Episode 19: Food & Culture with Joshua Hamilton Transcript

Aug. 4, 2021
[00:00:00.720] - Ashley Munro

All right, thank you so much for being here today, Mr. Hamilton. Joshua, hi there. Can you tell our listeners who you are and what it is you do here on campus?


[00:00:11.880] - Joshua Hamilton

Hello, everyone. My name is Joshua Hamilton and I currently work as director of African-American Student Affairs. I've been at the University of Arizona for about four and a half years, and I've worked in multiple areas on campus, but this is what I currently do - supporting African-American Student Affairs.


[00:00:30.900] - Ashley Munro

What is like a typical day for you? I guess I'm just curious.


[00:00:35.880] - Joshua Hamilton

What is a typical day for me? I think meetings on top of meetings, of course, and being in a director role, its meetings. The meetings happen, which we are very aware of, but it's all the things that happen in between the meetings.


[00:00:48.960] - Ashley Munro



[00:00:49.530] - Joshua Hamilton

Like people [are] like "I have this idea can we talk real quick?" And so my days look like always being accessible to folks.


[00:00:57.750] - Joshua Hamilton

So very little downtime cause there is always something going on. People always want to talk. People always want to be in community. So my days look very, I won't use the word very, they're filled with just the ongoings of everything. Every day is different too. No day is the same.


[00:01:14.730] - Ashley Munro

That's kind of fun. It keeps you on your toes.


[00:01:16.560] - Joshua Hamilton

Yeah, absolutely. And also it doesn't allow me to hide like I would like to ,in my office. People are like, "no, come out."


[00:01:23.390] - Ashley Munro

"I'm going to find you."


[00:01:24.990] - Joshua Hamilton

Yeah, absolutely.


[00:01:26.060] - Joshua Hamilton

So, yeah.


[00:01:27.120] - Ashley Munro

Well, we're kicking off the Food and Culture series here for the podcast. And I'm so excited that Joshua could be on with us today to tell us a little bit about his experience around food and culture and what that means for him. So, we're going to kind of focus on Southern food because you let me know that that was an area that spoke to you or that resonated with you the most, given your background.


[00:01:53.100] - Ashley Munro

So, can you tell us about any of the history of Southern food, or I guess like, what does Southern food mean to you?


[00:01:58.800] - Joshua Hamilton

Yeah, absolutely. So just to give me a little background on myself. I am from Texas, born in College Station, Texas. So if everybody ever asks us where Texas A&M is, but we live down in the country up in that area. And so I was born and raised in Texas, grew up in Dallas. And so, we are Southern cuisine and I mean Southern food in that sense. And historically, we're talking about Southern food that has been things that have been passed down in traditions from those enslaved Africans of my ancestors, who were forced to make food on plantations.


[00:02:32.970] - Joshua Hamilton

And eat the scraps or leftovers from food that they didn't receive. But this isn't really a story on, or I guess this isn't really a comment on just this idea, that you know, receive scraps, but more of what they were able to make and the creations they were able to create, forge like forge cultivation from these different cuisines. And so, one thing I want to kind of draw on specifically is southern barbecue and kind of the history of that.


[00:03:02.080] - Joshua Hamilton

So that is one, I guess not a dish, but like a tradition that's been passed down from my father to my grandfather to his grandfather. That how we cooked in historical times which is all anecdotal. I've done some reading, and I want to add the book, "High on the Hog" from Dr. Harris, which is great book also highlighting black food matters from Dr. Ashanté Reese and Hannah Garth. Two individuals who had a book come out recently about black food matters and racial justice. And one of the things they discussed is the history of barbecue, and so historically barbecuism could be tied back to the indigenous nation.


[00:03:40.140] - Joshua Hamilton

So native and indigenous folks where barbecue was first and barbecues have been on open fires. So when this was essentially taken from this idea, then plantation owners and slave owners also wanted barbecue so they went and had their enslaved Africans learn how to make barbecue. We're talking 19th to 20th century barbecue. And so that was something that black folks did, or black-enslaved people did back in the day. The way it was also illustrated was to be barbecuing and to be the person barbecuing was an important thing to that person.


