Thick Dumpling Skin

[It's what's on the inside that counts]

Posts tagged food

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On Our Radar: Lee Price, Women, Food

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Artist Lee Price on her portraits with food:

…my intent with my subject matter is not to discuss American over-consumption per se. The paintings, on a literal (and slightly narrow) level discuss women’s issues with food and compulsive eating. In a broader sense they discuss compulsive behavior in general - the distraction that’s involved in the act of it, the waste (both in regard to actual material waste and to energy/time waste) that is the result of it. I do believe over-consumption is a compulsive behaviour - a behaviour that we use to “check out”; to distract ourselves from sitting with discomfort…I think society plays an enormous role in regard to the aspect of my paintings that is concerned with how women relate to food. Often women are brought up to control their appetites. Not just for food but in many areas of life. We are taught to be givers, to nurture others at the expense of our own needs (in a way that men are not).  I think food, for some reason, is one way we have chosen to give back to ourselves- to attempt to nurture ourselves. This, mixed with the pressure to be thin, has caused many of us to consume in secret.

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Read more from her interview with Don’t Panic, and visit her site.

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On Our Radar: Mississippi Chinese Lady goes home to Korea

Ann Taylor Pittman wrote this article for Cooking Light, which won the 2013 James Beard Foundation Journalism Award in the Food and Culture category.

Southern to the bone, I don’t look it. I look Korean or, as I sometimes still overhear in the South, “some kind of Chinese.” But I speak no Korean and, before going on my pilgrimage, knew embarrassingly little of the culture. To me, Korean heritage was mostly about food: the traditional dishes my mom would cook every now and then, after driving up to Memphis for ingredients at the closest Asian market. We loved some of the dishes she made—especially sweet-salty marinated meat and any kind of noodle dish. But she also made funky soups, always in this little gold-colored pot. The rest of us wouldn’t join her, wary of the burly flavors.

Those were dishes my mother made for herself: comfort and consolation, taken in solitude. I imagine how it must have been for her to make food alone and not have anyone to share it with—sad for any mother, especially in a place where no one spoke her language and where this was the only part of her culture she could re-create. I ask her now if this hurt her feelings. “No. No, noooo,” she says. “Because the food was so different. So strange from what Westerners are used to.” My mother, I discovered, didn’t have the luxury of learning to cook from her mother; instead, she taught herself to cook in America. “I just guessed,” she says, “remembering the taste I had a long, long time ago.” She adds, with a confidence that makes me proud, “I’m pretty creative, you know.”

Our family never went to Korea when I was a kid, and later I assumed this was because Mom, having escaped, was in no hurry to return. Fine by me. I didn’t want to go. I was ruled, well into high school, by a childish hunger to just be like everyone else. But as my dad now explains, “We just didn’t have the money to do it.”

It wasn’t until college that I began to use the K-word to define myself. That’s also when I started researching and cooking Korean food, working—as my mother did—from memory rather than instruction. Finally, at 42, having long been immersed in the world of food, I figured it was well past time for me to go to the place from whence, through my mother’s side of the family, I half-came. Food would be the obvious door-opener. On the Web, I easily found food bloggers and experts who would welcome me. I would eat my way around Seoul, nibble through the coastal city of Busan, where my mother is from, and then head to the small town of Hapcheon, where I would finally meet my Korean relatives.

In Seoul, no one spoke to me in Korean; apparently they knew by glancing at me that I was not one of them. This was a bit of a disappointment. I decided that, at 5 feet 8 inches tall, I am simply American-sized.

Read the full story here.


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Filed under korean culture food ann taylor pittman

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On Our Radar: My Foreign Mom

From Mary H K Choi’s article for Aeon Magazine:

School was awful. I had to leave during the middle of the day for physical therapy that involved swimming and returning to class with inexplicably wet hair. Lunch sucked. My mom would pack the dumbest garbage. She once smeared bits of raw garlic left over from making kimchi onto white sandwich bread, thinking that’s how the garlic bread advertised at Pizza Hut was born. I waited until she got off work that night and yelled at her with rank breath. I’d eaten most of the seemingly innocent square, elated that a sandwich had turned up at all in a lunch box that usually contained punishment food that sometimes had eyes. The stress of navigating school as a teeny-tiny uncomfortable person with an enormous gimp wing was taking a toll.

One lunch, I was dragging myself around the playground when I saw my mom standing by the fence, waving big and calling my name. I wanted so badly to ignore her. She was supposed to be at work and I didn’t have physical therapy that day so I was immediately suspicious. As confusing as her presence was, my curiosity did not outweigh my desire to be left alone. Especially by her. I began to back away so she started shouting loud enough to be heard over the playground din. I shuffled towards her with every intention to roundhouse-bludgeon her with my plastered arm. She held out a paper box. It was a McDonald’s happy meal: a cheeseburger one, which was my favorite. The offering was so out of character that I considered it a bribe. I wondered if my parents were getting a divorce since that was huge at my school at the time. I asked her what was going on. She mentioned something about how she wanted me to have a lunch that I liked.

I then did what any normal kid would do and yelled and yelled about how embarrassing it was to have her at school with me during lunch of all times. She presented me with a sack of cheeseburgers that I could give out to my friends. I refused the damp bag and screeched about how it was so cheap that she didn’t spring for bright red boxes with toys for them as well. I made her take the burgers back with her. If I were an actress and had to think of something sad to make me cry in a scene, I would think about this moment. This and the time I was 13 when I kicked my mom across a room and ran away for two days because she tried to ground me — for breaking curfew after my friend Jacinta stole money from her dying grandmother so we could rent out a nightclub and write the names of those blackballed on the sign outside. For the record: I don’t know why people have kids.

To read the entire story, click here. 


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Stay Energized!

A lot of feeling good mentally comes from feeling good physically.  Here are some tips from Alisha Sanvicens of Chalkboard Magazine on Beating Energy Slumps the Natural Way:

  • Wake up and put the kettle on. Squeeze a whole lemon, chop an inch of ginger, and throw in some cayenne pepper to boiled water. Drink on the way to work!
  • Yes, I do drink some coffee. I love coffee! But instead of vats of it, I start with a 16oz half-caf drip and let that take through the day.
  • Glowing Green Smoothie by Kimberly Snyder. This is my breakfast and I love it. I’ll make a big batch at night, pour it into mason jars and I’m good for a few days.
  • Light lunch. Eating a boatload at lunch is comforting, but it’s also a lullaby. I eat lots of greens, quinoa and steamed, roasted, and raw veg. Also, I find certain dressings put me to sleep (usually the delicious ones), so I try to listen to my body.
  • Chocolate Cherry bomb smoothie. This is a game-changer. I customize this recipe by adding almond extract and play around with the ingredients.
  • Pre-packaged raw almonds from Trader Joe’s! Great snack. So are Larabars.
  • Sleep. I’m such a night owl this is hard. I make it a game to be in bed 30 minutes before I want to be in bed and think about how great I’ll feel tomorrow.
  • Maca maca maca
  • Stress is a huge energy suck. When it starts to creep in I stop and take three deep breaths or go on a quick walk to the kitchen to reset.

Filed under food energy