Arguments over mandates, pandemic death, disruptive politics, climate change disasters. We’ve seen them all this year; we’re worn out. The battles and struggles will continue, but this week’s Hometown Alaska seeks to console. Our topic today is celebrating our good habit of gathering together for food and camaraderie, whether that is Christmas, birthdays or Sunday supper. Our guests are convinced that cooking and serving food to others is an act of love, and that this good habit might help us over hurdles we face.
Last summer, PBS offered a 3-part series on food called Food is Love. The chef behind the series, Lasse Sorrensen, said this about the title:
“When you put food on the table and break bread, you become a peacemaker. I’ve always said that even though as people, we are different, we all need to eat. And when you have something good to eat—when you break bread and have a nice glass of wine and a wonderful meal—it brings you together. You’re open to new ideas and other people’s ideas and suggestions, and it’s a form of love. …I’ve always believed that when people enjoy their dinner together, it opens up their hearts to new ideas and to new cultures.”
Here is cook and writer M.F.K. Fisher on food as love:
“…but I still think that one of the pleasantest of all emotions is to know that I, I with my brain and my hands, have nourished my beloved few, that I have concocted a stew or a story, a rarity or a plain dish, to sustain them truly against the hungers of the world.”
― The Gastronomical Me
Joining us to talk about the powerful human nourishment found in food is pop-up co-host chef Judith Mack. When I called and described the show I hoped we could do, she embraced the concept and even offered a recipe (Italian fig cookies, see links for the recipe) she loves. We also found community members whose experience resonated with the healthful experience of gathering together for food.
We hope you have stories or memories of the foods you prepare or share with loved ones. We all eat; if our guests are correct that food can bring us together despite everything working to pull us apart, then let’s sit down and eat! We’d love to hear from you.
CO-HOSTS: Kathleen McCoy with chef and teacher Judith Mack
COMMUNITY CALL-IN GUESTS:
- Zoi Maroudas, CEO of Bambinos Baby Food, member of the Greek and Italian cooking family of Pizza Olympia.
- Omid Rahmanian, from Iran, taught with his wife, Parisa, a community cooking class featuring Persian cuisine, offered through a Keys to Life community program
- Nyabony Gat, South Sudanese, born in Ethiopia and raised in the U.S.; Health Education Coordinator with Alaska Primary Care Association (APCA)/AHEC and Peer Leader Navigator Program Coordinator at the Alaska Literacy Program.
- Essay: “Ruth Reichl on M.F.K. Fisher’s Lifetime of Joyous Eating,” Literary Hub website 2019
- Podcast: “Soul food and the stories it tells about America,” with poet and author of the ‘Soul Food Love’ cookbook, Caroline Randall Williams, Vox Conversations website 2021
- Recipe for Cuccidati, Italian fig cookies, shared by Judith Mack
- 7 inspiring quotes about food and love, The Knot website
- 17 quotes about food and love, Your Tango website
- Keys to Life Alaska, community website focused on empowerment and inclusivity, previous host of community cultural cooking classes.
- Call 550-8433 (Anchorage) or 1-888-353-5752 (statewide) during the live broadcast (10-11 a.m.)
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- LIVE: Monday, December 20, 2021 at 10 a.m.
- RE-AIR: Monday, December 20, 2021 at 8 p.m.
- PODCAST: Available on this page after the program.