In the Northern Hemisphere, it’s getting colder as winter approaches. Such coldness calls for bulkier clothing and warmer foods, maybe even taking a little time to slow down and take in the changing season. It’s my favorite time of year food-wise with the abundance of apples, pears, root vegetables, and winter squash, thus when I asked the WWAC team to write about food, they jumped on board and brought their own insightful angles to the discussion.
Wendy started us off with a story about how her husband became an honorary Jamaican by learning the cuisine of her birthplace. But his experimentation doesn’t stop there, with Wendy willing to do the cleaning in exchange for excellent food, her husband ventures out into a variety of culinary traditions. This then gives the family the opportunity to talk about culture and food — and simply enjoy good food. To quote The Princess & the Frog:
“You know the thing about good food? It brings folks together from all walks of life. It warms them right up and it puts little smiles on their faces.”
Food and culture, go hand in hand, and food, this great source of sustenance, can be as much about keeping people fueled, as it can be about identity, culture, and even politics. Angel Cruz, Kelly Kanayama, and Vernieda Vergara, all Filipina identifying WWAC writers, explored this in their roundtable on Filipino food and identity. Not only will the article make your mouth water, but as an editor for a lifestyle section on an intersectional feminist website, I love how the piece highlights the complexity of identity and culture. Often, cultures often get narrowed down to a single dish as representative of that culture — and people outside of that culture start demanding “authenticity,” ignoring how individuals interpret popular recipes based on their own preferences and the availability of ingredients.
Being bound up with identity and culture, food also overlaps with gender. Amanda Vail talks about this in her autobiographical piece about how she hated cooking growing up because she associated it with gendered oppression — you know the sexist barb: barefoot in the kitchen — but as she grew up and started waiting tables, her attitude towards cooking and serving changed.
And when geekery and food combine — well, that’s just subliminal. Wendy interviewed Sam Anderson, owner of Cakes Cove, a Toronto-based bakery that specializes in geeky baked confections, including chocolate Mass Effect armor! Laura, our news editor, decided to recreate a geeky feast based on the Redwall books by Brian Jacques. And, until we received the presskit, I had no idea that geek horror icon, Vincent Price and wife Mary Grant Price wrote a cookbook.
And sometimes, we just need a little more patience when the holidays roll around, especially when it comes to interacting with some of our less-tolerant family members. Try one of these cocktails from November’s Drink Your Comics, celebrating girl groups in comics — Sailor Moon, Zodiac Starforce, or maybe you need a quick and yummy appetizer for a holiday get-together. Try Annie’s asparagus wrapped in roast beef, influenced by android comic book character Hourman.
Now that we have addressed food, next month we will talk mental health, because let’s face it, the holidays which are supposed to be relaxing, can be very anxiety-inducing.