Oral History

Willie Mae Patterson - On cooking and food

Interviewed by Jessica Jones and Jessica McAdams on April 12, 2012

As a part of the Jackson Center’s food ways project, Willie Mae Patterson speaks to her experience with food and cooking. White Patterson grew up with a very small kitchen, her grandma taught her how to cook and always had lots of vegetables in her garden. Some of Patterson’s most popular dishes include cabbage, cheesecake, and black-eyed peas, and she speaks to her love of making homemade soups. While she loves frozen Chinese food and orange chicken from the local Chinese restaurant, she had little success making her own orange chicken, so she mainly makes soul food and sticks to what she learned from her grandma growing up. She urges young people to learn how to cook in order to save money and share meals with others, and she brags about her son (who claims he is a better chef than her) and his four grandkids.

Willie Mae Patterson - On cooking and food

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Oral history interview of Patterson, Willie Mae conducted by Jones, Jessica on April 12, 2012 at Home of Willie Mae Patterson, Chapel Hill, NC. Processed by Maunus, Rachel.

Citation: Marian Cheek Jackson Center, “Willie Mae Patterson - On cooking and food,” From the Rock Wall, accessed May 21, 2022, https://fromtherockwall.org/oral-histories/willie-mae-patterson-2.

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