Southern Agenda

Enough to Go Around

Carolyn Quick Tillery has associated food with storytelling since childhood, when her mother would weave yarns to keep her in the kitchen helping. Decades later, she blended the history of her beloved alma mater, Tuskegee Institute (now University), with related dishes and served it up inThe African-American Heritage Cookbook: Traditional Recipes and Fond Remembrances from Alabama’s Renowned Tuskegee Institute. First published in 1996, the volume was recently rereleased with updated photography and extras like profiles of notable graduates (Lionel Richie, Rosa Parks) and stories of the institution’s oft-overlooked role in the civil rights movement. “Students diverted police attention away from Selma-to-Montgomery marchers by walking, driving, or busing from Tuskegee to the capital city themselves,” Tillery says. Remaining are recipes for silky collards and fried chicken, hearkening back to her memories of meals at Dorothy’s (a restaurant that’s still open on campus), as well as George Washington Carver’s Dandelion Salad and Tillery’s springtime favorite, Carver’s Red Lemonade. “Students would serve gallons of it at his annual farmers’ fair,” she says. “The addition of raspberries would tame the tartness, but fresh strawberries work wonderfully, too.”