Gullah Girl Tea Package | Photo Credit: Gregory Costanzo
When South Carolina native, now New Yorker, Charmaine Bee, of Gullah Girl Tea reached out to MyLifeRunsOnFood.com about her Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for equipment and supplies to accommodate her growing business, I instantly became one of her many cheerleaders. Bee’s healing tea blends have whimsical names in tribute to her childhood memories in South Carolina. In the interview below, Bee reminisces about her family and Gullah culture, discusses health concerns in our community and talks about her Kickstarter campaign. Make a pot of tea and read below to learn more about Gullah Girl Tea.
Happy Kwanzaa! Your table is set up with the a kinara. It’s surrounded by lush mazao, fruit symbolizing the reward of productive and collective labor from the harvest. The bananas, oranges, pineapples, mangoes, kiwi, grapes, papaya and other fruit ripens each day during the week of Kwanzaa. As pretty as the fruit looks, a fresh fruit salad needs to be made. Read more
Make a pot of tea or coffee, light a candle, grab a comfortable seat, and plate a few cacao benne (pronounced benny) cookies. How was your year? Since the time I’ve learned 14 isn’t my favorite number, I’ve cautiously waited for the year of 2014. It’s a painfully honest number. And, when the clock turned 2014 in the midnight hour on January first, I said a silent prayer. God help us. And, as I’ve imaged, this year is a roller coaster of emotions. Russia. Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Ebola in West Africa. Mike Brown and other victims of the police. Family members passing. By the time summer arrived, my stomach was jumping to the tune of “War” sung by The Temptations. Since the beginning of human relationships, I’m sure there’s a country or region involved in war somewhere around the globe. Perhaps, due to my sensitivity to 14, this year’s wars and conflicts deeply troubled me. It’s 2014 communicating, “War… What is it good for?… absolutely nothing…”
Broccoli is (le sigh) a common green vegetable. For people who are unfamiliar with food, it’s a safe vegetable to cook. As a premier healthy vegetable, it’s more likely to be dropped in everyone’s shopping cart. A carnivore restaurant includes it in their vegetarian menu. As a home cook, I walk pass it in the grocery store, because there are exotic vegetables to discover.
African-American Southern dishes are my soul and Latin-American cuisine is my heart. I grew up with the guacamole, tortilla chips, salt-rimmed margaritas, rice and beans, refried beans, tacos, tamales and more. However, as I learn more about authentic Latin-American food, my excitement is similar to a kid discovering an adult menu of larger and more flavorful dishes and ingredients.
When Bren of FlanboyantEats.com invited me to share a recipe representing a Latin-American country in her annual Hispanic Heritage Month series, I was cautious. Demonstrating another culture’s gastronomic pleasures—especially when I love Latin-american cuisine—is intimidating. Since there was leftover hominy corn from another recipe, I chose Ecuador because of its pozole stews. Learning more about Ecuadorian cuisine, achiote paste aroused my curiosity.