Wednesday, August 8, 2007


I'm mixing it up a bit with this post. This project has really got me thinking...

My grandma broke her hip last Sunday. She's in a rehab facility and desperate to get back to the home she and her husband built with their bare hands 50 years ago (but it's looking less and less likely that she will ever be able to live in that house on her own again.) To cheer her up, I sent her a copy of American Food Writing. I hear she's very pleased with the gift. (Frankly, I could have sent her the phone book and she would be touched that I'd thought of her.) My dad has read her a few of the stories and poems. "They're short and about food," he said, "you can't go wrong."

That's my grandma. Her attention's a bit zapped - she's on a lot of pain-meds - but she's always got a minute to think about food. Vacations, parties of any kind - they're just excuses to note and comment on meals served. For as long as I can remember, she's been calling her four sons by some amalgam of their names (ie, my uncle Leo is "Markpauljohnleo!") but I wouldn't be surprised if she could list every dish served at cousin so-and-so's wedding back in 1998. The preparation and enjoyment of food is integral to her good life; talking about it makes the memory all the sweeter.

Me and my grandma Leonora (for whom I am named): we don't have a lot in common. I was raised in cities, atheist, privileged, of activist parents. She was a farm girl; briefly, a blue-collar working woman; eventually, a mother of eight. But we share this love of food-talk. I've just found a way to spread it round a bit more.

1 comment:

V said...

Food and sleep, the pleasures of life we all enjoy, some in cooking others in consuming!

Keep up the good work darling.