[00:04:24.360] - Joshua Hamilton

And so for that black person it was very important for a barbecue because then it was also an opportunity to feed their families, something outside of just leftover scraps of meals. This opportunity to have barbecues to celebrate in the moment. And it was just something that has been passed down from generation to generation. So I learned how to barbecue as a child, and there's a difference. We have to talk about this too.


[00:04:47.120] - Ashley Munro

Yes, I was going to say, please tell us [about the difference].


[00:04:53.820] - Joshua Hamilton

There is a difference. So people will say, you know, I'm barbecuing, but you have a propane grill and you're cooking on open, direct heat and you're making a hamburger - that's not barbecue.


[00:05:06.270] - Ashley Munro

True, is that like grilling?


[00:05:08.280] - Joshua Hamilton

That is grilling. That's not the same thing. So people will say, you know, I'm barbecuing. No, that's not barbecuing. Barbecuing is a process. It's not something you just throw on an open fire. It's the process of actually like smoking and cooking.


[00:05:23.400] - Joshua Hamilton

So I have like three barbecue pits in my house, and so I'm going to tell a short story. So actually, I got this fancy grill, right?


[00:05:34.230] - Joshua Hamilton

Like this little pellet grill, like wood fire. And I remember my father came to visit and I was like throwing some meat on there. And I was like, "you know, I got this fancy grill, I got to see this." And he was like, "what are you doing?"


[00:05:49.860] - Joshua Hamilton

Because I'm used to barbecuing with charcoal, and being able to put wood and stuff in the pit.


[00:05:54.540] - Joshua Hamilton

We always cook low and slow. And that's how I was taught to barbecue. I'm always cooking between 225 to 250 degrees. And it's a long and slow process, the meat in need of the season beforehand or brine, sometimes for twenty four hours. And I smoke my ribs with four or five hours. It is a low, slow process. And I know I keep repeating that, but that is like one thing that I was taught.


[00:06:18.140] - Joshua Hamilton

Don't rush it because that's not how barbecue is made.


[00:06:20.520] - Ashley Munro

It's a labor of love.


[00:06:21.780] - Joshua Hamilton

It is the labor of love and it is a communal piece and that's why we celebrate it. When I barbecue, it's almost therapeutic.


[00:06:30.690] - Ashley Munro



[00:06:31.410] - Joshua Hamilton

Especially cooking for others.


[00:06:34.380] - Ashley Munro

Yep. And they're around, right? Isn't that a part of it too? When you say community or communal, it takes so long to cook something and it's this labor of love and it's the finale. But there's things happening in the families and in the community while it's cooking, correct?


[00:06:50.370] - Joshua Hamilton

Absolutely right. And that's why we call it a cookout and that's why it's such a specific thing to black people. A cookout is different to black people because this is how we've been. It's how we have been raised. Also, tomorrow is Juneteenth and that is a very important holiday. And I'm from Texas. I actually didn't know that people celebrated Juneteenth outside of Texas until I left.


[00:07:14.340] - Joshua Hamilton

Because I always saw Juneteenth as a black freedom tradition. We had Juneteenth parades, Juneteenth pageants, and of course, we had Juneteenth barbecues. So you may show up to the barbecue at ten, but you're not going to eat until six p.m.


[00:07:28.640] - Ashley Munro

But you're not mad about it, though. It's an event.


[00:07:32.160] - Joshua Hamilton

Yeah, you'll be upset, but it doesn't matter because you know once 6 p.m. hits what you're going to get. And, yeah, it is a communal thing to be able to feed your whole family something that you have made and labored on. And even with gender and barbecue, it wasn't just this idea, of only black men or enslaved African men. The women [also] played a role in the kitchen and helping for preparation of the barbecue.


