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Theresa Jenkins Hilliard was born on Edisto Island, SC where she spent her early childhood under the guardianship of her beloved grandmother, Susan Jenkins, affectionately known as Mama Doonk. She developed an interest in cooking at an early age and watched attentively as her grandmother prepared the family meals. Her grandmother always involved her in the preparation of the meals by assigning her to whatever her little hands could do. This was her grandmother's way of teaching her. She later began cooking at an early age under her grandmother's tutelage.


She has been preparing Gullah cuisine for her family and friends for the past sixty years. What began as a scrapbook of recipes for her children culminated into "Mama Doonk's Gullah Recipes" Book named for her grandmother. Theresa later moved to the historic Maryville/Ashleyville neighborhood in the West Ashley area of Charleston, on the site where Charleston was founded in 1670, to live with her mother Molly. Molly moved to Charleston during the Great Migration of the 1940s to work as a cook for a wealthy south of Broad Street family. Under her mother's tutelage, Theresa's love for cooking continued to grow.


Food was always the focal point of every celebration. No matter the occasion, food was a part of it. Theresa always prepared the celebratory meals, which always included Gullah food. This book includes dishes prepared by her grandmother, her mother, and her aunt, as well as some of Theresa's favorite dishes that she has prepared during the years. You will find her grandmother's rabbit, opossum, and raccoon stew, shrimp and grits, corn fritters, okra soup, and mouthwatering homemade biscuits. She includes her mother's corn muffins and roast duck, as well as, her Aunt Edna's, squash casserole and easy pound cake. Her ancestors were all great cooks.


This book gives you a glimpse of history when food were from the land, sea, wood, fields and trees, long before all of the modern conveniences of "store bought" food. Their food was literally from the field to the plate long before it became popular. Theresa adds some antidotes that will make you chuckle as you reminisce. Take a step back in time with her. This book will jog the memory of some and give others a peek into the past. "Hunna en had good eatin' 'til ya' grease ya' mouf' wid Gullah food." (You all haven't had good eating until you've eaten Gullah food).


Theresa’s descendants were members of a distinctive group of people known as Gullah-Geechee. Theresa stands on the wings of three very special women whose teachings have made a significant impact on her life. This book is dedicated to her beloved grandmother, Mama Doonk, her most treasured mother Molly and her dear aunt, Edna. Their recipes will live on forever between these pages.

Mama Doonk's Gullah Recipes (2nd Edition) - Digital eBook

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