Black History Month: From the Kitchen of Rosa Parks

Photo Courtesy of Geurnsey's This month marked the 101st birthday of Civil Rights Icon Rosa Parks. While many people know Parks for her role as the catalyst to the Montgomery Bus Boycott, Parks led a fairly private life in her later years. After her death, many of Parks' belongings were auctioned off by New York auction House Guernsey's which included tokens received by everyone from school children to presidents. The most fascinating of her belongings were the handwritten documents; letters, notes and lists detailing the life and relationships of the winner of both the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor (our nation's two highest awards.)

Among those letters was a handwritten recipe for Featherlite Peanut butter Pancakes.  Like many recipes of her generation, this recipe is written quite simply with the emphasis on ingredients and measurements, not the method; the best logical way a busy woman like parks would copy a recipe. The recipe also lives not in a cookbook, but on the back of a bank deposit envelope. This is a tell-tale sign that cooking may have played a more important role in her  life than one would guess. Much like a poet will scribble verse on any empty space or a musician will keep handwritten bars of music on the back of bar napkins or postcards, a constant cook will often write recipes on whatever piece of paper is handy.

Recipe for Featherlight Peanut Butter Pancakes