Juneteenth wasn't "officially" celebrated in Lynn Parker's home as a child. However, after researching the holiday history, Lynn, the owner and operator of Food 4 Life Meal Prep and Lola's Signature Cookies, discovered that her family had strong Juneteenth food connections in their annual family events.

On June 19, 1865, more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, and issued General Order No. 3, informing the people of Texas that all enslaved people were now free. For the more than 250,000 enslaved Black Texans the order was hidden and withheld by Plantation owners until a year later in 1866 when unofficial Juneteenth celebrations began in Texas. Juneteenth is now a national holiday. However, it is just one of many freedom celebrations and traditions in America and across the African diaspora. For example, Washington, DC celebrates Emancipation Day on April 16th.

Lynn started her formal culinary journey 20 years ago. However, she comes from a cooking family, drawing inspiration from her Great Grandmother, aunts, and cousins. She loves exploring different cultures through food and spices and has a special talent for masterfully mixing flavors and making delicious dishes and drinks like her ginger-infused Hibiscus lemonade.

watermelon salad with vegan feta juneteenth menu
Lynn Parker

This refreshing libation brings a taste of the Caribbean to Juneteenth's customary red punch. As Lynn shares, Juneteenth can be found in every birthday, BBQ, and family gathering because Juneteenth food is soul food that traditionally include some type of BBQed meat, greens, and beans-- collard greens and black-eyed peas, to be specific.

Lynn is vegan, but her food prep menus offers a full range of meals that include premium sourced meats, poultry, and fish in addition to mouth-watering plant-based main dishes like BBQ jack fruit.

In honor of Juneteenth, Lynn has prepared and curated a menu of delectable dishes that honor the flavors from the African diaspora-- from Africa's fertile ground that brought us black-eyed peas and watermelon to the Caribbean's bountiful and versatile jackfruit, spicy and fresh ginger root, and hibiscus.

Lynn Parker's Perfect Juneteenth Menu

  • BBQ Jackfruit Sandwich with Cole Slaw
  • Black-eyed Peas w/ Vegan Italian Sausage
  • Sautéed Kale
  • Watermelon Salad w/Vegan Feta
  • Peach Cobbler w/Strawberry & Peach Drizzle
  • Hibiscus Lemonade w/Ginger Syrup

Every dish is sure to please your palate and fill your soul with pride and joy as we celebrate another year of freedom, food, and family.

Hibiscus Lemonade w/Ginger Syrup

hibiscus lemon tea juneteenth menu
Lynn Parker

Lynn was gracious enough to share her tasty Hibiscus Lemonade w/Ginger Syrup recipe with us. If you are looking to try out more of Lynn's food, she'll be celebrating Juneteenth in Houston, Texas where they will have a citywide celebration. For more information about Lynn, check out Lynn's Facebook page.

READ: The Most Popular National Food Holidays In All 50 States

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Recipe for Hibiscus Lemonade with Ginger Syrup (Traditional Red Punch) 

Prep Time: | Cook Time:

servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup dried hibiscus flowers
  • 3 cups boiling water
  • 6 fresh lemons
  • 5 oz fresh ginger grated & peeled
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups of ice
  • 8-10 sliced strawberries
  • 1 in medium-size orange blood orange was usedthe original recipe

Instructions

Peel and grate ginger in a saucepan. Next, add 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar. Let simmer on medium-low heat for 20-30 minutes. Let cool. Then strain.

In a tea kettle or pot boil 3 cups of water. Place Hibiscus Flowers in a heat and stain-proof bowl or teapot. Next, pour the boiling water over the flowers.

Set aside and let steep for 10-15 minutes.

Next juice the 6 lemons in a bowl.

Strain the Hibiscus tea and add the liquid to a pitcher. Add lemon juice, ginger syrup, and ice. Stir well. Add sliced strawberries and oranges. Serve.