Everyone has a story about food, whether it’s a grandmother’s recipe or an unforgettable meal from a Japanese stand on the way to the Tokyo airport. Ultimately, the recipe for Nisu bread or the bowl of soba are the vehicles for the larger tale, usually a story of warmth, joy, love, adventure, even loss.
Food is a language with which we talk about life. It marks what we were doing when we loved someone, when we were loved by someone, when we were happy, when we were trying to change the world, when we were on an adventure. The fact that one of the symptoms of extreme grief is to stop eating, makes certain there will be no taste around to remind us of that time. When life turns a bad corner, taste refuses to go with it, stubbornly remaining a signal only of life’s better times.
For years I wrote fiction, but also spent much of my time cooking or talking about cooking with friends and family. I finally saw that the stories were always at my table. Or they were at my friends’ tables, or the table of the stranger I would meet that day.
The “Food for Thought” blog will be a corner to collect those stories and the recipes that go with them. With a free-wheeling mix of literature, images, and just about anything revelatory about the powers of food – growing it, remembering it, preserving it, crafting it – “Food for Thought” welcomes all. In the words of Virginia Woolf, “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”