My oldest son turned 15yo this weekend. I made him bacon and a toad-in-the-hole. This week, I’d like you to write about a food memory attached to a birthday of yours.
Thursday Active-Writing Assignment #6
Call three people you know — family member, friend, etc. — and tell them you have to come up with story ideas for your food-writing class. Ask for some ideas. Log these ideas — even the uninteresting, ridiculous, or incomplete ones — and then pick one that you could envision pursuing in some form. Write a 150-word pitch for this idea. Due: 5pm CT on Friday 9/30.
Reading response #6
Your response to the reading below should be in your Reading Responses doc by 5pm CT on Monday, October 3.
Please read the following (longish) stories:
- Consider the Lobster, by David Foster Wallace (Gourmet)
- Crunch: Building a Better Apple, by John Seabrook (The New Yorker)
One of my children was obsessed for a while with a cake designer on TikTok. We’ve tried to make a couple of cakes from his feed. (They didn’t look great, but they tasted good.) We’ve also tried a bunch of cooking “hacks” he’s come across on TikTok, Instagram, etc. (This weekend, we made hash browns in a mini waffle maker — pretty good!) For this week’s journal, I want you to explore how social media affects your food/cooking habits.
Reading Response #5
Your response to the reading below should be in your Reading Responses doc by 5pm CT on Monday, September 26.
- Read this Food Republic Q&A with John Lasater, founder of Hattie B’s.
- Then read this Betsy Phillips essay in the Nashville Scene.
- Then read this Rachel L. Martin story in the Bitter Southerner.
- Respond with several paragraphs of thoughts about these pieces. How, if at all, did your perspective change as you read? How do these stories about a food trend touch on broader cultural issues?
Thursday active-writing assignment #5
Note: This is not due until Monday 9/26 at 5pm, but don’t wait until the last minute to do it.
- Go to a nearby grocery store. (I’d rather you go to a traditional grocery story — Publix, Winn-Dixie, Piggly Wiggly, etc. — than to a box store.)
- Walk the aisles and look for what’s missing and/or in low supply. Make a list. Note whether all brands of a certain item seem low or if it’s just a single brand of a thing. (For example, maybe the store is low on all canned chickpeas. Or maybe it’s just, say, Goya canned chickpeas. If the latter, are other Goya canned beans in low stock? What about other Goya products in general? In other words, try to note what seems like a general shortage vs. a particular brand’s shortage.
- You don’t need to take an inventory of the whole store. Just make a list of everything you see, with a goal of at least five things.
- Pick one of those things and do some Googling to see if you can find any reporting on the shortage. Maybe call the customer service line for a company whose product is in short supply. If you can’t find anything on the first item you choose, try a different one until you find something. Link to the article you find and write a really short summary of what it says. Then add something — an observation, an insight, a question — of your own.
- Please finish by Monday 9/26 at 5pm CT.
What does Coca Cola mean to you?
Thursday Active-Writing Assignment #4
- Take a pen and notebook and head outside.
- For 15 minutes, make a list of everything you see, smell, feel, touch, taste, hear. The list can just be words and phrases. Try to change your perspective by walking around or getting down on the ground, or looking up. You get the idea.
- Take your list to your computer and open your Journal doc on Google Drive.
- Look over your list and pick three things to which you can attach some memory involving food. Write a longish paragraph about each of these memories.
- That is all.
Reading Response #4
Going a little light this week because you have your first story due Friday. Your response to the two readings below should be in your Journal doc by 5pm CT on Monday, September 19.
Advice for Future Food Writers, by Amanda Hesser (food52)
On Chicken Tenders, by Helen Rosner (Guernica)
In at least a few paragraphs, write about your ideal sandwich. Maybe you’ve had this sandwich. Maybe you haven’t.