“Getting to Know Us: The Stories Our Foods Tell” seemed like a good assignment for English103: College Composition. We could hypothesize a small book of essays for a small audience of Trinity friends. We could learn as much as we could from Nina Thursteneau, an Indian-American writing about her access to Indian foods, family, and culture somewhere along the Missouri-Kansas border. We could write well about things we knew. Get to know each other better. Experience our diversity. (See the original assignment on the next page.)
When I got the essays, I was stunned. We not only had three Korean young women in the room, but Shin was from Cambodia and Jessie from Peru. Naomi was only one generation removed from Eretria & Ethiopia, Paulette two generations from Mexico, Andrea two generations from the Philippines. Other students had cultural connections to Ireland, Lithuania, The Netherlands. They had parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts, and their stories, to write about.
And who knew the foods would range from beer brats and OJ banana bread muffins to kugelis and himbasha, to lumpia and Young Yang Bab, to Ddok-Bok-Gi and mole poblano, to Janchi Guksu and Keating (Irish) potatoes! The foods, family histories, and cultural insights seemed too good to keep to ourselves. For me, they also picture the way we image God together better than we do separately. We hope you enjoy this sampling. Maybe you’ll fit your story in, too, somewhere. Better still.
One final note: Some credit also goes to English 375, the Advanced Writing class that served as editors (Melissa Alonso, Mallory Blink, Evan Eissens, Alexander Kohrs, Adam Krestan, Anne Parker, Bianca Rivera, Rachel Townsend and Megan Vandermeer). Hope you enjoy the stories as much as they did!
Michael Vander Weele