebrated with parades and speeches, but the food is what most people look forward to. In Texas, the traditional Juneteenth table is laden with smoky barbequed ribs, chicken and sausage, potato salad, mac and cheese, savory and sweet baked beans, tamales, black eyed peas, green salad, and fried chicken all washed down with red soda water, or sweet tea. Save your fork because this will be followed by luscious layer cakes, brownies, pies on parade and cold, juicy slices of watermelon. I remember one family celebration that featured a tea cake baking contest. The prize went to my Aunt Julia, who’s tea cakes tasted most like her mother Mary’s who was my beloved grandmother. For decades few people outside of those born and raised in Texas had never heard of, let alone celebrated Juneteenth. However in recent years it has come to represent freedom and emancipation for America’s formerly enslaved peoples. I celebrate because I am the descendant of Texans who were set free that day. I am also a co-founder of the Juneteenth Heritage Festival which began in 2009 and takes place in the Leimert Park section of my hometown of Los Angeles. I first sold my vegan African Tacos at the festival that year. They were a hit; I sold one for $2, and 3 for $5. Folks would buy one just to try it, then come back for 3 or 6 more. They had never tasted a taco filling made with crispy black eyed pea patties and they loved it. The line got so long I had to shut it down. For years afterwards I prepared my tacos for family and friends. Last year I joined WE Power and started packaging my products at the Piedmont Food Processing Center in Hillsborough, NC. There I designed the King’s Pepper African Taco kit, which has become one of my best-selling items. Try a new flavor for Juneteenth this year. King's Pepper African Taco kits are available on my website.
A Tribute to My Father Samantha Swan, Owner, Cottage Lane Kitchen As Father's Day approaches, I would like to pay tribute to my dad, who helped me make my very first batch of relish. No one in my family had made any since the 1990s, and during a Christmas visit in 2010, my father guided me with "that looks about right" measurements. Together we were able to recreate a family heirloom recipe that had been passed down through the generations. That day and the time we spent cooking remains a very special memory for me, not only because together we made Get Me a Switch, our best selling spicy pepper relish, but also because my father died unexpectedly in 2018 and I didn't realize how little time I had left with him. If it were not for my dad, I would not have been able to preserve this treasured family heirloom and establish my business, Cottage Lane Kitchen. So on this Father's Day, I celebrate him as my guiding light and am grateful he was my father. And Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there!
Recipe: Kristen M. Gagné, Founder and Owner, KMG Foods I was born and raised in Maine, in a Franco-American culture complete with beans and franks on Saturday, pâté chinois, cretons on Sundays and/or special occasions, and tourtière for Christmas Eve. French names for everyday items were the norm and still are. I have had mémères and ma tantes. It has been truly special to me. And now, we've created our company with a goal of showcasing the nostalgic French Canadian flavors of my youth. Our first product is a dry seasoning mix for a meat pie called tourtière. Tourtière is a beloved French Canadian traditional pie typically eaten during the holiday season. With a blend of warm spices, potato and onion, our Tukkay Original Blend seasoning mix contains everything the home cook needs for a tasty tourtière--except the meat. We are proud to offer our Tukkay Original Blend, tourtière seasoning mix, gluten-free, non-GMO, and vegan friendly. For more information find us at www.KMGFoods.com Tourtière is synonymous with Christmas and cold weather, but it's also a meat-lovers dream! My dad is a meat fanatic, and my husband is, too! With Father's Day around the corner, this would be a fun way to satisfy those meat cravings for the dads in your life. Put those kids to work--they can be involved in crust decorating! We would love to see those pictures! Pair with a mixed green salad and roasted veggies for a complete Father's Day win. Typically, this labor of love takes around three hours--yikes! But not anymore, we've found a way to reduce prep from over two hours to just 25 minutes! If you can brown meat, you can make this pie! So crank up the A/C and get baking for D.A.D. this Father's Day.
Congrats to WE Power Food member, Penny Rich, who recently received an award for her service to the state. Former Orange County Commissioner Penny Rich was recognized with the Old North State Award from Governor Cooper for her decades of work in local government. The Old North State Award is a governor’s award which recognizes people who have more than 20 years of service to the state of North Carolina. Rich served on the OWASA board, Chapel Hill Town Council and the Orange County Board of Commissioners.
Be sure to check out other WE Power Food members not currently featured in our boxes like Morgan Siegel, Founder of Jeddah's Teas who was WE Power Food's first scholarship awardee.