NEW! Google Custom Search

Loading

Meaning of food - pbs.org

Lword's picture

This is a three-part show and quite interesting so far. http://www.pbs.org/opb/meaningoffood/ I love it when there is something worthwhile on the ol' tube.


Edit: I meant to give this teaser


The Meaning of Food is an exploration of culture through food. What we consume, how we acquire it, who prepares it, who’s at the table, and who eats first is a form of communication that is rich with meaning.


Edited 4/11/2005 3:28 am ET by Lword

L.
"If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one." Mother Teresa
Shaye's picture

(post #43457, reply #1 of 20)

I saw that the other night. I had insomnia and it was on. It was interesting. I was fascinated by the women in the concentration camps giving each other recipes as a mental escape from their situation. I'd like to find that cookbook.
I'm looking forward to the second instalment.

AmyElliesMom's picture

(post #43457, reply #2 of 20)

Oh, I saw that too, and I was crying. I can so imagine myself doing that. Knowing I might never cook my favorites recipes again, but sharing them anyway. I don't think I could read that cookbook, though, without bawling. But I'd love to cook their recipes. What a way to continue their legacy.


DON'T PANIC

You live and learn. At any rate, you live..
- Douglas Adams

 

Save the Earth! It's the only planet with wine and chocolate.

Jillsifer's picture

(post #43457, reply #3 of 20)

If it's the book I'm thinking of, it's called In Memory's Kitchen: A Legacy from the Women of Terezin and Amazon.com has it listed for $25.00. (I want it too!)

Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart.

-- Washington Irving

AmyElliesMom's picture

(post #43457, reply #4 of 20)

That's the one. They made a point in the show of talking about a recipe for candy that the lady specified must be wrapped in pink paper...that's what started the waterworks for me.


DON'T PANIC

You live and learn. At any rate, you live..
- Douglas Adams

 

Save the Earth! It's the only planet with wine and chocolate.

Jillsifer's picture

(post #43457, reply #5 of 20)

I hear ya--I've (re)buried myself in a lot of Holocaust narrative the last month or two (dunno why) and all of a sudden EVERYTHING is making me tear up. Although I DO want that book--may have to buy it and ignore it for a while.


Violette Szabo--the latest tearjerker for me.

Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart.

-- Washington Irving

butterscotch's picture

(post #43457, reply #8 of 20)

I haven't seen the show or the cookbook, but your post made me think of an article I read a few years ago about the best known food writer in Israel. I believe she is a food columnist for the Jerusalem Post and has published several cookbooks. One of her specialties is reconstructing lost recipes. Holocaust survivors write to her about their food memories and she supplies the recipes. Some of the requests are unbearably sad. One man from Lithuania wanted the recipe for the potato bread his mother was baking when the Nazis came and took her away.


P.S. Unfortunately, I can't remember the name of the columnist. If anyone knows, could you please post it?

Lword's picture

(post #43457, reply #9 of 20)

Could it be Phyllis Glazer?


Meow, thanks for that link. Looks like my opinion wouldn't  count there!


L.
L.
"If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one." Mother Teresa
butterscotch's picture

(post #43457, reply #11 of 20)

Good guess--but it's not Phyllis Glazer. I did some searching on the web because my inability to come up with the name was driving me crazy. It's Nira Rousso.

Lword's picture

(post #43457, reply #13 of 20)

Thanks for the new name! I googled her and found this both fascinating and devastating (my emphasis).


Nira Rousso is food writer for Israel’s Ha’aretz newspaper. Her subject, "300 Calories per Person: Observations on the Ethics and Poetics of Food Deprivation during the Holocaust", of course appeared a little daunting. Nira explained how her mission began with a letter from a reader requesting help in finding the recipe for a dish his mother had cooked (the dish is called Mandelbuchnik, mandelbourchinik or bulbanick and is a savoury bread made from potato). The response she got was astonishing and has resulted in her role in retrieving and archiving the lost culinary treasures of Ashkenazi Jewry. Those of you familiar with the Terezin concentration camp cookbook In Memory’s Kitchen, may still be surprised to discover that it is only one of many such books, attesting to the centrality of foodways in Jewish life and women’s identity. It was with great pleasure that I was able to give her a copy of Fantasy Cooking, a book edited by Australian Jewish survivor Edith Peer, purchased from the Jewish Museum in Sydney. It was devastating to learn that the Nazis had actually calculated that 300 calories per day would ensure that a (male) slave labourer could work and live for exactly 3 months. Nira mediated her talk with artwork from Holocaust survivors and though all of us turned up from a sense of duty we took something precious away. Contemplation of lack of food felt like a responsible note on which to end this culinary talkfest. (more at http://www.arts.adelaide.edu.au/centrefooddrink/articles/reporteatdrinkmerry.html)


For those whose PBS station isn't carrying Meaning of Food, their website has nice tidbits and recipes http://www.pbs.org/opb/meaningoffood/.


 


L.
L.
"If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one." Mother Teresa
butterscotch's picture

(post #43457, reply #14 of 20)

Your last post was very interesting. It certainly can be devastating to really contemplate what went on in the concentration camps. For years I was afraid to read much in the way of descriptions. I didn't mind as much reading about how people were killed, but I couldn't stand reading the details of how they had to live day-to-day, particularly the psychological tortures inflicted by the Nazis. Finally, I joined a reading group where we took up the subject and I overcame this fear by reading a lot of books about it. Even so, like everybody else, I still find it difficult to learn the details and, when I hear new ones, I can't forget them.


