Celebrating Juneteenth


In her1910 book, A Date with a Dish; a Cook Book of American Negro Recipes, Freda De Knight gave a glimpse of the true history behind many of America’s food traditions, from the cooks in the kitchens of the rich to chefs in famous restaurants as well as men and women cooking for their own families. This recipe is one of my favorites.

 (Did you know that a slave named Nearis Green was the person who taught Jack Daniels how to make America’s most popular whiskey?) https://www.sundaymail.co.zw/the-slave-who-created-jack-daniels) 


  • 1 head of leaf lettuce (as opposed to lettuce that forms a head, like iceberg JBB)
  • 4 slices of bacon
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


Wash lettuce and cut into shreds. Put 4 cups of lettuce in a colander or sieve. Pour boiling water over lettuce until wilted. Dry well and place in a serving dish.

Dice bacon. Fry in a skillet slowly, stirring often, until crisp. (Do not drain.) Let cool for a minute or two (so it doesn’t splatter) and then add vinegar and salt to skillet and stir. Pour hot bacon dressing over lettuce.

Serves 4 as a side or a salad.

Nutrition Data:

Calories: 52.4; Fat: 2.9g; Carbs: 2.7g; Fiber: 1.2g; Net Carbs 1.5g; Protein: 3.9g, RAE: 334 Mcgs


Recipe adapted from A Date with a Dish, a Cook Book of American Negro Recipes by Freda De Knight, 1910. The book cover pictured above is from the 2014 version, retitled, “…Classic African American Recipes.” The new version is available on Amazon, but you can read the original for free here: https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=coo.31924001194749&view=1up&seq=9

(c) 2023, Judy Barnes Baker

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Judy Barnes Baker

The working title for my first book was, “You’ll Never Know What You Are Missing.” It summed up my goal: to make eating for health synonymous with eating for pleasure. Once you discover the secret, you will find that the very best food for weight management, longevity, the treatment and prevention of disease, and over-all health and happiness is also the most sumptuous, satisfying, and indulgent way of eating the world has to offer. You are invited to the feast. Enjoy!
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