[00:07:58.950] - Joshua Hamilton

So this is a communal piece. And the other thing too is there's really no recipes around it. You have to be there. Like I didn't learn how to barbecue by my father's telling me over the phone, like I had to watch, I had to chop wood. I wasn't allowed to touch certain cuts of meat because that's the meat that he was cooking. Like I had to cook other things. But everything about it was, like you said earlier, this labor of love and not just actually cooking the food, but being a part of making, prepping, and preparing your grill and everything.


[00:08:31.260] - Ashley Munro

That's where the magic happens. What was the first thing you learned how to barbecue? Do you remember?


[00:08:37.200] - Joshua Hamilton

Chicken. The first thing I learned how to barbecue was chicken, and the first time I did it, I knew I didn't do it well. Because I made a mistake and I remember watching my father do it. And I was like, you know what? I put barbecue sauce on too early. Everybody has a different process. It's like people create what they call mops.


[00:08:56.850] - Joshua Hamilton

But, a mop, the best way to explain a mop by heart. It's sauces and seasonings all put together, and people would use actual mops to season the whole hog or to season the whole cut of meat. And that's how you would get your flavor. And so you would mop it. Some people mop it as they cook, some people mop it more. And so, you would mop your food. So yeah, that was one of the first things I learned to cook: smoking chicken.


[00:09:21.030] - Joshua Hamilton

And like I said, I put my sauce on too early and it just doesn't taste the same. It's the same thing I've learned from barbecuing. You have to let the meat cook. Your meat should be cooked. My father said, "your meat should be so good that you don't need sauce."


[00:09:36.150] - Ashley Munro

Yeah. That's a regional thing, right? Depending on where you're from? Isn't there wet barbecue versus dry barbecue or like sauce on the side or something like that?


[00:09:45.810] - Joshua Hamilton

Yeah. Especially if you're in North Carolina versus South Carolina, or even Memphis. I think St. Louis is known for their dry baby back ribs, and somebody please correct me if I'm wrong. But yeah, it is regional. A lot of times, based on how folks cook, but down in Texas and how I learned, you let the meat cook first.


[00:10:07.640] - Joshua Hamilton

Sometimes you add sauce and sometimes you don't have to. But I add sauce to mine, but I don't add it until like the last 10 or 15 minutes.


[00:10:14.270] - Ashley Munro

OK, so at the very end.


[00:10:16.020] - Joshua Hamilton

Oh, the very end. And I smoke my chicken for even two and a half to three hours.


[00:10:19.880] - Ashley Munro

My goodness! That probably tastes so [good]. I can smell it right now just thinking about it. Good thing it's close to lunchtime. I know you mentioned the difference between the misconception of what barbecue really means versus grilling, or when we say we're going to a barbecue and all that's getting grilled is hotdogs and hamburgers, like that's not barbecue. Do you think there's other misconceptions that come up in people's mind when they think of even just the term Southern food or barbecue?


[00:10:49.920] - Joshua Hamilton

Oh, that's a really good question. I think the misconception comes from this idea that the food that is being prepared or being cooked is not healthy. It's like you're making fried chicken grits, all these things are unhealthy. And it's like, no, this is beyond this idea of just health. Right? Because health is situated in a way that centers whiteness, and these are ways of knowing and being.


[00:11:12.200] - Joshua Hamilton

They go beyond just eating food. And so I think that's kind of a misconception. This idea that, Southern food is just comfort food. My father always makes the argument, "how the hell can you call survival food, comfort food?" This is food that we grew up. Although I do kind of disagree sometimes because this idea that I can't get Southern food, I don't believe I can really find any good Southern food.


[00:11:38.540] - Joshua Hamilton

So I make it at my house and that gives me comfort.


