poor man’s feast-elissa altman

“stopped eating meat, lost weight, but i still rap husky”

“Everyone had the politics down pat; that was the easy part. It was the actual cooking that no one bothered with.” (192)

this reminds me of the time that lindsay too (great eggnogathon, btw!) and i went to the we don’t give a shit farmer’s market (wychwood barns) and the other day when orisha asked me if we’re the only department that cooks and saves the poor unfortunate produce. i believe we are. this book also came out of a cooking cash department-a recommendation from sweet safa who wasn’t with us nearly long enough. i hope i didn’t offend her by not liking it very much. it’s written like a third-person memoir, by a person who’s constantly talking about her partner. you know that person-the one that can’t carry on a conversation without mentioning her partner, annoying right? now imagine a whole book. puke. but i stuck it out because paul shamed me for judging it too quickly. we all make mistakes.

but i could relate to food’s role in dysfunctional family relationships, and the following passage recalls some of my last stepmother’s neurosis:

“So great is her obsession with weight-whether hers or mine-that whenever I stay overnight at her house, even now, she regularly checks the tags on my clothes to see what size I’m wearing, so I clip them off to avoid discussion”. (151)

nuts, right? well, mine would judge people’s weight by how much she liked someone-for example, i went home before i moved to toronto clearly 15 pounds heavier than the last time she saw me (i gain weight when i’m stressed, and being in vancouver is the mecca of stress for me) but we were getting along, so she said, “you look like you’ve lost weight”. or, we weren’t exactly getting along, but we were both at the same moot point with my father.

there’s a piece about eating to grieve vs. eating as a way to hold on, and that’s probably the most interesting and thought-provoking part of this book, if you can get over the tone in which it’s written in. i obviously couldn’t.


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