This whole thread reminds me of tales I heard from a friend's mother who was imprisoned in a camp as a teenage girl. She said that when she and a friend in the camp were hungry, they would talk about their favorite meals, course by course, and that these talks always left them feeling full.

AmyElliesMom's picture

(post #43457, reply #15 of 20)

The ability of man to be cruel to his fellow man is beyond my ability to conceive. From the Trail of Tears, to the treatment of Armenians at the hands of Turkey, to the Holocaust, to the current genocides in Africa, I cannot understand hatred.

But hearing how individuals survive these horrors, and not only survive them, but go on with their lives and not become filled with hate and bitterness - it really makes me think about my own life.

And if it's really worth complaining about the small bothers I encounter.

It really doesn't matter if Food Network is full of fat, obnoxious, blowhards, does it? It doesn't matter if someone takes my parking space. It doesn't matter that someone left a nasty note on my car.

I have plenty of food to eat, a warm/cool place to sleep, and medical care for my daughter.

I live in paradise.


DON'T PANIC

You live and learn. At any rate, you live..
- Douglas Adams

 

Save the Earth! It's the only planet with wine and chocolate.

pamilyn's picture

(post #43457, reply #16 of 20)

Amen...glad Li closed down the other thread.

The purpose of Art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls

pamilyn's picture

(post #43457, reply #17 of 20)

Just called the library...there is a waiting list for the book!..Pamilyn

The purpose of Art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls

AmyElliesMom's picture

(post #43457, reply #18 of 20)

I don't know if I could read it. I really don't know.

I know that when I was a kid, and after Mom left Dad, we were poor. Like government cheese poor. I didn't realize it at the time, but Mom often "ate a big lunch" so Matthew and I could have a full plate at dinner. She just went without.

But we'd have these elaborate, imaginary dinner parties. We'd watch all the home shows and cooking shows on the weekend, back when PBS showed them and not those stupid Suze Orman seminars like they do now. And we talk about our dream house, and our dream kitchen and our dream dinner, and how we'd have cake every day, and what kind of roast beef we'd make. And Matt and I would always talk about how when we grew up, we'd have store bought bread, and lunchmeat and name-brand cereal. So I can really see how for people for whom food was a big part of their lives before, they would do this imaginary cooking. It does leave you sated in some way.

I think that's also why I wanted to be a cook when I was a kid. I wanted to make people full and happy.

And I know that even now, both Mom and I have to remind ourselves its okay to not have every cabinet and the fridge and freezer full to capacity, lol! I mean, there still isn't alot of money, but we certainly have enough to have cable and internet access, you know? We should probably cut them out, but we're spoiled now! And we've got enough to eat healthily, if not gourmet.

And food is still such a huge part of our lives. It just isn't a celebration without food. And if you've got enough food, it's automatically a celebration, holiday or not!

Part of me really wants to read the cookbook, and make the recipes so that the women will live on, but since I cry just thinking about it, I don't know if I could emotionally handle it. It seems so silly, to get emotionally overwhelmed by a cookbook, but food is so emotional to me, to actually cook the recipes of these women would to be a part of their life. They would become part of my family, and I would have to mourn them, even though I never knew them.


DON'T PANIC

You live and learn. At any rate, you live..
- Douglas Adams

 

Save the Earth! It's the only planet with wine and chocolate.

Jillsifer's picture

(post #43457, reply #19 of 20)

Amy, what's wrong with crying over them? Get the book, read it, try a recipe or two, and let yourself cry--tears for someone you never knew mean that your heart is soft and that you feel connected to humanity, and only a heartless monster would take you to task for that. (AND you can always dismiss the heartless monsters with a flick of your wrist anyhow!)


 

Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart.

-- Washington Irving

KarenP's picture

(post #43457, reply #10 of 20)

I haven't seen the show or the cookbook, but your post made me think of an article I read a few years ago about the best known food writer in Israel.


I haven't either.  The PBS station in our area is going to rerun it again starting on Sunday.  May be worth a look if you're interested.

butterscotch's picture

(post #43457, reply #12 of 20)

Thanks, I will try to catch. It's not on our local PBS station right now.

Risottogirl's picture

(post #43457, reply #6 of 20)

Caught it by accident and LOVED it!

I was 32 when I started cooking; up until then, I just ate
Julia Child

Water is a great ingredient to cook with, it has such a neutral flavor - Bobby Flay

meow's picture

(post #43457, reply #7 of 20)

There's an interesting review of this series on Egullet:

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=65011

 


Singing Die Zauberflöte in English is like eating at the Olive Garden.

 

Singing Die Zauberflöte in English is like eating at the Olive Garden.

abcli's picture

Nira Rousso's talk in Adelaide (post #43457, reply #20 of 20)

Hello,

 

i don't know if this will reach the person who wrote a comment 8 years ago… I 'm a French researcher and came across your comment;  I'd very very intrested in getting a hold of Nira Rousso's talk in Adelaide. Was it published somewhere ? Thanks.