Showing posts from July, 2012

Terrible Tapestry

Another food writing workshop exercise, this one in response to a prompt to "write a food piece that makes a point":
One twelve-year-old, Jon, played the role of Jose. Jon traded his South Chicago accent for that of a Mexican migrant worker (or what he imagined it to be). A girl in the class, Lindsey, assumed the role of the overseer, pushing Jose to work long hours in the grueling sun, offering only measly wages in return. 
The class of kids, part of a summer pre-college pipeline program for students from under-represented groups, tried to put themselves in a whole other world. 
The skit, set in the tomato fields of a southern Florida plantation, encouraged the students to think about the deep and complicated picture of agricultural labor in this country. It made them consider how deeply intertwined immigration issues were with the tomatoes on their hamburger, made them realize that a form of slavery exists in our modern world in which migrants are forced into labor, and …

A Morning Memoir

Here's a brief vignette I wrote this morning, in twenty minutes allotted to write some short food memoir piece. This exercise was part of this wonderful food writing workshop I'm taking part in this week at the New York Public Library (about which I hope to write in more detail soon!).

For now, the story:

It was common practice I suppose, finding ways of getting kids to share and to reflect. We perched on our mats before nap time, in a circle, sitting, as we then called it, Indian style. (The other kids all had special sleeping mats intended just for nap time, in bright shades of red and blue. But mine was a dull gray, with small drawings of women in leotards and legwarmers bending their bodies into various poses. Why waste a perfectly good exercise mat?)

Mrs. Gardner, our kindergarten teacher, in a long Southern drawl, put the question before us, “What did y'all all have for supper last night?” The kids in my class went around, offering a peek into their kitchens—fried okr…

Lunch Hour NYC

For those of you in New York, or anyone who will travel to NYC before February 17, 2013, the New York Public Library has put together a real treat. The exhibition "Lunch Hour NYC" has recently opened, to much acclaim.

The New York Times writes: "Can an exhibition about the history of lunchtime in the city have that much to say? Yes: Going to this show is a bit like heading out to a street cart or a food truck and finding that there is much more to choose from than you thought possible...It is all playfully and elegantly designed. The Web resources are rich as well, including detailed links to images and invitations to help transcribe menus from the library’s collection."  Here's a video trailer for the exhibit:

And I'll be getting to see this exciting display for myself in two weeks, when I head to New York for a Food Writing Workshop at the Cullman Center Institute for Teachers, led by the one and only Laura Shapiro--curator of the Lunch Hour N…

Baking with Burdock!

Watch this video featuring a surprisingly sweet burdock root recipe, prepared by Annemarie Spitznagle of Bloom Bake Shop with burdock from our own Harmony Valley Farm!

If you watch the video and leave a comment, you'll be entered to win a $15 gift certificate to Bloom Bake Shop, which is "downtown Middleton small-batch local, organic, and fair-trade bakery offering cupcakes, brownies, whoopie pies, coffee, tea, and more!" Yum!