Food Unites

I have thoroughly enjoyed writing about food and sharing my recipes. I wish that I had better skill at taking photos of food, both the ingredients and the finished recipes. I tried to find a garden photo of a fruit or vegetable for this post, but the closest thing I found to an edible subject was a sunflower. I have grown Mammoth Russian sunflowers during several summers just to get pictures of them, with the bonus of feeding birds with their crop of seed.

In the photo above, which I took eight years ago, the sunflower looks like a drone whose mission is to spread nothing but joy.

Next year I think I’ll take the time to save some of the seed harvest for my family. Mammoth Russian sunflowers can actually be an economical source of nutrition in the family garden. With a packet of seed costing 33 cents to a dollar, I’ve grown flowers that collectively produce up to five pounds of seed.

I’ve been thinking that food is unique in how it can unite us. We can be so different in our choices of food, yet everyone needs to eat, no matter what ends up on the dinner table. Through writing about food, we can find our common ground yet show how we are different in a non-confrontational way. I’m equally pleased with online chatter about venison stew as I am with a recipe for vegan cheesecake. These are windows into different perspectives that I might not have seen so closely otherwise.

My choices in cooking also say much about me. Through writing about food, I can tell the story of my life in a way that is more candid than memoir. In sharing a recipe that features a full pound of dried beans, I cannot hide that I spent part of my life in poverty. Only necessity can create a soup that costs as low as a quarter a bowl.

I look back on some of the things I made during hard times, and I feel uplifted at how well I did. While I’d like to share all sorts of recipes, I do hope to post more of the frugal ones to honor that time of my life.

When I get around to buying all the necessary ingredients, I will tell you how I met the challenge of making 30 burritos with 10 dollars. Since the price of food has risen so much in the past decade, it may be impossible to replicate the recipe at such a low price. I’d love to see a stash of homemade burritos in my freezer again.

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