Holidays and Food Stories

The holidays are coming to an end.  Kwanzaa has just begun, and New Years is upon us. What do these holidays have in common?  They all are celebrated with food and drink.  Every celebration is different, this difference is our food story.  Food stories are my favorite part of hearing people’s holidays and celebrations.  Everyone has a food story!  Food stories during the holidays are tradition. Alterations are made to accommodate who is coming, allergies, likes, dislikes and time available to prepare.  The rest of the year they are what make up who we are, how we prepare meals daily for our family.

My food story is similar to others, it goes back to my grandma.  She baked everything!  She was also a lunch lady, during a time when all meals were homemade, bread included.  Eventually, she lived on a farm again, and baked for the over the road truck drivers all types of bread, made with fresh ground whole wheat bread.  Every single Sunday we had Sunday dinner, which was cooked while we were at church.  My greatest memory is sitting down to a table with my grandparents to share a meal with them.  I heard discussions of farming, community and family, obviously I didn’t have opinions on these topics, but I learned about sharing, opinions, and opposition.   Sitting at a table with adults sharing a meal, I learned to eat until I was satisfied,  everyone wasn’t happy with the discussion topic, what foods go on a plate to complete the meal and that there was dessert at the end.   I tried to incorporate this into raising my boys, of course there were times that they weren’t at my table, but it was important to me to share life with them at the table.

When we prepare a meal for our family, we bring forth our past, what was taught to us as children from our parents.  This is true for all socio-economic groups.  If someone comes from a family where meals are prepared by a cook, they don’t have the skill to prepare a meal, unless they take an opportunity to learn.  Opposite this issue,  a family without access to fresh fruits and vegetable and healthy they learn only what they have access to.  People with access to food and cooking in the home are more likely to carry on with cooking for their own family.  It is similar to children growing up in a farming community, will have more knowledge about farming.  By coming in contact with someone who has their own food story it can morph another person’s food story, they can change their story at any time, quickly or slowly.   This is dependent on the time spent with the person, the respect for the person sharing.   We all play a role in each other’s food story, just as in life, people come into our lives to make an impact it is the same in our food story.

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well if one has not dined well.”  Virginia Woolf


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