[00:11:44.870] - Joshua Hamilton

But people have different feelings around it. So I think that's one of the misconceptions that people think only a certain group of people enjoy these food. It's like a lot of these foods were prepared for predominantly white families back in the day. Everybody eats fried chicken. Everybody who eats chicken will eat fried chicken. This isn't specific to that, but how it is prepared is different based where you're from.


[00:12:09.530] - Joshua Hamilton

But, I think that could be a misconception. I also think that barbecue, as Dr. Reese and Hannah talked in their book, has become more racialized and how we think about it. Barbecue as it exists today in the United States was cultivated and was brought by African-American people. If you think about Franklin's barbecue in Austin, it's a highly praised place.


[00:12:36.200] - Joshua Hamilton

I think Franklin has a master class on something like cooking barbecue, but everything that this predominately white owned barbecue restaurant has, was brought to them by African-American folks. And so barbecue has become so racialized, and it's become separated. And that's one of the comments they make in Memphis. When we think about Memphis, we think about barbecue. But a lot of the well known or well supported establishments are owned by non-black folks.


[00:13:06.920] - Ashley Munro



[00:13:07.400] - Joshua Hamilton

But the people who cooked the food are black, and so something that has been cultivated and created in culture does not financially support the people who are the ones making it. There are other things that are racialized and political, but barbecue and southern food are one of those things. But it's also regional.


[00:13:35.120] - Joshua Hamilton

I don't think I've ever seen on the menu in downtown Tucson, where I can just get fried chicken or greens because it may not be considered well cuisine food. Chicken and waffles being commodified more and more. Which also must be regional because I didn't grow up eating chicken and waffles. I grew up eating chicken and grits. I don't ever remember making waffles.


[00:14:04.760] - Ashley Munro

I think that's all a really important point, and I do think that health piece is a very strong misconception. I think it just depends on the lens people are looking at it with. And I think that's when it can become problematic. High on the Hog, which you mentioned earlier - we'll put all these links in the show notes so folks can find these resources if they want to learn more - I've never read the book, but they came out and did a series on it on Netflix recently. I think it was recently.


[00:14:39.540] - Joshua Hamilton

Yes, about a few weeks ago, actually.


[00:14:41.190] - Ashley Munro

Oh, OK. So I'm going to lose my train of thought a little bit. But I feel like the point you made about Franklin's in Austin is something they talk about in one of the episodes. Specifically the barbecue episode around how it's important for black people, African-American people to have their own restaurants.


[00:15:00.040] - Ashley Munro

And be the ones cooking the food, the face of the food and drawing some importance around, I don't know the exact word he used, but just centering that voice and centering that message. It's like, "this is us and this is our kind of contribution." Does that make sense?


[00:15:21.430] - Joshua Hamilton

No, absolutely. No. And it's true. This is something that we hope to cultivate and recreate. It wouldn't be mainstream in the way that it is, if it wasn't for African-American folk and also indigenous folks who we're making barbecue and cooking over open fires first. And so, yeah, that is a very important distinction. And I keep going back to this book: Food Matters.


[00:15:47.890] - Joshua Hamilton

And there are a lot of food geography books, I've become more recently obsessed with it. So I also watch High on the Hog and I think it's a good series. One of the things that they talk about is like even though people have been cultivating and cooking this food for so long, it's hard to get a loan. It's hard to get a loan from the bank.


[00:16:11.020] - Joshua Hamilton

Also to, even just the commodification.


[00:16:13.660] - Joshua Hamilton

I have never looked at barbecue as something that I needed to sell. I didn't grow up going to barbecue restaurants, we made barbecue at home and had a connection to the community. In my hometown, we had our family church. You grew up Southern usually  Methodist or Baptist Church. And every Sunday when church ended, you didn't go out to eat, you ate in the back of the church because every church had a barbecue pit.


[00:16:47.320] - Joshua Hamilton

We're eating fried fish or barbecue, these are things that we ate at the church as a community. Sunday lunch wasn't done at your local restaurant. It was done where you were and that's very important. The pastor may give a sermon and then walk right out, put on an apron, and serve a barbecue.


