Getting to Know the Ebullient Epicurean

  1) My favorite item to cook? It’s a tie between seafood lasagna and gumbo. While both items are time consuming they are well worth it. I usually prepare seafood lasagna in the autumn, while gumbo I prepare every Christmas, … Continue reading

Lauryn Tamar Minter, PhD

A little more about me, as told by the Diversely Me Team.

Diversely Me

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Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?

Five years from now I see myself as a manager or chief working for the U.S. federal government, hosting fabulous dinner parties on the weekends for coworkers and friends, traveling throughout the Americas, and building a life with a man who holds the same values as me.

How do you culturally identify yourself?

Culturally I identify as Black of the Americas. Culturally, I identify with the cultures of Blacks in the United States, Cape Verde, Trinidad, and the Gulf Region of Mexico. My familial background is one of varied ethnic backgrounds that are all rooted in the African diasporic or Black experience. My culture is also influenced to a large degree by my faith/religiosity. The Anglican/Episcopal church and West African spirituality both have a great influence on my personal identity as well.

What is your career or profession?

I recently earned…

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Seasonal Strawberry Cake

I don’t have a witty story about this recipe. Unlike many of the other recipes on this blog, this recipe was neither passed on to me by a dear grandmother nor is it one that I’ve had in my repertoire for a long time. One day this spring I wanted a strawberry cake so I developed this recipe. It’s not perfect by any means. I’ve made it twice; the first time I made it in a bunt pan and cooked it for an hour… let’s just say that the cake came out dense and heavy. The second time I made it in a sheet cake pan and the cake was moister and less heavy. The “frosting” was the only item that was deliciously ‘perfect’ both times. I hope you enjoy! I welcome your recommendations!

Strawberry Cake

Strawberry Cake

Ingredients for cake

1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup strawberries pureed
1 cup strawberries sliced for garnish
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups cake flour
2 tablespoons strawberry-flavored gelatin
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
2/3 cup chopped fresh strawberries
cooking spray for pan

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Beat salted butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugar, beating 5 or 6  minutes or until light and fluffy.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating until blended after each addition.

Stir  in lemon juice and vanilla.

In separate bowl stir together flour and strawberry gelatin power, baking soda, and salt.

Add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk (start with flour mixture and end by adding flour mixture).

Beat at low speed just until blended. Stir in strawberry puree.

Spray and lightly flour a 13- x 9-inch cake pan. Spread batter in prepared pan.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 to 40 minutes or until a wooden tooth pick inserted comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Cool completely. Spread “frosting” on top and sides of cake. See recipe for frosting below.

strawberry cake unbaked

Ingredients for strawberry “frosting”
  1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
  2/3 cup sugar, divided
  1 cup strawberries sliced for garnish
  1 tablespoon strawberry gelatin
  1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Directions for strawberry cream cheese “frosting”
Beat cream cheese and 1/3 cup sugar with an electric mixer until smooth.

Add powdered gelatin; beat until blended. Set aside.

Beat heavy cream and lemon juice at medium speed until foamy, increase speed to medium-high, and slowly add remaining 1/3 cup sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Fold half of heavy cream mixture into cream cheese mixture; fold in remaining cream mixture. Use immediately or refrigerate. Garnish cake with sliced strawberries.


Wild Game Butchering The Way Our Ancestors Did in Plantation Days

This is AMAZING!!!! This is true narrative sharing through cooking! This man is doing what I wish I could. Absolutely amazing!!


I asked my colleague Chef Harold Caldwell to write about the process of butchering wild game in the colonial and antebellum periods. This is a real treat full of detail about how our Ancestors survived. Our forefathers and foremothers made the original “soul food,” from the ingredients around them: squirrels, possums, raccoons, rabbits, groundhog, eels, catfish, bass, trout, suckers, sturgeons, deer, rail, snipe, partridges, grouse and wild turkey. They made it all taste good because they had to. We know that but we aren’t too sure about how it was all done. Lucky for you Chef Harold and I are preserving this knowledge, and I’m pleased to share this excellent essay he has prepared with you.


The colonial and antebellum periods were a time in history where most people survived from the land. But land wasn’t the only source for food. Nourishment also came from oceans, bays, lakes, and rivers.

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