An impressive debut novel from a new voice in fiction, The Secret History tells of a small circle of friends at an esteemed college in New England, whose studies in Classical Greek lead them to odd rituals, shocking behavior - and murder.
REVIEWS and CRITICISM - for short reviews and longer critical pieces that analyze and comment upon specific works of art, performances, movies, broadcasts, products, and the like. I first read it ten years ago when it was first published, and haven't found a better book yet! It is a book I pick up quite often though I don't necessarily start at the beginning every time. I wasn't particularly looking forward to reading this (I had to study this with reference to "The Bacchae") and it was amazing.
Spreading across to Western Africa and down into the central part of the continent during the Bantu migrations around 2,000 BCE, okra has been a staple in African and African diaspora cuisine for a long time. Slave traders had a knack for studying and recording the lifeways of the African ethnic groups they sought through war and kidnapping. In mainland North America, okra was one of the ultimate symbols of the establishment of the enslaved community as a culinary outpost of West Africa.
Add the onion and finely chopped parsley and gently cook until onion is translucent and soft. For more information, check out Michael’s entry on okra in the Encyclopedia of the Material Life of Slaves in the United States (2010), Martha B. I love okra, my favorite way to prepare it is to grill it after marinating it in Italian dressing for at least 15 minutes. As a child in the southwestern part of America I grew up eating okra from pickled to boiled and have always loved it.
Then he arrived at Hampden College and quickly became seduced by the sweet, dark rhythms of campus life - in particular by an elite group of five students, Greek scholars, wordly, self-assured, and at first glance, highly unapproachable. Dissatisfied "with the crass values of their fellow students, a small corps of undergraduates groups itself around a favored professor of classics, who nurtures both their sense of moral elevation and an insularity from conventional college life that ultimately proves fatal. You can choose from a multitude of writing games, gizmos, generators, writing prompts and exercises, tips, experiments and manifestos from infamous avant garde writers and how-to articles on fiction writing and poetry. The ample primary sources that read as early ethnographies were really guides to inform contemporary traders about the ups and downs and ins and outs of enslaving and exporting specific ethnic groups and Africans from distinct regions.


Noted in Brazil in the 1500’s and in the West Indies throughout the 1600’s, okra was a relative latecomer to colonial America. To the Wolof people it was kanja, to the Mandingo, kanjo, to the Akan it was nkruman and to the Fon, fevi.
This version is based on recipes from the 19th century, especially those of Mary Randolph’s The Virginia Housewife (1824) and Mrs.
A percentage of any purchase you make via these links will go towards buying ingredients, photography supplies and server space, as well as all the other expenses involved in running a large cooking website. I love experimenting with new foods, but it can be tough adapting them to fit a kosher lifestyle. The genus Abelmoschus has several cultivated species, but the one that crossed the Atlantic sometime in the sixteenth century was Abelmoschus esculentum.
From the Igbo language of southeastern Nigeria we get the vegetable’s English name, as okwuru became ochra and okra. Understanding the food of the people you were enslaving was critical; it ensured they would be well fed on the perilous Middle Passage and when they arrived in the New World. Okra was most often prepared in a peppery stew that was eaten with rice, millet, hominy or corn mush. Some varieties of Kentucky burgoo and the Brunswick stew of the Southeastern coast contain bits of okra thrown in with the usual mix of tomatoes, onions and hot pepper.
Related to cotton and other mallow family plants, okra is an ancient vegetable that originated in southern Ethiopia in far antiquity. Along the entire length of the 3,500 mile coast exploited by the trans-Atlantic slave trade, okra was grown and cooked with other vegetables or rice and made into soup. Since most of the early trade went directly to cognate tropical areas on the other side of the ocean, a concerted effort was made to bring familiar food crops along that enslaved Africans could plant to remind them of home.
Charleston and New Orleans were early hotbeds of okra cookery for certain, but okra was not confined to the Caribbean outposts of the Old South.
It was boiled with onions and tomatoes in a saucy preparation that was eaten in the same manner, or it was boiled on its own as a fresh vegetable. Okra soup thick with crab became Baltimore’s “crab gumbo” and Charleston and Savannah’s “rouxless gumbo,” while in New Orleans the roux made okra soup even thicker.


He is a recognized culinary historian, community scholar, and living history interpreter focusing on historic African American food and folk culture.
Okra is the first thing I love to plant cause they make all the way up until the first frost!! It provides thickness and savor in the one-pot stews that are the basis of many traditional African diets. Cruel a business as the slave trade was, it was still recognized that culinary homesickness was a great deterrent to the “seasoning” process. Peter Kalm discussed okra in his American travels as a popular plant for soups among blacks and whites in the 1740’s. Okra with rice was called “limpin’ Susan,” the cousin dish to cowpeas and rice, or “Hoppin’ John.” It was also boiled up with cowpeas for another dish, fried in small pieces with the boiled leaves served as a leafy green. Summer Louisiana gumbo came to mean okra gumbo flavored with chicken, seafood or whatever the seasons allowed. Thomas Jefferson lauded it as one of Virginia’s esteemed garden plants in the 1780’s, and references to okra can be found in garden records and maps across the early Mid-Atlantic, Chesapeake and Lower South. From Mary Randolph’s The Virginia Housewife and her “ochra soup,” to Lettice Bryan’s The Kentucky Housewife, Sarah Rutledge’s The Carolina Housewife and Mrs. The culinary trinity of hot pepper, tomato, and okra served with rice reinforce this soup’s connection to similar dishes found from Senegal to Angola, and Philadelphia to Bahia. Howard’s Fifty Years in a Maryland Kitchen, it is clear okra dishes passed from the hands of enslaved cooks into those of literate white ladies. These cookbook authors published their favorite versions, leaving us records of regional variations on this classic, ancient dish.



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