Humanity topics include pieces on the real lives of chefs, professionals, amateurs, inspiring youth, influencers, and general feel good human stories in the Feast food sphere.
Burnt ends and loose ends
I was twelve when I learned that my grandfather was the Godfather of the KC mafia. I’d seen him on the news the night before getting arrested, murder the news anchor had said. A couple of days later though, here I was, sitting across from him in our favorite local joint, called Snead’s, celebrating my birthday with some delicious kc-style BBQ. The family sat along a row of tables that the owner had pushed together, trying to accommodate everyone.
Under the Corner Streetlamp
Celia looked down at the text on her phone from her older sister, Monica, as she was strolling to her café in downtown Portsmouth, New Hampshire. She carefully moved along over the cobblestone sidewalks keeping her face mask up and looking at her phone. She knew it was not safe to walk and text, but hell nothing was safe these days. The bag of groceries she was carrying was becoming heavy as the plastic bag was pulling on her wrist. Monica was debating whether to get the vaccine as she was in the next round of eligibility. Celia’s brother in-law, Monica’s husband, was against the vaccine but her sister, always undecided, wanted Celia’s opinion. “Up to you” was Celia’s ambivalent reply as she put the key into her door of her café which had been closed for two months. She was not trying to sound indifferent, but she was so done with this whole pandemic, and the life that was now this “new normal!” She sent Monica a smiley emoji and texted “Got to go!”
Balms Not Bombs
I can taste it before I start. The slightly springy texture of rice cakes, the perfect imperfection of handmade noodles, the rich briney, earthy broth, the silky texture of the most delicately poached egg. My mom is pining for Rice Cake soup, which we traditionally eat on New Year’s Day...both of them. Roman and lunar, although my personal sense of renewal seems more to coincide with the latter - something about not being committed to the same date, each year, feels right to my sensibilities. This is the year of the ox, lumbering in slowly, cautiously after the dynamic expression of 2020. Collectively, we are weary and worn.
Cooking in Quarantine
Cooking has a huge impact in my family. My grandmother is known for her fried chicken, yams and banana pudding. My mother, who is the “chef in our family”, is known for her Gumbo, ox tails and Better than Sex Cake. My sister is also an amazing cook who makes the best Macaroni and Cheese, fried chicken, Butter Toffee cake and many more things. However, no one knew me as a “cook”. I wanted to learn how to cook and have always been fascinated with cooking. My mother started teaching me how to cook at the age of 10. As I got older cooking wasn’t what I needed to learn but what I wanted to learn. Before Covid and the quarantine, I was just cooking to eat. Now, I cook as a hobby.
Hotter than Hot
It was a number of years ago now that I experienced something no man, woman or child should experience. Granted, this wasn't of a grisly, perverse or scarring nature, but BOY was it something else.
Journal of a Former Cooking Hater
I was a cooking hater! I hated to cook. When I lived on my own, I had to. It was called survival. Now, I have mostly taken over the kitchen and I actually like it. Love may be too strong of a term, but liking it makes it easier to get out there and do it.
& Bring a Merlot
Boxing Day used to be my favorite day of the year. When your family came over on Christmas Day, I was under the pump. Your mother loathed me because I’m blonde, blue eyed, English, not Greek. ‘The English can’t cook – everyone knows that’, she’d rudely informed me. I rose to her challenge. Hey! What challenge? There was no challenge. Her idea of well-cooked lamb was charcoaled. Her biscuits were dry, and she always incorporated coconut and almond, both of which I am allergic to. In her lounge, the woman had placed a vase in front of my photograph; only your face peeped around the edge while I remained obscured. She hated me – but you loved me.
My Name is Evan and I am a Chocoholic
It takes a lot of guts (no pun intended) to admit that you are a chocoholic! However, I am willing to admit right here, right now that one of my biggest guilty pleasures is to splurge on chocolate from time to time.
Food Will Always Win Over My Heart
Valentine’s Day. It’s the holiday equivalent of a bill collector’s phone call. Yes, I’m aware of my perpetual singleness. Thanks for reminding me. Another night of eating cold Chef Boy-Ardee out of the can before writing in my cry journal and rocking myself to sleep.
Being human is all about context. The depth of our individual humanity can only be judged in comparison with that of others.For every adjective that can be used to describe any one of us there arises a necessary comparison.How tall? How industrious how compassionate? The answer to any one of these questions necessitates a look both inward and outward.
Working my way out of a food prison
The beginning of the pandemic, around the same time last year and the related lockdowns, disoriented people worldwide. While everyone was locking themselves up, shuttering their businesses, fearing for their lives, and avoiding all outside contact to keep themselves and their families safe, one particular issue hit most people across the world the hardest, and in equal measure – how to get clean, healthy food in sufficient quantities for families to survive the lockdowns. Everyone would run-up to the grocery stores, only to find them stocked out of fresh produce (and toilet paper) and go on to find the next 3 grocery store stops in the same state. On one such occasion, after 2 hours of roaming about stores, all I could come back home with was one 2-pound cabbage and a bunch of bananas. Pretty sure everyone had similar experiences and it was not unique to me. What I didn’t realize at the time was that, even when there is no pandemic looming, for about 23.5 million Americans, this was a daily ordeal.
The Art of Tea
I have been a tea drinker for as long as I can remember. Given that I was born in California and grew up in a little ski town in Colorado, plain tea was the thing. Usually Lipton.