Huddy everybody! This Saturday and Sunday Gullah Celebration presents our Arts, Crafts, & Food Expo, an event so amazing it’s going to take two whole days to enjoy the festivities!

There will be cultural demonstrations, indigo dyeing, fishnet weaving, Gullah and African crafts, musical entertainment, and delicious Gullah foods for you to sample. There is sure to be something for everyone in your family to enjoy and learn about our Gullah heritage.

For example, did you know that Gullah food is one of the oldest African and American traditions being practiced in North America today?  Some recipes were brought over from other regions in the world, and were combined and then perfected here in the South. It was, and continues to be, informed by need, obtainability, and what is readily available in the environment. Have an abundant crop of okra? Get ready for fried okra and other such recipes! Was this the year for turnip greens?  Perhaps you could eat them southern-style with your dinner.

2012 may not have been the best year for tomatoes, but traditionally tomatoes were a staple crop in many Gullah gardens. Here’s hoping for more of the yellow, red, and green fruit (or vegetable, depending on your preference) this year! And here is a great recipe for fried okra and tomatoes, just in case:

Fried Okra and Tomatoes


  • 1 tablespoon bacon grease

  • 1 medium vidalia onion, chopped

  • 1 lb okra, cut into 1/2 inch slices

  • 3 fresh tomatoes, preferably Big Boy

  • 1 teaspoon sugar


Heat bacon grease in a heavy, nonreactive skillet over medium high heat.  Add onion and cook for 3-4 minutes or until translucent. Add okra and cook another 5-6 minutes, or until okra begins to brown. Stir in tomatoes, sugar, and salt & pepper to taste. Cover skillet and simmer over low heat 20-30 minutes or until thickened.

Enjoy, and see you Saturday and Sunday from 11am-5pm at the Hilton Head Island Middle School.