Our Lives Through Food

Being on Spring Break right now, I’ve had a little time to start reading. For pleasure, that is. I finished one book I had started a couple of weeks ago, called Bento Box in the Heartland, by Linda Furiya. I actually had taken this out of the library right before moving to CT, and I had to return it unread, as I just didn’t have time with all that was going on. Once I was settled here, I took it out of the library again. Notice that it’s now March. I’m loving that grad students get to take books out 6 months at a time here!

What does any of that have to do with veganism? Well, nothing, really. The book itself is not at all about a vegan diet (though there are a few ideas for vegan meals in it), but rather a memoir through food. Many of you may have already read this (or another recent food memoir, Stealing Buddha’s Dinner, by Bich Minh Nguyen), but I think it’s worth blogging about. Food is so tied to our lives, possibly regardless to the culture you’re from. Or the culture you create. I certainly wasn’t raised vegan- we had steak in my house growing up as often as we could afford it (ok, so it was mostly london broil, but my dad loved it). St Patrick’s Day is coming up- there was always corned beef and cabbage at my house (and if you’re interested in a vegan version, Bryanna has one over at the Vegan Feast Kitchen). Of course holidays had their special meals, but there’s lots of memory attached to the everyday dishes and how they were prepared and consumed and shared. My dad was sick most of the time when I was growing up. I distinctly remember during one of his longer hospital stays all of the neighbors and family friends bringing over all kinds of cooked food for us, since my mom was working two jobs at the time and driving up to Boston to see my father in the hospital in between. They brought fully cooked hams, a turkey, lasagne- actually, thinking back, it was pretty much like a holiday meal. That gesture of food sharing was important to my family back then.

Food plays such an important role in our lives, even if you never eat those some dishes again. I could probably write for days on the subject.

How has food played a role in your life?

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