The Food That Connects Us

yorkshire puddings wrapped in gray linen checkered tea towel

I am the last keeper of this simple family tradition: Yorkshire Pudding.

I grew up enjoying these at every holiday meal my Sussex-born grandparents hosted and I absolutely love them. They were my late grandfather's favorite and when my grandmother, whose health and mind are escaping her now, saw them today it brought tears to her eyes.

I don't have deep roots here at home. Deep roots don't come out of a single birth, but many. My ancestors didn't farm this soil or trek these mountains. I often wonder what the scope of the loss is for most of us Americans whose flesh and blood evolved on different soil. I wish I could harvest from the same nut tree as my great grandmother. Or sit by the salty sea under the full moon looking out across the same vast nothingness as the three, four, or maybe five women before me. Or sow into the decades-old cottage garden that my great grandmother fed her family through the war with. What would existence look like with that amount of spirit woven into every leaf and seed, every granular of soil?

In some way making these simple little battered puds is like tapping into a thin tattered strand of root buried somewhere deep in my DNA. A single strand that takes me back to doing the same simple task as many of the women before me; measuring flour, cracking eggs, stirring batter, pouring, baking, serving - whole-heartedly.

Food, what nourishes, sustains, and influences our existence, has the power to connect us to so much more than we are led to believe.

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