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Juneteenth Food Inspired by the North Carolina Coast Childhood Memories

Juneteenth Food Inspired by the North Carolina Coast Childhood Memories

Spending my Summers at my grandmother house in Beaufort, NC created a large space in my heart for seafood. During those Summers, Atlantic Beach was only a 12 minute drive from my grandmother’s home where my cousins and I would spend hours on the sand with home style dishes from my grandmother’s kitchen. My grandmother was a homemaker who had 6 kids and developed a creative love for cooking. My grandfather was a commercial fisherman and would always bring fish home after being at sea for weeks at a time. I asked my mom if she ever got tired of eating seafood when she was growing up. She said no, and it shows because she and her husband opened a seafood fresh market & restaurant in Winston Salem, NC years later. I asked my mom for some of my grandmother’s recipes and she gave me the inside scoop on a few of her Summer time dishes. These recipes are perfect for Summer gatherings and just in time for celebrating Juneteenth with loved ones.

Two Beach Town Inspired Recipes for your Juneteenth Celebration

Mamie Gen’s Summer Blue Crab Stew

Serves: 12+ 

2 medium onions, peeled and cut in large dice

2 dozen hard NC blue crabs, cleaned and halved 

4 bay leaves

1 teaspoon thyme

6 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into eighths

¾ cup all-purpose flour, stirred into two cups of cold water

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Grab a skillet and sauté onions until golden in color.
  2. Add the cleaned crabs and cover with cold water. Add the bay leaves and thyme. Bring to a boil, then turn back to a simmer. Cook for half an hour.
  3. Now add your potatoes and cook until they are well done for 20 minutes.
  4. Turn your burner to high/medium and stir in your flour water mixture. Mix thoroughly and vigorously along with your crabs.
  5. Bring to a simmer until the stew thickens. Add your salt and pepper to taste as you go.
  6. Use a large bowl to serve; have along with hush puppies and or corn bread. 

Oyster Fritters

Serves: 6

  • 24 Shucked Oysters
  • 1 Cup all-purpose flour  
  • ½ Teaspoon ground black pepper 
  • ¾  Cup of Buttermilk
  • Salt to taste

Directions

  1. Heat oil to 350 degrees F.
  2. Whisk together flour, salt, and pepper together in a separate bowl.
  3. Drain oysters & add them to the buttermilk and let soak 3-4 minutes. 
  4. Remove oysters and cover them in flour mixture. 
  5. Fry oysters in the hot oil in small batches, until golden brown.  
  6. Remove and drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.

Bonus Recipe

Watermelon Halves with fresh basil & goat cheese

4 2-inch slices of ripe watermelon

4 oz. Feta

8 Fresh basil leaves

 Directions:

  1. Place watermelon slices on individual plates
  2. Drizzle with crumbled feta and fresh basil leaves
  3. Sprinkle salt for added flavor
  4. Enjoy!

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