Swamp Water Recipe + Black History Month Virtual Potluck

There’s a chef in every family; a monarch of the kitchen, who marries seasonings to create flavors full enough to entice a room of people and with enough love to feed a village.

And so, when I was approached to participate in a virtual potluck with 27 other black food bloggers in honor of Black History Month, I was extremely grateful to be among such talented cooks and fellow food aficionados. Every dish shared speaks to the diversity of Black people throughout the diaspora with influences from the South to the Caribbean, and of course, the continent itself. 

Please see the links below to check out the delicious dishes other bloggers have prepared for the potluck!

I’ll admit: With there being so many dishes I love that bring me comfort and remind me of home, I found it really hard to choose what to make. My aunt, the eldest of all her sisters, and the only actual chef in the family immediately came to mind. She learned to cook from her grandmother, my great-grandmother and chef of the family in her heyday.

Essentially, that’s what Black History Month is all about: Acknowledging those whose shoulders it is we stand on by paying homage.

So, I picked up the phone and was delighted to hear my Aunt Lynette on the other end. After a fair share of how are yous and discussing how she developed her cooking style so heavily influenced by the deep south (Arkansas to be exact), I decided the dish to best serve this occasion wasn’t quite a dish at all. But instead a sweet union of tea and lemonade my aunt calls “swamp water.”

I chose this recipe because it represents the marriage between a rich past and bright future that all black people of the diaspora can subscribe to. 

Moreover, this recipe complements so many of the skillfully crafted dishes shared by other black bloggers who’ve contributed to this list.

8 Lipton tea bags
2 12 ounce cans of Minute Maid frozen lemonade*
2 lemons
7 cups water
½ cup sugar    
4 generous tablespoons of honey
lavender (optional)

For Tea:

Bring 4 cups of water to a boil
Add tea bags to boiling water
Boil tea bags for 3 to 5 minutes
Cover and steep for 10 minutes
Remove from heat
Squeeze tea bags for maximum flavor and discard
Add sugar and honey
Refrigerate to cool
For Lemonade:
Pour lemonade into a pitcher
Add 3 cups water*
Add tea to lemonade* 
Add Lavender
Serve over ice

I use Minute Maid Lemonade from concentrate because it’s sweet and requires no extra sugar.  You can substitute the Minute Maid concentrate by using your favorite lemonade recipe instead.*
For lemonade: Water to concentrate ratio should be equal amounts.*
With this recipe you’ll have more lemonade than tea, which is a personal preference. You can simply add equal parts tea and lemonade to achieve a half-and-half.*

28 recipes from 28 black food bloggers in honor of black history month

Meiko and the Dish | Crispy Fried Chicken with Molasses Pepper Jelly Drizzle

The Hungry Hutch | Blood Orange Cornmeal Cake

Whisk It Real Gud | Trinidad Oxtail Pelau

Raised on Ramen | Caramelized Plantain Tacos with Pecan-Honey Butter

Dash of Jazz | Aunt Georgia’s Peach Cobbler

Foodie In New York | Twice Baked Yams

The Seasoning Bottle | Jamaican Sorrel/ Senegalese Bissap

Chef Kenneth | Smothered Okra with Shrimp

Savory Spicerack | Po’ Boys with Cajun Tempura Shrimp

Chocolate For Basil | Groundnut Stew (Peanut Stew)

Simply LaKita | Banana Pudding

My Forking Life | Callaloo and Saltfish

Gucci Belly | Swamp Water

Kaluhi’s Kitchen | Ukwaju (Tamarind) Marinated Spicy Chicken Thighs

Sweet Savant | Coffee-Rubbed Lamb Ribs

Salty Sweet Life | Southern Greens Shakshuka

Eat.Drink.Frolic. | Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts

I Heart Recipes | Southern Fried Cabbage

Jehan Can Cook | Mango Turmeric Smoothie

Margarita’s On The Rocks | Lemon Pepper Fish Tacos with Collard Green Slaw

A Soulful Twist | Slow-Cooker Gumbo (Gluten Free)

The Kitchenista Diaries | Coconut Milk Roasted Collard Greens

My Life Runs On Food | Orange Chocolate Smoothie

Butter Be Ready | Skillet Cornbread

Domestic Dee | Shrimp Creole

D.M.R. Fine Foods | Curry Chicken Pot Pie

The Inner Gourmet | Lamb Fried Rice

Marisa Moore Nutrition | Hoppin’ John Patties with Warm Tomato Salsa

Enjoy! Happy Black History Month!

Photography: Rachel Topping 

Styling: DeJanae Evins 


Food & DrinkDeJanae Evins