Food for the Soul

The_Garden_WaitsI’ve been thinking about food. Seems to me food, place, story, and language are crucial ingredients of family and culture. Each provides a marker for the construction of self, and aids us in the great task of understanding our place in the ongoing history of a people.

My mom could not cook. Actually, that is not quite so; if she followed a recipe she usually did fine. Most of the time though she cooked whatever she ate growing up. Vegetables were overcooked or fried, grains, other than bread, were largely absent, and the meet tough Continue reading

Food

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This post is in fond memory of two men who greatly contributed to my life: my father, and Ipu (Dr. Bernardo Peixoto).

I’ve come down with a cold, one of those sinus filling, lethargy generating viruses that linger. I try not to be too judgmental of myself or the virus, after all, we share this life; maybe we even need each other.

This appreciation for our shared desire to live is a fundamental tenet of the Jain way of life.  The Jains seek to do as little harm to all beings as humanly possible. As you might imagine, their diet is somewhat restrictive, allowing only foods that can be harvested without killing plants or animals. Yet, it is truly delicious, and when we are in India we go out of our way to find local Jain restaurants.

Traditionally, Native America has taken a different approach to the problem of eating. I was taught we share Mother Earth with innumerable other beings, all of whom need to live and eat. There is simply no way to move through the world without harming other beings, so the next best thing is to be grateful to, and respectful of, those who die so we may continue to live. Continue reading

Last Day in India

Indian Deep Dish PizzaToday is our final day in India, this trip. Tonight we fly to Hong Kong. Early tomorrow morning we have a brief layover in Thailand.

Our work in Hong Kong will focus on Disability issues. I have been thinking about my workshop in Hong Kong and writing my thoughts at Gimp Stories, my Disability focused blog. I am looking forward to meeting those who have chosen to work with me. Continue reading

The Colonized Kitchen

A cool morning. The big maple outside the studio, where I write, is showing more red with each passing day, although the color is limited tot the outer branches. Overnight we needed a quilt on the bed.

Last evening we went down to the marina to watch the sunset. Actually, we sat on the veranda at Burlington Bay, and watched while we ate soft-serve ice cream. When we came back to the house, I settled down with the latest edition of Indian Country This Week. Being tired, I managed only one story, The Grains Did It!, by Eisa Ulen Richardson, a piece on recent archeological research into the diets of early Native people in the American Southwest. Essentially, the story suggested the injection of white flours and sugar into the diets of Native people was responsible for prevalence of diabetes in Native communities. Continue reading