Stories of Food, Food as Story

Mother Needed Some Help

Group Zine Contribution

As a child, I would spend weekends at my grandparent's house helping my grandfather in the garden and then watching grandma transform our harvests into delicious jams, stews, and salads. Family meals were a big deal and grandma would spend weeks preparing. The order of operations in the kitchen were clearly organized and communicated to the other members of the family who would be assisting her (all the female family members). This time in the kitchen with my mother, sister, aunts and grandmother was joyful for me as the baby of the family. It was only as an adult that I have learned that, for my grandma, those cooking rituals were done out of necessity. She cooked because it was expected of her and no one else in the family was going to do it if she did not. She has told me that she finds food infinitely more delicious when someone else has done the cooking. So now when family visits her the rest of us take up that role and she sits back on the sidelines to take a well deserved rest.

-Carrie Chema, Winter Cohort 2023 Visual Journal Teaching Artist