Betty Crocker Leading The Way To Soul Food

All aboard the Soul Train at General Mills. Leading the charge is the unlikely Betty Crocker, cultural icon of the kitchen, whose newest recipes focus on soul food dishes.

General Mills is remixing old standards and creating new traditions for 2008, the "Year of the Supper Club." Think uptown, think A train, think Harlem.

Or, as the food giant's press release puts it: "Black-eyed peas cornbread salad. Sweet potato pie smoothies. West African peanut stew." They are just a few of the 100 recipes at, where consumers also will find advice and instructions for easy cooking and entertaining. The site is a partnership with celebrity-hostess entrepreneur B. Smith.

Step-by-step instructions will help consumers bring back the supper club tradition of gathering with friends and family. Who needs directions? General Mills commissioned a survey by SurveySpot of 504 African-American women between 24 and 29 years of age to answer that very question and found:

  • 70% are hesitant to play hostess because they are less confident in the kitchen.
  • More than a third cite macaroni and cheese as their favorite soul food dish.
  • 73% learned to cook from their own mothers or stepmothers.
  • 80% of mothers place a priority on spending quality time with their children.
  • 57% place a priority on spending quality time with girlfriends.
  • 66% feel it is important to pass on recipes to their kids.

General Mills will host a series of community supper clubs this fall, beginning in Baltimore and Birmingham, Ala.

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