[00:17:11.820] - Ashley Munro

That's awesome.


[00:17:13.420] - Joshua Hamilton

Those kind of communal pieces are like [set] ways. And for someone like my grandmother who, essentially she died poor, but she grew vegetables in front of a duplex trailer home. When you walked up to the house, you see rocks and trees, but you also see vegetables. That was passed down to her. Now my father grows vegetables. And so, we weren't going to the grocery store. There wasn't even access to grocery stores.


[00:17:48.240] - Joshua Hamilton

And so it's here [home], and those are the kind of things that I grew up on in the South.


[00:17:53.880] - Ashley Munro

And how do you think those memories and lessons or experiences kind of shape how your dinner table looks today?


[00:18:06.820] - Joshua Hamilton

Oh, that's a really good question. I think there was a bit of disconnect at one point. Because then I was living in a city and I've been living in cities. So I think that's where there's somewhat of a disconnect in that sense. This idea that I could just grab something to eat real quick. But it's kind of come full circle, and so I think the way that it shapes. We cook with fresh vegetables and our food. We season our food and I know how to marinate.


[00:18:42.720] - Joshua Hamilton

So I think that's what kind of shape those things, and really more the labor of love. That's kind of what shaped it. So, we hosted a friendsgiving, and we're cooking all the things that we grew up on. So I'm frying fish, making collards, making black eyed peas, making sweet potato pies. We're making things that were passed down from my partner's grandmother to her.


[00:19:09.660] - Joshua Hamilton

Me from my grandmother, that was passed down from their grandmothers and their fathers. And so, like, we're cooking all those things.


[00:19:17.250] - Ashley Munro

That's like paying respect or paying homage or celebrating, I guess, who came before us.


[00:19:25.440] - Joshua Hamilton

And that's why I always [say] it's a way of knowing, like, this isn't just food to be digested. This a way of knowing and being and connecting.


[00:19:32.370] - Ashley Munro

Yeah, yeah. I don't know who said it, but it was like this, "our story around food is like a story of who we are and where we came from." And I thought that was really beautiful, I might have to look that up because I need to give whoever said that credit. But you mentioned earlier that you weren't able to find traditional I don't know if it's traditional Southern food or traditional barbecue, maybe you can tell me the difference?


[00:19:56.400] - Joshua Hamilton

Oh, yeah.


[00:19:57.150] - Ashley Munro

In Tucson, is there access to [Southern barbecue]? Like, if you were going to make it at home or if people are out there and they don't know how to make it at home. How can students do like I got to get my hands on some of the things that they're talking about?


[00:20:09.490] - Joshua Hamilton

So I do want to back up, let me clarify. I'm glad you said that. I should have probably provided more context. I mean, there are many major areas where food are that you can get like Southern food here. But someone who does make good food, her name is Cooking with Court, and she is actually try and get a food truck right now. But, Cooking with Court, she makes Southern Foods on Sunday that you can order and pick up plates, which is also another communal thing, you could come by and pick up a plate and it's so good.


[00:20:39.750] - Joshua Hamilton

So Cooking with Court, she makes good Southern food. She makes literally everything. Also, Ken's Barbecue, [inaudible 00:20:48], Off the Hook Fish, and they fry their fish the same way I do, so I like it.


[00:20:58.610] - Ashley Munro

Yes, those places you can go that match the way your family did it, I think that's really something that's fun.


[00:21:06.720] - Joshua Hamilton

Yes. So those are three like African-American restaurants, and are more African connected or like diasporic food. You can get Ceedee Jamaican, which is probably my favorite restaurant in town.  Also, there's D's Island Grill, which is also Jamaican food, and then Zemam's which is Ethiopian.


[00:21:27.140] - Ashley Munro

And close to campus.


[00:21:28.520] - Joshua Hamilton

Yeah. It's right down the street.


