From her culinary television appearances to her popular cookbook Grandbaby Cakes, Jocelyn Delk Adams appreciates that mixing classic recipes with an updated twist is a way to keep culinary traditions fresh. Without losing that taste of nostalgia, that little push to a classic recipe is a flavor that makes the next bite just as delicious as the first.
Recently, FoodSided spoke with Jocelyn Delk Adams. Whether it’s the holiday season or simply a desire to taste the familiar, a desire for these recipes and flavors from family traditions is rising. For Jocelyn, she believes there is a delicious balance between honoring tradition and bringing new approaches to the table.
For Jocelyn, she starts from a culinary memory that she adores. Starting with that familiar feeling is key. From there, she seeks to take that connected feeling and build on it. When a recipe is tied to such joy, it is already on the road to success. Adding a little personal nuance only makes this next bite even more special.
Sometimes the pantry can hold this inspiration. Starting from a solid foundation, Jocelyn believes that a few tweaks can make things bigger and more exciting. Using ingredients home cooks have in the pantry, like Libby’s canned vegetables, can be the spark to “ignite a recipe.” In some ways, these canned vegetables can “get them thinking outside the box.”
While Jocelyn took inspiration from Grandma, this spirit of being a touch of ‘rebel’ in the kitchen is to be appreciated. While a classic recipe is appealing, there are plenty of reasons to personalize it. It can be as simple as taking a canned vegetable and making it special.
In some cases, the moment in the kitchen can be the spark that adds another layer of flavor. As Jocelyn shared, cooking with her daughter allowed her to “see the experience with new eyes”. This “different perspective” fascinates her for cooking.
Sometimes the secret ingredient to a good recipe is more in the moment than the parts in the bowl. From a little music to set the mood, to a pinch of seasoning that’s a taste of the unexpected, the process is just as important as the end product.
This type of state of mind is part of the reason that holidays and food go hand in hand. While some foods, like Jocelyn’s family cornbread stuffing or a fried turkey, must be on the table, the reality is that the memories are made beyond the moments spent at the table.
As Jocelyn once said, infusing food with love is what makes it memorable. Whether it’s tweaking a staple like Libby’s canned vegetables into a favorite recipe or creating a new tradition from scratch, food is the language anyone can understand. Isn’t it time to fill the plate with a bounty that everyone will remember long after the meal is over?