Claire’s Homemade Beignet Recipe

CHRISTOPHER JOLIVETTE | University of Bristol | Mc Calla

Claire’s Homemade Beignet Recipe

INGREDIENTS: -X cups Flour -X Cups Water -1 tsp Sugar -1 tbsp Baking Powder -2 tbsp oil

Steps: 1) Mix flour, sugar, and baking powder in a large mixing bowl until thoroughly mixed. 2) Add water and mix with wooden spoon until contents form a solid 3) Heat oil in a pan 4) Cut dough into even pieces and flatten with hands. 5) Place dough pieces in pan with heated oil and cook thoroughly. 6) Enjoy with Syrup or powdered sugar.

A beautifully simple recipe whose steps are as simple as its ingredients. In its simplicity is revealed the power of heart in a recipe. No recipe includes love, but this one is at the core. Without it, the bland mixture of ingredients falls flat, and its taste is bitter—unappealing. However, when cooked with love, compassion, and a joy of cooking this recipe becomes a satisfying delight. There is no touch like that of a grandmother’s when it comes to cooking. My grandmother, for my account, is the best chef to grace any kitchen. She brings a fierce compassion and a stern love that I have not seen in any other individual. This passion extends to her children and her children’s children. This recipe in particular is an example of how culture has been passed down through my family through culinary and artistic means. This beignet recipe was my great great grandmother’s before it was my grandmother’s and before it was mine. I often wonder how much this recipe belongs to me and if I can continue to pass it down our generational line. Should I invent new things to pass down, or should I remain within tradition and pass down the Steib recipe for beignets? A simple question, nonetheless, an important one. I feel that it is my duty to continue the traditions of my family by sharing this important and simple recipe. Truly, I find it interesting that such a simple recipe can have such a storied history and be so powerful. The essence of this recipe is the simplicity. Rather than adding a plethora of ingredients that confuse the essence of the recipe, my great grandmother kept the ingredients simple. There’s not much to say about a recipe like this one other than the personal cultural implications of it. Personally, I view this recipe as an example of the lack of ingredients at my great grandmother’s disposal and how she was able to create a short breakfast item that would be cheap and easy to make. Beignets therefore represent a particular struggle in my family history, one where we were not able to afford or were not granted access to many of the luxuries of life. Born from this struggle was an appreciation and love for the materials and opportunities that were available. Cooking, for example, became an important part of my familial culture. The ability to cook meant and still is an achievement in my family. It is the necessary skill that one must learn if they are to pass into adulthood. Cooking is an unceremonious means by which the Jolivettes pass from childhood into adulthood and consequently begin the rest of their lives.

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