[00:21:30.020] - Ashley Munro

Yeah. I feel like campus is nicely, strategically located around a lot of good eats, like it's fairly accessible I think via foot or Uber. But, what about resources? Like no one is necessarily going to be able to mirror the experience around being able to cook some of these traditional foods at home. You said there's no recipes necessarily that you were given, but are there resources like books or cookbooks or blogs that you know of that can help guide?


[00:22:11.240] - Ashley Munro

For example, if I want to learn how to make some of these dishes or at home?


[00:22:16.970] - Joshua Hamilton

Yeah. Actually there's a book: Jubilee. Jubilee is a good book. So for now that's my fall. My great great grandmother has a recipe book, but her son has it and he's not coming off of it. Yeah but other than that there was no recipes. Even when I go home now I'm like, "how did you make this?" [And they say] "I don't know.


[00:22:45.050] - Joshua Hamilton

You just got to watch me."


[00:22:46.040] - Ashley Munro

And I think that speaks to the importance of getting people in the kitchen and getting kids in the kitchen. We're Mexican-American, and my nana didn't measure anything and there's no recipes for anything. It's just like you're in the kitchen and cooking these things. My mom, she passed away, but before she passed away, my mom made a point to sit in the kitchen with her and watch her cook things and write things down for some of the family favorites.


[00:23:12.830] - Ashley Munro

I'm so grateful for some of those things like, yes, I don't necessarily have how much of X, Y, Z to put in the soup. But, I know what goes in there, and so you kind of can figure it out.


[00:23:24.980] - Joshua Hamilton

That's very true. That's like when I learned how to fry food in general. I remember I was like, "well how do I fry it?" And my uncle was like, "well you need two eggs, you got to wash it in some egg, and then you got to dump it. Then, you fry - you mix your flour, you always mix the seasoning and your flour together." And I was like, "well, how do you know how much?" And my father said, "whatever it smells like is whatever it's going to taste like.


[00:23:44.510] - Joshua Hamilton

So if it smells good, it'll taste good. If it don't smell good, then you haven't put enough of something."


[00:23:48.890] - Ashley Munro

That's a really good rule of thumb.


[00:23:50.480] - Joshua Hamilton

Yeah. And so I mix my seasons with my flour, dip it in the wash, toss it and then I dip it in the fryer. I do have one recipe though that I can share. It actually comes from the book Jubilee, but my partner makes it. It's a chocolate pound cake.


[00:24:07.370] - Ashley Munro

Oh yum.


[00:24:08.750] - Joshua Hamilton

Let me see, I'm going to bring it up real quick.  She makes a chocolate pound cake and it is so good.


[00:24:15.640] - Ashley Munro

It sounds good. You know we talked about a lot of things, and you said something that's sweet or maybe more traditionally a dessert. Are there kind of traditional desserts in your family that you remember growing up?


[00:24:28.280] - Joshua Hamilton

Sweet potato pies are my favorite. My grandmother made sweet potato pies and every year my stepmother makes me one just for me. No one else.


[00:24:41.390] - Ashley Munro

That's awesome.


[00:24:41.390] - Joshua Hamilton

Sweet potato pie, peach cobbler which is like one of my father's favorites. Also pound cake and seven upside down cake.


[00:24:55.660] - Ashley Munro



[00:24:56.770] - Joshua Hamilton

Yeah, like seven-up. Upside down cake with seven-up. Those are the four that I really remember. Oh and sheet cake.


[00:25:10.930] - Ashley Munro

Oh like Texas sheet cake?


[00:25:12.350] - Joshua Hamilton

Yes. Those are the desserts that were always made.


[00:25:19.150] - Ashley Munro

Is Texas sheet cake traditionally chocolate frosting?


[00:25:22.860] - Joshua Hamilton

The first thing that we had was white.


[00:25:24.640] - Ashley Munro

OK, I wasn't sure.


[00:25:27.270] - Joshua Hamilton

But at least that's how I remember it.


