My company Deep Waters Dance Theater is in the process of making this piece we are calling, “…our daily bread”. We are exploring the ways that food shapes our cultural identities, how we all have food stories and folklore that ties who we are to the food we eat. We are also looking at how our disconnection from our food sources is impacting our health and environment. So, we are in the process of finding ways to bring these stories together. Honoring our family food recipes as they were and finding ways that they can be made totally from organic and sustainable food sources.
In addition to making dances in the studio, much of our process has actually been in the kitchen. Cooking, interviewing people while they cook, eating together as a company and eating with friends. Cooking, eating and talking about food together is not new for us. The only difference is we are doing it with the creation of this piece in mind. It has another intention tied to it with the making of this work.
In one of our rehearsals in the kitchen, I took an old recipe and re created it especially for this residency at CounterPULSE. It is a new take on hush puppies. I call them CounterPUPPIES. Below you will find this re creation in the style of how we make food in my family. If you make them, please let me know how they turned out. If you have any recipes or kitchen stories you would like to share, please post them. They may end up in the show! Enjoy!
1 1/4 cups Organic Corn meal
2 1/2 cups cold water
1 tbls. organic sugar ( 2-3 tbls. if u like ’em sweet, leave it out if u got sugar blues)
2 tsps. salt
1/2 med. yellow onion chopped nice and fine!
handful of cilantro chopped just as fine
handful of parsley chopped finer still
can of coconut milk (this replaces buttermilk. And it is the only ingredient that doesn’t grow locally)
A little bit of your own special flavor ( i.e, some spice or ingredient that makes it yours)
Sautee the onions, cilantro, parsley with your flavor, in a skillet until the onions are soft. Set this aside.
Take the corn meal and mix it in a pot with the sugar, salt and water. Bring this mixture to a boil, constantly stirring with a wooden spoon. Then turn the mixture down low continuing to stir so the bottom doesn’t stick or burn. Add the coconut milk little by little while continuing to stir. Then add the sauteed onion mixture and continue to stir until the mixture becomes firm. This will take about 15 minutes. Allow the mixture to cool down until it is completely cool to touch. This may take an hour or so. Once the mixture is completely cool, place the safflower oil in a frying pan about 1/3 way deep in the pan. Turn on medium heat. Take a spoonful of the mixture into your hand and form a ball. Place about 5 spoon size balls into the frying pan. Allow the balls to get a deep golden brown before turning them over.
Allow to cool then serve. Makes approx. 25 CounterPUPPIES.