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Down-Home Cooking

ALL OF KAREN ERINFOLAMI'S FOOD IS FULL OF LOVE

Article by Brian Pearson

Photography by Brian Pearson + Karen Erinfolami

When you first meet Karen Erinfolami, it is like you have known her your entire life. When you taste the food she prepares, you taste how much love she has in her heart for people and for the food she prepares. It's like you are at home.

Karen has been in the business here in Columbia for the past 15 years. She is serious about the quality of her food she prepares. Everything is made from scratch the old-fashioned way. The richness and depth of flavors in her food transported me back to my grandmother's kitchen when I was a child. Those were defining times in my life where I truly felt loved.

Karen has a full-service catering business, and she also runs Karen's Mobile Kitchen. Many people will schedule Karen to come to their neighborhood and set up with her mobile kitchen. She is always a big hit wherever she goes.

Since the pandemic hit, Karen has stayed booked up and travels regularly to serve meals to people and to show love to others through her food.

This week, I had the distinct good fortune to be able to taste what you see in the picture. What I will tell you is that there were no shortcuts in this meal. The ham had been brined, cooked to perfection and was so tender and full of flavor. The sides were life-changing. The green bean casserole had real bacon in it, the sweet potato casserole had a praline topping to die for, and the star of the show was Karen's mac 'n' cheese. I have had great mac 'n' cheese before, including my own, but Karen's is on a whole different level. I also had one of her chocolate brownies that far exceeded anything I have ever tasted.

In these difficult times, Karen and the love she puts in her food are a great reminder of what being a good person is all about. We so desperately need that in the world today.

I am so grateful to call Karen my new friend. She has reminded me that there are still good people in this world, and that it is possible to truly love your neighbor as yourself.

Above: Karen and her husband putting on quite the spread for their customers.

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