|Peanut Butter Hummus|
I keep thinking to myself (and saying out loud to those who'll listen), that this is a special moment in time in Nashville. There is something happening in my hometown that is being captured in the myriad creatives flocking to live and express themselves here. Writers, artists, musicians, photographers, chefs, stylists. I meet new talent every single day, and I love the vibration of what's happening.
But as I acknowledge this special today, I cannot ignore what came before in Nashville, and in the South. This city is so much more than the sum of its present-day parts. Nashville is the culmination of generations of Southern culture, which centers around the kitchen table. I would argue that food is the x-factor, the transcendent yet deeply identifiable Southern-NESS that has drawn people from all over the world to us.
I also believe that my dear friend Caroline captures this "NESS" exceptionally well in her new book, Soul Food Love, as she takes us through the rich history and not-always rich recipes of African American foodways. Caroline Williams and her mother, Alice, set about to remind, not redefine, what soul food really was and is....sometimes indulgent, but mostly simple, healthy, seasonal and nourishing to mind, body and soul.
As I read Soul Food Love, I earmarked many recipes to try, but one stood out to me as particularly inviting. As Caroline says: "We like to replace the tradition sesame paste with peanut butter. It's cheaper, more readily available, and far more Southern." Trusting Caroline's palate, I knew this would be delicious, and I was not disappointed. This is my absolute new favorite version of hummus—rich yet light, umami-packed and versatile with crackers, veggies or spread on a sandwich. If you love hummus and you love peanut butter, Caroline and I have just become your new best friends!
To see the other amazing recipes from Soul Food Love, you can purchase it on Amazon, in Walmart or in Barnes & Noble bookstores.