In honor of Black History month, I’d like to introduce you to Jereline and Larry Bethune.
Jereline and Larry Bethune first opened their restaurant in 1942. Back then it was a nightclub, the Siesta Club, that also sold food. It later became Brenda’s, named after one of their daughters. A pivotal location in black history, the restaurant became an unofficial center for the local civil rights movement, holding N.A.A.C.P. meetings, printing fliers and planning protests. In 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery. Shortly after, bus boycotts began around the city. The Brenda’s Bar-B-Que Pit staff helped organize some of the boycott, which soon propelled the civil rights movement into the national conversation.
Even after the bus boycotts, Ms. Bethune quietly held lessons to teach other African-Americans to read so they could pass the literacy test. At the time, this functioned as a way to suppress the black vote during the height of the Jim Crow era. Donetta Bethune, the Bethune’s granddaughter, described it as: “Let’s learn how to read. Let’s learn how to vote. Let’s go after our own rights so we never have to be treated in a way that we’re not equal again.” (College Chefs, 2019).
Brenda’s is the oldest barbecue restaurant in Montgomery and family-run to this day.
Below are three of my favorite homemade barbeque sauces inspired by the story of Jereline and Larry Bethune.
Spicy Barbecue Sauce
This Spicy BBQ Sauce will be your new favorite condiment! It’s easy to make and pairs perfectly with pizza, sandwiches, or burgers.
- 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
- ½ tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
This BBQ sauce is a tangy, creamy twist on a traditional barbecue sauce recipe. It’s delicious on grilled chicken, pulled pork, fish, burgers, and lots more!
- 1 cup mayo
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
- 2 teaspoons cream style horseradish
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
Honey Barbeque Sauce
This Honey BBQ Sauce Recipe is the perfect sweet and sticky sauce for burgers, wings, chicken, and more.
- 1 cup ketchup
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoon honey
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon smoked Paprika
- 1 teaspoon onion Powder
- ½ teaspoon black Pepper
Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.
Let sauce cool and store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.