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No. 11 — Summer 2022

The summer issue of Life & Thyme Post is a compendium of stories surrounding the Southeastern United States. It traces what generations have carried, as well as documents how the past has built a framework for the present. 

Meet Loretta Harrison and her son Robert, whose pralines forever altered New Orleans’ confectionary culture. Learn about the Indigenous roots of Southern dishes, and trace okra from its origins to today’s dinner plate. Explore the rise and fall of Arkansas’ women’s intentional communities, and delve into unions in New Orleans that are building a better future for workers. And get to know Chef Nina Compton, learn about the Gullah Geechee matriarch of Edisto Island, Chef Emily Meggett, and more.

In This Issue

Chef Jordan Rainbolt Is Uncovering the Native Root of Southern Food
By Eric Ginsburg

Chef Jordan Rainbolt is redefining Southern food by taking the cuisine back to one of its fundamental and frequently erased roots—Native American culinary traditions.

Loretta’s Pralines Is a Sweet Piece of New Orleans’ Black History
By Kayla Stewart

How one woman’s sweet legacy is sustaining a family—and preserving New Orleans history.

The Rise and Fall of Arkansas’ Women’s Intentional Communities
By Rossi Anastopoulo

Exhausted by a patriarchal society, women flocked to Arkansas to establish lesbian-centered communities where they worked, lived and grew food together in a radical act of returning to the land.

The Complex History of Drinking Yaupon Tea
By KC Hysmith

A brief mapping of North America’s only native caffeinated plant, from its Southern Indigenous heritage to its revitalization today.

Okra’s Journey To and Through the American South
By Lindsey Allen

Tracing okra’s journey to Southern staple status means acknowledging the vegetable’s West African roots—and the people who brought it here.

Chef Nina Compton on Building a Home and Legacy in New Orleans
By Lindsey Allen

In New Orleans, chef Nina Compton remains true to her roots and paves the way for other chefs to do the same.

“I think sometimes we need to be very careful of how we tell the story, especially chefs. We know that if it wasn’t for [the Black diaspora], okra would never be a Southern cooking staple. But we’ve lost the stories of how it got here.”

— Serigne Mbaye from “Okra’s Journey To and Through the American South”

The Matriarch of Edisto Island Wants You To Know More About Food
By Kayla Stewart

How one Lowcountry chef is preserving the legacy—and taste—of Gullah Geechee cooking.

Loretta’s Pralines Is a Sweet Piece of New Orlean’s Black History
By Kayla Stewart

How one woman’s sweet legacy is sustaining a family—and preserving New Orleans history.

Fried Chicken Isn’t a Punchline It’s Part of the Black American Story
By Kayla Stewart

Black Americans have long been the punchline for America’s bizarre relationship with fried chicken. Now, they’re reclaiming its history and creating their own stories.

In New Orleans, Hospitality Workers Are Building Union Power
By Nic Yeager

Restaurant workers are unionizing their workplaces with Unite Here— and in the process, challenging the South’s history of racialized labor exploitation in food.

“By virtue of what people think you look like, you’re subjected to whatever crazy stereotype is circulating at the moment. You can be the most intelligent, the most brilliant, and you will get reduced to a stereotype.”

— Psyche Williams-Forson from “Fried Chicken Isn’t a Punchline – It’s Part of the Black American Story”

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