Lucy Candler Heinz, daughter of Coca-Cola founder Asa Candler, was upstairs getting ready for bed in September of 1943 when she heard her husband yelling for her downstairs. She hurried down to find her husband, Henry Heinz, wrestling with an intruder. While Lucy ran upstairs to retrieve the gun Henry kept in their room, she heard a loud gunshot and returned to find that her husband had been shot. The story that follows is weird, confusing, and let’s not forget, racist.
Listen to our second Gravy episode as Kelly and Darryl take a break from food to discuss how they might get rid of a body, and how they themselves would like to be remembered. Kelly also weaves a fantastical story of murder and mayhem as Darryl geeks-out about old-timey architecture.
In our final installment on Coca-Cola, Darryl and Kelly cover the discrimination case brought against the company in 1999-2000 and the decades leading up to the final ruling. We talk dress code, hierarchy, and “the issue of invisibility” at Coca-Cola. The series ends in the present day as we process Coca-Cola’s response to the Black Lives Matter movement in June.
Please bare with us as we recorded this episode remotely, got silly at times, and freaked out a little bit about the stuckness of it all. We also did the Pepsi Challenge, which was at the same time hilariously fun and incredibly disappointing.
As promised, here is the silent footage of Robert Woodruff’s plantation outside of Atlanta. You can see some of the people who lived on the acreage and take in the vastness of the property. Below are quotes from the script from Episode 3: Ice Cold Sunshine. You can listen to the full episode on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.
Darryl: If Walter Mack is the David in this narrative, Robert Woodruff of Coca-Cola was the Golaith. Robert Woodruff was the son of Earnest Woodruff – a rich businessman who took over Coca-Cola in 1919, purchasing the company for 25 million (376 million today). Robert became president in 1923 (refusing the position several times before finally accepting). Unlike his father, Robert enjoyed his wealth – among his handful of homes, he owned a plantation outside of Atlanta, called Ichuaway.
Kelly: Robert enjoyed the luxuries wealth provided. Woodruff’s plantation was 47,000 acres of “vast game preserves comprised of a group of homes, stables, and kennels surrounding a grassy circle shaded by magnolia trees.” There were 300 workers on the plantation who were mostly black sharecroppers. Black servants at the main house wore white porter coats and (to his face) called Woodruff “Colonel Bob” or “Mista Bob”. On Saturdays, after dinner, staff would sing spirituals for guests who were trained by Woodruff’s wife.
Welcome to our third installment of our series on Coca-Cola. In this episode, we further discuss the racial history surrounding cocaine and the impact of the “dope fiend” trope, discuss how Pepsi had a different approach to black workers and black customers, and find out how Coca-Cola finally begins to catch up to the changing political and culture climate of the 1950s.
In the second part of this episode, we talk to Darryl about his pecan pie recipe and how we burned Coca-Cola in his kitchen in the first attempt. We talk about the odd custom of drinking peanuts with Coke and the other dishes you can make using Coca-Cola.
Way, way, way, way, way, way, way back in September when we were scrambling to put together our first episode and our first recipe, we needed green tomatoes. Darryl got ahold of Shauntrice Martin, founder of #FeedtheWest and owner of Black Market, and she came through immediately.
Shauntrice is one of many individuals working hard here in Louisville, KY to bring food stability to our city. She took the time to answer a few of our questions, and describe the work it takes to bring the vital necessity of food to people in need.
A big thank you goes out to Shauntrice for taking the time to talk to us, and Feed the West, Change Today/Change Tomorrow, and Black Market for helping fight hunger in our community. Click on the images above to find out more and check out Shauntrice’s site and donate if you can The Black Market KY Launch
Thanks for checking out our first Just Gravy bonus episode. We continue our series on Coca-Cola in the next full-length installment.
In the second installment of our mini-series on Coca-Cola, we’ll hook up with Asa Candler and follow him from his boyhood on a plantation to his part in the 1906 Atlanta Race Massacre. As we dive further into the history of Atlanta, we’ll discover how many aspects of the city Candler was involved, and how his influence would eventually carry him to a career in politics.
We’ll further examine the troublesome ingredient of cocaine, and the fear it created around Black culture and specifically Black men.
Join us as we investigate the man who made Coke what it is today, and whose influence continues to be felt throughout Atlanta and the world.
