Oprah kept learning at forefront

June 1, 2011 

  • Geechigirl Crab Cakes

    Makes: 10 patties

    1 pound fresh lump crabmeat

    2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

    1 clove garlic, finely chopped

    1 large egg, lightly beaten

    1/2 lemon, juiced

    1 tablespoon mayonnaise

    1 scallion, chopped

    1 teaspoon dried dill

    1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper

    1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

    1/4 cup bread crumbs

    6 tablespoons olive oil

    Mix all the ingredients, except olive oil, together. Form into patties about 3/4-inch thick and 2 inches in diameter. In a large skillet, over medium heat, warm 3 tablespoons olive oil. Add half the patties. Sear until golden, 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Repeat with remaining oil and patties.

    Serve hot.

    Recipe rom Alluette's Holistic Soul Cafe in Charleston

    Pickled Watermelon Rind

    1 watermelon

    1 gallon waer

    1/4 cup slaked lime

    3 cups white distilled vinegar

    7 cups sugar

    1/2 teaspoon oil of cloves

    1/2 teaspoon oil of cinnamon

    Red food coloring

    1/2 cup red cinnamon candies

    Select melon that has a thick rind. Remove outer green skin and pink flesh; use only the greenish-white parts of the rind. Cut enough rind into 1-inch cubes to make 14 cups.

    Combine water and lime; add cubed rind and soak overnight in refrigerator. Drain cubes, and rinse in cold water several times; cover with cold water. Over medium heat place container with rind and water to boil and cook for 30 minutes. Drain. Combine vinegar, sugar, oil of cloves, oil of cinnamon, red food coloring, and candies. Pour over cubes. Boil slowly until cubes look clear, being sure cubes are covered with syrup throughout cooking. Add water if syrup cooks down. Pack pickles in hot, sterilized jars, cover with syrup. Seal; process in boiling water bath for 5 minutes.

I cannot recall the first "Oprah Winfrey Show" I watched. I can remember talking with girlfriends about this new television show with an African-American female as the host.

We all would watch each day, sometimes critical but in the same breath wishing her well. All in all, we wanted her to excel in a way to make all of America proud.

To think we shared her success in 4,561 days, and she never missed a day after finally ending her show last week. Now that is dedication to a cause and to a job. Oprah said her show started as a job, and she had no idea her audience would be her classroom and the learning would be two ways. Isn't that what excellent teachers do? They learn as much from the students as the students learn from them?

I was in her presence when she spoke at a chapel at Morehouse College. My son, Billy, was so excited that we were there to witness the occasion when she donated money to Morehouse and Spelman colleges. I wanted to see more of her. I talked to friends, and we worked on ways to get to the show. My friend Ivorie Lowe who lives in Chicago was given the task of getting those of us who earned our masters degrees at Southern University into Harpo Studios, but there was no such luck.

When Family and Community Leaders of Beaufort went on a cross-country tour, one stop was in Chicago. The question was, "Will we see Oprah?" The answer at different times was yes, no and maybe. We thought we just might see her coming from the studio, but that did not happen. We departed from the bus and stood in front of the studio just as proud as we could be. We were photographed as if to be entered on her hall of fame wall.

There was much to learn, and certainly Oprah worked at sending a message. She shared her life with the world. She said everyone has a calling; everyone should use their life to serve the world. She has had an impact on America and the world. I was a fan from the start and still am.

Oprah also had a major influence on the publishing industry. Oprah had authors discuss their books on her show, and then book clubs began to appear all over the country. She encouraged reading and promoted and endorsed books. If the book clubs were not enough, up popped O, Oprah's monthly magazine.

The July 2010, O magazine food section explored the vibrant, veggie-centric traditions or African-American cooking. Alluette Jones Smalls, once of Beaufort and now in Charleston, shared food and recipes for that issue. Here are a couple recipes from that issue.

Port Royal resident Ervena Faulkner is a retired educator who has always had an interest in food and nutrition. Email her at features@beaufortgazette.com.

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