This blog is meant as an exploration and a celebration of food. Food as nourishment, food as art, but most of all, food as connection. Personally and politically, we all struggle with issues around food. Issues from body image to worker’s rights to environmental destruction transform the kitchen table into a battlefield.

Food binds us together with the people we love and with the soil beneath us. Simple bodily nourishment reaches us only through the work of the soil, the sun and rain, and the people who loved and labored along the way to put it on the table.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Anni's Avocado, Bread and Salt

Cut an avocado in half and take out the pit by gently slapping the blade of a sharp knife horizontally across the pit. Slice the avocado while still in the skin, and then squeeze the flesh onto slices of bread – any will do, but multigrain is best. Mash the avocado evenly onto the bread and sprinkle generously with salt. A slab of summer-ripe tomato is nice, too, between the avocado and the salt.

Avocado Sun

by Anneliese Kamola

I finished the decision by throwing my hat over the fence.

You seemed angry, but I suspect you were a bit excited, too.

We picked up the windblown avocados as if discovering gold:

One by one.

Cupping them gently in our hands until we could hold no more,

we finally pulled our shirtfronts out and made produce bags to carry them in.

I wanted to climb the trees to pick more glistening avocados,

but you insisted that we choose only from the fallen ones.

We shouldn’t steal, or at least not in that way.

We walked back through the park,

shirts stretching around bumpily green fruit.

I wore my hat.

The rolling hills shone in morning light.

I nestled against you in the window’s sun-square.

The countryside flew by. The hills were steep.

We waited for the spot; the spot where the tracks turn so sharply

we could see the front and back of the train at the same time.

Digging into our bags I brought out

an avocado, bread, and salt.

You pulled out your pocketknife.

We sat in the sun-square, close together, cutting, mashing, sprinkling -

eating delicate fruit.

Often, now, we sit on our deck at lunchtime,

sun reflecting off the wood and onto our necks.

We eat avocadoes mashed onto bread, with salt.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Being Hungry: Food as a link between the needs of the body and the desires of the spirit.

"Just what exactly is it that we want to have cross our lips, to roll off our tongues, down our throats, to fill our nostrils with hardly described fragrances, to slide to a brief halt within our bellies, to mix with out own gastric juices to be transformed and conjured into something new by the myriad microbes in our guts, to migrate across our stomach linings, to surge into our bloodstreams, and to be carried along with insulin for one last ride, and then to be lodged within our very own bodies? What do we want to be made of? What do we claim as our tastes? And what on earth do we ultimately want to taste like?" (Nabhan 2002; 27)

Growing up in a liberal white middle-class family, I knew what I didn't want to be made of. I didn't want to feed off the oppression of other people and living beings. Yet the food on my plate had poisoned the farm worker's hands and the fish in the streams. Everything I consumed had come at someone else's expense.

Starving children in Africa were never a motivation for me to be grateful and eat my food with gusto -- instead, I felt guilty for having so much and still wanting more. I wouldn't touch the food on my plate. Better to go without, as penance and protest. But going without by choice is a privilege -- denying hunger is a world away from the true hunger of poverty.

In my life I have been so far from ever being hungry, that I could court hunger with a bouquet of red roses. There was a time I could go weeks with no more than lemon water and a few dozen incidental calories. Though my mind went dizzy and my very bones were exhausted, my fingers would delight in playing upon the ripples of my collarbone, hip bones, and ribs. I was almighty; I was the master of my own flesh. Hunger was a cat I teased with a string as long as the horizon -- he was a million miles away and I never feared him. Even as I dreamed of reedy ballerinas and skulls that crumbled into sand, hunger was a game I played.

The rest of the girls ate, accusing me of hunger with their imploring eyes, while I tried to keep a poker face. But I loved it when they offered me food; I wanted them to beg me to take it. I wasn’t hungry, I told them, or my stomach hurt, or I had eaten alone. Sometimes out of desperation to explain myself I would give all three excuses at once; my lies were ludicrous in their clarity. It didn’t matter that they didn’t believe me -- I wanted them to worry. They were getting fatter while I was purifying; let them beg me but I wouldn’t take that first bite.

Sometimes I really tried to convince my friends that I was eating. I would feel guilty about making them worry, or grow tired of their nagging, or begin to fear that they would tell my parents. Once or twice my love for those who cared about me even drove me to abandon my courtship of hunger, or some inner strength deeper than resistance made me eat. But whether I ate or not, hunger was a world away. At any moment I could reach out and take a chocolate from the table. That was the challenge, the danger, the thrill in my extreme sport. God forgive me. I have never known hunger.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Jessica’s Green Smoothie

Jessica’s Green Smoothie

The particular fruits in this smoothie are flexible depending on season and availability, but it's nice to have banana for a little bit of sweet creaminess, and something tart like a peach, or berries (or citrus in winter). Jess likes to put it in a jar and drink it throughout the day as sustenance. For me it's not nearly enough calories for that, but it's a wonderful refreshing breakfast or snack.

Dandelion greens are delicious in the early spring before they’ve flowered, although they are very bitter. Green smoothies with dandelion are for the adventurous of tongue, otherwise, it’s best to stick with spinach.


  • something tart (peach, apricot, berries, or orange)
  • something creamy and sweet (banana, coconut -- something milk-like)
  • spinach
  • ginger

Put it all in the food processor or blender and puree it. Add enough milk, water, or juice to make it drinkable. Smile at yourself in the mirror when you’re done; you’re almost guaranteed to have little green bits in your teeth.