The Joy of Soul Food Blog by Pamela Holmes

The Joy of Soul Food Blog by Pamela Holmes

Soul food memories and the recipes that come along with them.

The Joy of Soul Food Volume 1: The Basics Now at

Friday, June 10, 2011

For more of the great recipes you love, please buy the cookbook, Soul Food, Volume 1: The Basics  by Pamela M Holmes at  In paperback and on Kindle.


My new book, The Joy of Soul Food is now available at!  Please visit the site above to purchase your copy.  God is so good!  This book includes all the basic recipes of soul food.  Most can be prepared in 10 steps are less. The recipes provide all the flavor but with a healthy twist.  So, now you can host the next Sunday Dinner. Noone has to know where you got your skills. 

By the way, the videos for many of the favorite recipes are still available on YouTube!  Bon Appetite!


Peanut Butter and Jelly on Hot Wheat Toast

I never remember a time when I didn't cook. At 5 years old, I walked home from kindergarten by myself, let myself into my suburban home, where I stayed by myself until my older brothers and sisters got out of school at 3 PM. Kindergarten in those days were half days and I went in the mornings.

From 12-3, I would draw, watch TV, read and yes, sometimes cook. No, I couldn't use the stove. I wasn't tall enough. But, I would create the most amazing sandwiches. My all time favorite then and now is peanut butter and jelly on toasted wheat bread. I called this the Pam Sandwich. Not very creative, I know. But I was five and no one in the house was making this one so when I said, Pam Sandwich, everyone knew what I was talking about.

I was allowed to use the toaster and I would put two slices in and watch until they popped up. Then as quickly as I could, my little fingers would slather on creamy peanut butter. I had to be quick and the peanut butter had to be creamy. I wanted it to melt over the edges of the bread. As the peanut butter melted, I would add the jelly. Always grape and never so much that it would plop out onto the table or me. After I carefully assembled the sandwich to beat all sandwiches. I would use the butter knife (the only kind I was allowed to use) and slice the sandwich into triangles the way I saw the mommy's do it on TV.

And then, I would eat. To this day, it doesn't get much better than the "Pam Sandwich" and a tall glass of milk.

At 9, I cooked my first Thanksgiving meal, turkey and all. Cooking was never really a chore to me. It is as much a creative art form as painting, drawing or singing,which I also enjoy. Soul food is art and baking is science. I love them both.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I have been adding recipes to the site all day today. I hope to publish the site sometime this weekend. Adding the content in a simple to understand format is tougher than I thought it would be. Especially since I rarely use recipes for most of the dishes.

OK. When you try the recipes, and I sincerely hope you will, please let me know what you think.

Also, if you would like something demonstrated, I will create a video for you.

Please Note: I do not do chitterlings, so don't even ask!

Paprika Chicken

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

My brother Larry called and asked for my mother's paprika chicken recipe a couple of months ago and immediately my mouth started to water.

My mother prepared Sunday Dinner on Saturday night. She put the sabbath's day meat in the oven while I watched Saturday Night Live or Wolfman Jack, before she went to bed. On Sunday morning our home smelled like culinary heaven. It always promised an amazing feast which we would as a family enjoy at 1:30 after church. (We usually had to be back at church for the 3:30 program where the choir would perform an A&B selection. She was the choir director.).

One of my favorite Sunday dinners was paprika chicken and I had not prepared or thought of it in well over 10 years. Paprika chicken is baked in the oven slowly with the most basic soul food ingredients, salt, pepper,and granulated garlic. We cut up two whole chickens, seasoned the pieces generously adding paprika to each piece and our standard seasonings.

We added just enough water to cover the bottom of the pan and filled the baking dish with chicken (she had 8 children). She then prinkled the chicken with a light dusting of flour and dotted the whole think with small squares of butter.

We put this whole thing in the oven, covered loosely with aluminum foil "until the meat fell off the bone." There was not much technical about knowing when chicken was done. There was no meat thermometer or timer on the stove. If the meat on the leg has not contracted up to the thigh, it was not yet ready. And if your chicken did not fall off the bone, then your chicken was not "right." And above all things in soul food, you want your food to be "right."

The Farmer's Market

I love the farmer's market. There is so much inventory and its so fresh and so cheap! Yesterday, I purchased a huge ginger for .$26. Three bags of Panko bread crumbs at $1.39 each. Rosemary in bulk for $.30. 2 big bunches of collard greens totalling $2.29 and 3 mangos in a bag for 1.29. If I had made these same purchases at my local grocer my bill would have been 3 times as much and the trip would not have been nearly as exotic and exciting.

I am taking my kids on a field trip to the farmer's market next week. Now thats recession time fun!

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