Originally created 02/22/06

Food for the soul



When it comes to cooking, Luther Dugar's specialty is dirty rice.

"This is my grandma's dirty rice," he said. "It's hot, too."

About 15 members of the Smith-Hazel Recreation Center's seniors club prepared dishes for Saturday's History with Seniors and Soul Food Cook-Off.

The event began around noon at and lasted into the evening. Willa Mae Shelby, the club president, estimates more than 200 people were fed during the event.

Patience Terrell, Martha Holloway and Julia Mae Evans brought in several dishes and set them up on the same table. They had prepared beef stew, collard greens, rice and peach cobbler.

Although it was called a cook-off, there wasn't a contest. Participants simply prepared their best recipes for everyone to sample, Ms. Shelby said.

Lillie M. Ford brought her black-eyed peas and buttermilk corn bread.

"My secret is sausage in the black-eyed peas," she said.

Ms. Shelby said the event was a way to bring the seniors together. The History with Seniors and Soul Food Cook-Off was one of the center's Black History Month programs.

In the lobby of the center, there was a display featuring information about blacks in Aiken who made an impact in the community.

Reach Charmain Z. Brackett at czbrackett@hotmail.com.

WHAT'S NEXT

The next Black History Month celebration at Smith-Hazel Recreation Center, 400 Kershaw St. N.E., Aiken, will be at 6 p.m. Saturday. El Shaddai, from Bluffton, S.C., will perform. Admission is $7 and tickets are available in advance. For more information, call 642-7635.