Sources for Episode 2. Coca-Cola Revives and Sustains:
Welcome to our first episode! We are so excited for everyone to finally hear this thing we’ve been working on for the past several months. In this podcast, we have created a form of protest that educates, enlightens, and literally (and/or figuratively) feeds our audience.
We started with the history of Coca-Cola. The material that turned us on to this subject was a 2013 article in the Atlantic by Adam Clark Estes – A Brief History of Racist Soft Drinks. We quickly found a thread to the story after reading that the creator of Coca-Cola, John Stith Pemberton, was a Confederate soldier in the Civil War. What we discovered was not only the history of a drink, but the stories and struggles of a city and region.
Follow us through as we track Coca-Cola from its creation to its most recent issues with race relations. Along the way, we will treat you to the recipes of two different pies – a savory Green Tomato Pie and a Pecan Pie made with reduced Coca-Cola.
Podcasts have always been a bonding agent for Darryl and me. The typical adolescent conversation topic of have you heard this band seemingly evolved into the adult version: I was listening to this podcast…
Darryl and I would talk about podcasts having to do with business, marketing, murder, history, comedy, and science fiction. I would sometimes pitch him my ideas for podcasts such as the one I titled “What’s Your Problem?” – a podcast where I would randomly ask people what their problems were and we would hash it out. There was also an idea for a more serious podcast about passive participants in history, such as Carrie Buck or Henrietta Lacks.
It wasn’t until I got the nerve to ask Darryl about an observation I made that we discovered a topic that sparked both of our interests. When I pitched the idea of Butter Pecan, he loved it and immediately wanted to be a part of the show. I am thrilled to have him as my co-host, and we are both so excited for everyone to hear what we’ve been cooking up.
Traditionally, green tomato pie made during the Civil War era was a sweet version – kinda like apple pie. Initially I felt compelled to be accurate. Unfortunately, like a lot of history, to tell it plainly is often ugly and gross. Trust me, the O.G. tomato pie was no different. So instead we decided on this delicious, savory version!
1 cup water plus 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar cold (make ahead and set in the fridge)
5 green tomatoes
½ pound of bacon
2 sweet onions chopped
Salt, pepper, cumin, garlic powder
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 cup of shredded cheese (we used ½ cup of Harvey’s Habanero Jack and ½ Sage cheeses)
1 cup of Mayo (unless you’re making mayo in the crib, use Dukes!)
I know, I know! Making pie crust seems daunting, but all you need is a delicate touch and very cold butter.
Start by mixing all the dry ingredients. Using a pastry cutter or fork, break up the butter into the dry mix until you start to see pea-size pieces. This will be totally worth the wrist workout, as the cold butter will ensure a flaky crust.
Next add the cold water vinegar solution little by little, working it together with your hands. Just enough for it to form a little mound. The idea is to see bits of cold butter worked in but not melted. Cut the dough in half. Toss one in the fridge and one in the freezer( You’ll need it for part 3 in our podcast series!)
**Preheat oven to 350
Place a skillet over medium high heat and sauté your bacon. As the fat starts rendering add the onions. Add the tomatoes once the onions go translucent and season the mixture. I kept it relatively simple with salt, pepper, garlic powder and cumin.
You’ll notice the water released from the tomatoes has made our filling thinner than suitable for a pie. Add a tablespoon of cornstarch to help thicken it back up. Turn the heat on low. Let it simmer. As it thickens, combine the shredded cheese and mayo and set to the side.
Flour a surface and roll out the dough a quarter inch thickness. Place in a 9in pie pan, delicately stretching and pulling your dough till it’s covering the pan. Par bake the crust for 5 mins. (That’s just enough to keep it from going soggy as you add the filling.)
Once you’ve par baked the crust, add the filling and top it all with the mayo cheese mixture, spreading it till it covers the whole pie. Staying at 350, bake the pie for another 20-25mins or until both the cheese and crust are golden brown.
Welcome to Butter Pecan Podcast – a podcast about the racist history of food, and how it affects the choices we make today. One part history, one part culinary: we investigate the origins of a food or food product, and then create a dish in order to flip the script and reclaim the space.
In the first mini-series, we take a deep dive into the sticky history of our favorite soda. Join us as we follow John Stith Pemberton and Asa Candler on their path to inventing Coca-Cola, to the company’s disregard of black people as customers and workers. In the cooking portion of our show, Darryl will cook up a Civil War era green tomato pie, and use Coca-Cola to sweeten a pecan pie.