[00:25:29.700] - Ashley Munro

I mean, that sounds delicious. It all sounds like everyone was very satisfied and celebrated, and there's just so much love happening. I think food is so much more than the nutrients it gives our body. It's culture. It's community. It's memories. You smell something and it transports you somewhere. You know what I mean?


[00:25:53.220] - Joshua Hamilton

Absolutely. That's what I love when I go home around the wintertime because in that time my partner she makes chili, too.


[00:26:03.480] - Joshua Hamilton

And that's just such a Texas thing too, like well I guess it's not a Texas thing -  everybody eats chili in the winter. But like, you know?


[00:26:10.320] - Ashley Munro

Well I think it is a thing in the South. Yeah.


[00:26:13.320] - Joshua Hamilton

Yeah. So, I can just smell the chili when I walk. I just know.


[00:26:20.060] - Ashley Munro

Home for the holidays. Very good. So this chocolate pound cake that you're looking the recipe up, are you sharing that with us?


[00:26:30.930] - Joshua Hamilton

Yeah, I can share this. For pound cake, the recipe calls for softened butter or shortening for the pan, five cups of all purpose flour plus the pan, half teaspoon baking powder, pinch of salt, one-eighth teaspoon ground mace, one cup whole milk, one teaspoon lemon extract, one teaspoon vanilla extract, two sticks butter, half a cup of shortening, three cups sugar, five large eggs, and fresh berries are optional. But the key is the brandy butter.


[00:27:19.680] - Ashley Munro

Oh, yum.


[00:27:21.610] - Joshua Hamilton

Yeah, and all you need is one cup of unsalted butter, one cup of powdered sugar, sifted, and a quarter cup of brandy.


[00:27:29.790] - Ashley Munro

All right. That does probably make it. I think the interesting ingredients I hear are the brandy for sure because it brings out some of the chocolate flavor. But also the mace and the lemon extract. I'm always so impressed by just the diversity of ingredients that highlight other ingredients in a recipe. It's just very cool. I don't know. That's not in a lot of desserts. Like, you don't put those things traditionally in a lot of other things.


[00:28:00.060] - Joshua Hamilton

Nope you don't, and that's also something we always talk about, too, is like when you make these special recipes, you always need to find something you may never use again.


[00:28:08.150] - Ashley Munro

"Like I need one-eighth a teaspoon of that."


[00:28:10.700] - Joshua Hamilton

And it's like, "when am I going to use this again?"


[00:28:14.030] - Ashley Munro

That's very true. Oh, I love that so much. Is there anything that I didn't ask you that you wanted to share with our students on campus today before we kind of do our speed round at the end of the podcast?


[00:28:26.910] - Joshua Hamilton

No, I think that's it. I highlighted some of the restaurants in town, and named a couple of books.


[00:28:33.990] - Ashley Munro

And like I said, I'll link to all of those in the show notes so students know where to find them. I guess I have one more question that's not related to the end of the podcast questions. I know because of COVID-19, on-campus events have been not as [active]. But is there anything, community-wise that the African-American Affairs Center does that kind of talks to food and culture?


[00:29:03.720] - Joshua Hamilton

Yeah, so every fall we host The Taste of the Diaspora.


[00:29:09.170] - Ashley Munro

Are you going to have it this fall?


[00:29:11.370] - Joshua Hamilton

We're planning to. We'll have different tastes of food from around the city and different types of food, so like I mentioned earlier. We'll have different foods like that.


[00:29:23.190] - Ashley Munro

That's cool, and you do it every fall. Is it in a specific month?


[00:29:28.260] - Joshua Hamilton

It's usually right before students go home. November, sometimes October, like mid to late fall.


[00:29:33.990] - Ashley Munro

OK, well, you'll have to let us know. This is being recorded in June, but it'll come out in September. So if it's happening, we can kind of promote it and do all that good stuff. That's a great resource for students too. We've learned so much about you today as a person, and thank you for sharing your family history with us and just your history with food and culture.


