Ms. Johanna came upon the vacant lot on one of her walkabouts after she retired. Bamboo and trashed choked, it seemed a perfect place to park her considerable energy. She brought a machete the next time she came around. By summer’s end, the soil had been replenished and mulched Four raised beds overflowed with herbs, some beans, corn and berry bushes. That was twenty-two years ago. Now 82, she’s still working this portion of earth pretty much by herself.
Sheila Ferguson’s book, Soul Food, is, in great part, a memoir to impart to her daughters the vastness of their heritage. One family, rooted in the history of America, generations braided together in surviving horrible pain and adversity, all the while playing a part in one of the world’s great cuisines.
If the virus doesn’t get us, our hippocampus will. And with that I forced myself to get up and head to the kitchen. Maybe I could find an alluring recipe.