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Tag: memories

Children of the Corn Belt

As “corny” as it may seem, we really should spend some time thinking about corn. As a child, a corn field could frighten me. Once it surpassed “knee high by the Fourth of July” and my diminutive height, the rustle of the stalks and the greenish cast of the field would set my imagination on high alert–running wild with thoughts of that lurking beyond the first row. (Weirdly, as an adult, though, I enjoy Shyamalan’s movie, “Signs” for how brilliantly he captures that eeriness of a stand of corn).
These musings aside, the transformation from successful grass to commodity crop generates another kind of awe and proves to be an interesting history–and one that is well-documented within library collections. Among these collections are the titles listed below. Speak with your librarians for assistance locating these and related titles. Additional search terms, for use in library catalogs and journal indexes, include: maize, teosinte, and zea mays. Title: Handbook of Maize: Its Biology / edited by Jeff L. Bennetzen, Sarah C. Hake.
Publisher: New York: Springer, 2009.
Description: ix, 587 p.: ill. (some col.) ; 25 cm.
Notes: Includes bibliographical references and index.

Title: Corn: Origin, History, Technology, and Production /editors, C. Wayne Smith, Javier Betran, E.C.A. Runge.
Publisher: Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley, c2004.
Description: xi, 949 p., [8] p. of plates: ill. (some col.) ; 26 cm.
Notes: Includes bibliographical references and index.Author: Fussell, Betty Harper.
Title: The Story of Corn / Betty Fussell.
Publisher: New York: Knopf, 1992.
Description: 356 p.: ill. ; 25 cm.
Notes: Includes bibliographical references (p. [335]-344) and index.

Soon to be a Common Experience!

I was delighted to observe two women on my evening bus, one with title in hand, discussing In Defense of Food. Seeing as I was seated nearby, I was able to catch snatches from their conversation–that being an animated appraisal of Pollan’s adage to ‘not eat anything one’s great-grandmother would not recognize as food’ (Section III, Chapter Two). This suggestion from the text led them to share memories of family meals and food products available, then and now.

Of course, it resonates with me, too. Pastured as I was between my parents’ rural homestead and my grandparents’ farm, I was an equal opportunity diner drifting between whichever house was offering the best meal. My grandmother’s tour de force, though, was noon-lunch, and I was easily on hand. Given the enormous garden she cultivated, this noon-lunch always featured an abundance of whole foods. And, presentation mattered, with each course and side requiring its dedicated dishware and service. Flowers, too, with a heady fragrance (lilacs and peonies) festooned the table…

I now pause in my narrative and rambling nostalgia, to ask this blog readership…what are your food memories?