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Tasty ways to celebrate Juneteenth

By DAWN HANKINS - dhankins@t-g.com
Posted 6/19/21

In Bedford County, there's not much better way to tell a story than through food. Celebrate Juneteenth, today, with good food, family and friends. Fortunately, those celebrating in the Volunteer State can easily enjoy with seasonal foods. Farmers Markets are opening with prime produce offerings...

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Tasty ways to celebrate Juneteenth


In Bedford County, there's not much better way to tell a story than through food. Celebrate Juneteenth, today, with good food, family and friends.

Fortunately, those celebrating in the Volunteer State can easily enjoy with seasonal foods. Farmers Markets are opening with prime produce offerings.

We selected Pick Tennessee Product's recipe for Tennessee Caviar as a most seasonal dish. (See recipes on page ???) The Dairy Alliance always provides smoothies using fresh fruits and vegetables.

Traditionally, Juneteenth is a holiday for honoring the last persons enslaved in the United States. Started in Texas, the official date is June 19, 1865-several years actually following the Emancipation Proclamation.

So many foods like black-eyed peas, sweet potatoes, beets and collards are historically significant since they were farm staples and importantly, rations of enslaved people. Red velvet cake and red berry teas are often consumed during Juneteenth to signify the loss of the ancestry.

The year 2021 is certainly a time to celebrate! It's also an opportune time for all to strive to learn a little history from their fellow man and woman.

**Tennessee Caviar

1 lb. fresh black-eyed peas, cooked, drained and cooled

1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded and diced

1 small red onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tbsp. fresh basil, chopped

3/4 C. peanut oil

1/4 C. red wine vinegar

1 1/2 tsp. brown sugar

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

In a large bowl, combine peas, peppers and onions. Set aside. In a canning jar, combine remaining ingredients, shaking well to combine. Pour over pea mixture, tossing to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Serve cold or at room temperature.

B.K.G.T Griller (bacon, kale, Gouda and tomato)

Servings: 1

2 slices French loaf bread

2 slices Gouda cheese

3 thin slices tomato

1⁄2 oz. baby kale leaves (8 leaves)

2 slices cooked bacon

1⁄2 Tbsp. pesto

1 tablespoon butter

Heat a nonstick or cast-iron pan over medium heat. Spread each slice of bread with pesto. Place one slice Gouda on bread, followed by tomatoes, kale, bacon and remaining slice of cheese. Top with remaining slice of bread and press down gently to compact sandwich. Spread top of bread with softened butter, and place buttered side down in heated pan. While sandwich is cooking, spread remaining softened butter on top of bread. Cook approximately 3-4 minutes or until lightly browned. If necessary, turn heat down so the bread doesn't burn. Flip sandwich over and cook another 3-4 minutes or until lightly browned.

**Super Power Smoothie

Serving size 12 ounces

This quick and easy protein-packed smoothie tastes great while providing valuable nutrients and energy for those on the go. You won't even know there are beets in it!

Servings: 2

1 1⁄4 C. plain Greek yogurt, divided

3⁄4 C. canned beets chilled and drained

12 frozen pitted dark sweet cherries

1⁄2 Honey Crisp apple seeded and cut into 4 pieces

1⁄4 C. fresh pineapple chunks

2 Tbsp. whole milk

4 tsp. honey

Garnish: Sliced apple

Pulse 1 cup yogurt and the next 6 ingredients in a blender until smooth. Divide equally between two glasses; top each serving with 2 tablespoons yogurt. Garnish, if desired.

**Sweet Potato Poutine with Cheese Sauce

4 strips bacon cut into 1-inch pieces

1 small shallot diced

1 Tbsp. minced garlic

2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

1 C. whole milk

4 oz. Gournay-style cheese (cream cheese)

1 (20 oz.) bag frozen sweet potato fries

1⁄2 Tbsp. kosher salt

6 oz. white cheddar cheese curds divided

1⁄2 C. chopped scallions

Place sweet potato fries on large baking sheet, sprinkle with kosher salt, then follow package directions for cooking. While the fries are baking, make the cheese sauce.

For the cheese sauce, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp, but not burnt. Remove from pan and set aside on paper towels to drain. Using the remaining bacon fat in pan, saut? shallot until translucent, then add garlic and continue cooking for 1-2 minutes. Sprinkle flour over mixture in pan, stirring to combine. Gradually add milk, stirring each time to make sure flour is clumping. Allow sauce to come to a low simmer. Remove from heat and stir in cheese until well combined. Set aside until fries are ready.

Remove fries from oven, top with half the cheese curds and place back in oven for 5 more minutes. Remove, top with cheese sauce, remaining cheese curds, bacon crumbles and scallions. Serve immediately.

**Strawberry Syrup

Yield 9 half pints

Having your own strawberry syrup on hand can be great when Juneteenth rolls around. Add to carbonated water and you have a traditional and colorful treat to serve to a crowd.

6 1/2 C. fresh or frozen berries
6 1/2 C. sugar

You may also use this procedure with fresh juices from fresh or frozen strawberries, and with fresh or frozen blueberries, cherries, grapes or raspberries.

Select fresh or frozen fruit. Wash, cap and stem fresh fruit and crush in a saucepan. Heat to boiling and simmer until soft, 5 to 10 minutes. Strain hot through a colander, and drain until cool enough to handle. Strain the collected juice through a double layer of cheesecloth or a jelly bag. Discard the dry pulp. The yield of the pressed juice should be about 4 1/2 to 5 cups. In a large saucepan, combine the juice with sugar. Bring to a boil, and simmer 1 minute. To make syrup with whole fruit pieces, save 1 or 2 cups of the fresh or frozen fruit, combine these with the sugar, and simmer as in making regular syrup. Remove from heat, skim off foam, and fill clean, hot, half-pint or pint jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Wipe jar rims, adjust lids and process in a boiling-water canner for 10 minutes (both half-pints and pints.)


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