Activity 2 Food Memory

Throughout our shelter in place, I’ve been thinking a lot about food. In my house, this happens mostly through lists. We have a list of recipes to try and a list of our favorite, easy-to-cook meals. We have a list of meals that make leftovers for lunch and a list of neighborhood restaurants still doing take out. Most importantly, we have a hopeful, idealized shopping list that inevitably gets edited at the store depending on what’s in stock. Not to worry, we also have a list of food to look for during next week’s outing. So……let’s draw a map of a food memory.

Prompts

Pen, pencil, note cards, journal, note pad

Take a few minutes to pause and think about your memories of food.

photograph of a list of food experiences

While focusing your attention on your memories of food, list any associations that pop into your mind. Use the prompts below or simply spend some time with your thoughts.

  • What is your favorite food right now? Where is the first place you ate it? Where is the best (or worst) place you ate it?
  • What was your favorite food as a child? Is it still important to you now? What foods did your parents or grandparents make for special occasions? Are there any flavors or smells that instantly transport you to the past?
  • What food or flavors do you remember from your travels? Is there something you ate on a trip that you’ve never eaten since? Is there something you loved when traveling but it just doesn’t taste the same without that view of the setting sun?
hand drawn map of a roadtrip through the united states
Joli Reichel, Childhood Car Rides (1989-2007), 2009 [various locations]

Drawing

Letter or A4 size paper, pen, pencils, Sharpie markers, colored pencils, ruler

Begin your drawing by choosing a subject. You could create a map of the best pizzas you’ve ever eaten (or the worst), a diagram of your ideal salad, or a map of your quarantine take out splurges.

It’s worth taking a moment to consider the importance of geography to the memory you’ve chosen. If specific places are key elements, be sure to include details that reference geography (as in the map of childhood car rides above). If not, your drawing can be more of a diagram. In the drawing below, for example, I’ve focused on individual foods and ingredients rather than cartographic details.

hand drawn map of a care package of italian food
Kris Harzinski, Care package from my grandparents circa 1985, 2020 [Pennsylvania and North Dakota]

Additional Inspiration: maps to food

interstitial image late to the latte