Cooking for Juneteenth

Southern food is often associated with indulgence - fried chicken, buttermilk biscuits, creamy cheese grits . . rich, multi-layered coconut cakes . . .

Most of the food that I had growing up in the South Carolina Low Country was not this way, however. We ate grains, blackeyed peas, and okra. Fresh melons, peaches and tomatoes. And shrimp. Shrimp, shrimp, shrimp, shrimp, shrimp!

For this Juneteenth, we share a Low Country recipe from BJ Dennis, a Charleston chef and descendant of the Gullah Geechee. Descended themselves from West Africans, for many years the Gullah lived isolated from the mainland on the Sea Islands, retaining their own language and distinct cuisine.

Here is BJ Dennis's recipe for Limpin' Susan, a simple, refreshing, okra-based dish that appeared recently in the New York Times. You can, of course, add shrimp!

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