December 21st, 2011
10:00 AM ET
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Lifting the lid on a family tradition
February 23rd, 2011
05:45 PM ET
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Cara Reedy is an Executive Assistant at CNN. She previously wrote for Eatocracy on being a small cook in a big kitchen.

I grew up in St. Louis, MO which is considered the Midwest, but has some clear southern leanings. Barbecue and fried chicken were always around. One of my favorite meals as a child was a one-pot meal consisting of potatoes, green beans, carrots and cabbage boiled with a ham hock. My parents served it with a fresh batch of corn bread to soak up the juices - often called pot liquor or potlikker.

I never really thought anything about this meal other than I liked it. When you're a kid, you generally don't analyze your food that deeply. It’s either like or can’t stand. Flash forward to adulthood, when I started doing some personal research on the African American slave diet. I suddenly realized that what my parents were serving was the original soul food.
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Filed under: Black History Month • Cuisines • Culture • Food History • Holidays • Soul


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