[00:29:57.900] - Ashley Munro

But can we maybe do three rapid questions that are just quick and kind of fun for us to learn about you?


[00:30:04.420] - Joshua Hamilton

All right, let's do it.


[00:30:04.930] - Ashley Munro

Let's do it. If you could only eat three foods ever again, what would they be?


[00:30:10.240] - Joshua Hamilton

Three foods ever again? Well, one, my grandmother's sweet potato pie. Two, my father's fried ribs.


[00:30:21.760] - Ashley Munro

Fried ribs?


[00:30:23.050] - Joshua Hamilton

Yeah, yeah, my father's fried ribs. And three: hot wings. I love hot wings.


[00:30:30.700] - Ashley Munro

They're so good. I have a question about the fried ribs.


[00:30:33.850] - Ashley Munro

Do you have to smoke them first and then fry them, or do you fry them straight from uncooked?


[00:30:42.200] - Joshua Hamilton

That's the one recipe he's never shown me, and actually you can get fried ribs in town from Chef Wang. So Chef Wang has a garlic rib that's deep fried and it's really sounds good. It's the one recipe I've never seen him make.


[00:31:04.580] - Ashley Munro

Well if he listens to this, you tell him this is one of the three foods I could ever eat again so I might need to learn how to make these.


[00:31:14.450] - Joshua Hamilton

Yeah, it's true. I definitely do.


[00:31:17.150] - Ashley Munro

If you had to choose breakfast or dinner?


[00:31:20.660] - Joshua Hamilton



[00:31:22.490] - Ashley Munro

If you could have dinner with three people, dead or alive, who would they be?


[00:31:28.070] - Joshua Hamilton

My grandmother, I would love to have dinner with her again. I want to have dinner with Dr. Jessica Harris because she's traveled all around the world and has done different food stuff that would be great. And Dr. Ashanté Reese, I've been in love with her work recently, and I would just like to sit down and eat whatever that she wants to prepare.


[00:32:04.380] - Ashley Munro

Would you cook for all of these folks?


[00:32:07.440] - Joshua Hamilton

I would be so nervous to cook for them. I don't know if I could obviously.


[00:32:12.510] - Ashley Munro

Maybe it would be things you could do together, like it would be this collaboration in the kitchen, like everyone bring their own chops.


[00:32:20.160] - Joshua Hamilton

Especially being an adult now. As a kid, sometimes you get kicked out of the kitchen. So that'll be great. If I was let in that would be amazing.


[00:32:27.660] - Ashley Munro

That's very true. You do get kicked out of a kitchen or you get very specific jobs as a kid. Did you have a job?


[00:32:34.230] - Ashley Munro

Did you have like a very specific job as a kid? Like, I feel like they give kids things that they know can't mess up the recipe.


[00:32:40.140] - Joshua Hamilton

And I still mess it up. One time, my job was literally to put rice in the pot and I missed the entire stove.


[00:32:46.560] - Ashley Munro

Oh, no.


[00:32:48.180] - Joshua Hamilton

And I poured rice all over the ground. So, yeah, I had stuff like that, I poured rice, boiled water, or sometimes would chop wood.


[00:32:56.960] - Ashley Munro

OK, yeah, I got to give the jobs to the kiddos. Keep them busy.


[00:33:05.270] - Joshua Hamilton

Yep and out of the way.


[00:33:06.840] - Ashley Munro

Well I've enjoyed this conversation so much today and I could talk to you for like another hour. So I really appreciate you giving us your time and your expertise and a window into your family. So that's really beautiful, and we feel very lucky to have gotten that today. So thank you so much.


[00:33:28.590] - Joshua Hamilton

Thank you. Thank you for the invite as well. I really appreciate it.


[00:33:31.380] - Ashley Munro

This is my pleasure.


[00:33:33.150] - Ashley Munro

Take care.


[00:33:34.050] - Joshua Hamilton

Thank you.