Self-Study

Part of my project was a plan to examine how my family uses food to connect to both our cultural history and to our familial past. I started thinking about what foods my family eats to make these connections, and I ran into a big problem: we really don’t eat any foods that connect us to our past. The more I started thinking about it, the more I started freaking out. How do I know who I am and what I come from if its not celebrated in something so simple as food? I don’t have any dishes passed down from grandparents, aunts, great grandparents, or anyone. Additionally, the foods eaten in my house are American through and through (think meatloaf, beef stew, etc).  There’s really no trace of Irish, Norwegian, Swedish, English or French culture in our food- you would think with all that variety there would be at least some! Simply because I discovered that I don’t connect to my past with food, I began to feel unattached from the past. I felt the need to figure out some connection to my culture and to my ancestors, and so began this new experiment.

Since the previous plan to analyze foods I already eat had to be scrapped, I came up with a culinary experiment. I’m going to choose a few dishes that represent cultural connections and hopefully find some ones that represent familial connections, and I’m going to make them. I’ll document my adventures here by posting the recipes, pictures of the culinary process, and my reactions to the food. My hope is that eating the food will somehow foster a connection to my, albeit distant, past, but only experimenting will give the answer!


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