The Potlikker Papers – John T Edge


Earlier this spring, when I was doing my lecture series on Eucharistic Eating, one of the participants asked a question relating how the Eucharist was viewed in other cultural contexts. I didn’t have the answer to his question (my research is ongoing), but it did make me ask questions about my own reading experiences when it came to the subject of food.

Front cover of The Potlikker Papers

It seems to me, at times, that food writing is a particularly western, white, and privileged preoccupation. That may simply be due to my failure to find other writers. However, even a book like Mark Kurlansky’s Choice Cuts, shows a heavy tendency to lean in this direction.

I’ve tried to correct this somewhat in the intervening period. One thing I’ve done is become familiar with the work of Michael Twitty. The video below is a good introduction to some of his thinking.

There is a good selection of his videos available on YouTube, if you want to explore more.

One of the things the video above puts emphasis on is the need to credit that Black slave community for creations, Continue reading

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Klindienst – The Earth Knows My Name


A couple of weeks ago, I was on my way to lunch downtown, and decided I wanted something to read as I ate. So, I stopped into Bison Books and had a browse through their cookbook section. In among the cookbooks, I found two or three interesting non-cookbooks. After leafing through them, I decided upon The Earth Knows My Name: Food, Culture, and Sustainability in the Gardens of Ethnic Americansby Patricia Klindienst.

The Earth Knows My Name

Cover for The Earth Knows My Name

The Earth Knows my Name recounts two journeys, interwoven together. One journey consists of Klindienst’s visits to various ethnic gardens throughout the United States. The other journey takes the author back to her Italian roots. Continue reading

Berry: Bringing it to the Table


If you write about food long enough the name Wendell Berry will eventually come up. Berry, a Kentuckian, is a farmer, poet, novelist, and food activist. Bringing it to the Table: On Farming and Foodbrings together some of his thoughts on those subject spanning the last four decades.

Berry cover

Cover shot, Bringing it to the Table

Bringing it to the Table is a collection of Berry’s essays, focused on farming and farmers, along with a selection of his fiction dealing with the subject of food and eating together. The first two sections, on farming and farmers make up the bulk of the book.  Continue reading

Reading for the Common Good


Last week, Chris Smith, the editor of the Englewood Review of Books, celebrated his birthday by offering review copies of his latest book, Reading for the Common Good: How Books Help our Churches and Neighborhoods to FlourishSlow Church, Smith’s previous book written with Jon Pattison is one of my favourite books of the last few years. So, I eagerly accepted the offer to read through Smith’s latest offering.cover

The basic argument Smith puts forward is that it is important that congregations read together. Over time, reading together will transform not only congregations, but also their neighbourhoods around them. Continue reading

Monika K. Hellwig – Eucharist, Hunger


In a few weeks, with the beginning of Lent, I’m going to be starting a lecture series entitled: Eucharistic Eating. I’ll be publishing details in the near future. The main idea of the series is bringing our daily eating into the Eucharist, and bringing the Eucharist into our daily eating. One book that I’ve been reading in preparation is: The Eucharist and The Hunger of the World, by Monika K. Hellwig.

Cover photo

Cover photo

The Eucharist and the Hunger of the World was published in 1976. Although some of the issues dealt with have changed, there is much in the book that resonates in our world today. Continue reading