Reading Response #7

Another sequential reading assignment. Read the following stories in the order listed. In your journal, collect your thoughts as you go along.

Journal #6

To what extent, if at all, do you think/care about where your food comes from? What do I mean by where? Whatever you want it to mean. Geographically, ecologically, figuratively, metaphorically. If you do think/care about this, why? And to what degree? And for what specific foods do you most think about this? If you don’t care about this, why? As with all these journal entries, there is not a right answer here. I’m just curious how much, if at all, you think about the point(s) of origin of the food you eat.

Thursday Active-Writing Assignment #5

Call three people you know — family member, friend, etc. — and tell them that, for your food-writing class, you have to come up with story ideas that touch on the intersection of food and culture. Ask for some ideas. Log these ideas in your journal — 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 by 5pm CT on Friday 10/6.

Thursday Active-Writing Assignment #4

  • Go into a gas station or find a vending machine and get something. Bag of Cheetos. Roll of Sweetarts. One Atomic Fireball. Combos. One of those small boxes of Lemonheads or Johnny Apple Treats. Whatever. Some junk food or candy that you like.
  • Find out as much as you can about the origin of that thing you’ve bought. Don’t just use Wikipedia. See if there’s a number or contact info for company who makes it. Call. Write. Do some research. If you’re feeling especially go-gettery, you can even use Nexis Uni or some database from the UA library to look for old newspaper articles about the thing.
  • In addition to (or maybe instead of) the origin of the thing, you could look for episodes throughout history when the thing had a cultural moment. Did a president love them? Or were they on a famous TV show or were they featured on a big Super Bowl commercial or in a viral TikTok? Has Kelis tweeted about them? Etc.
  • Write all this in your journal.

Reading Response #5

Your response to the reading below should be in your Reading Responses doc by 5pm CT on Monday, October 2.

  1. Read this Food Republic Q&A with John Lasater, founder of Hattie B’s.
  2. Then read this Betsy Phillips essay in the Nashville Scene.
  3. Then read this Rachel L. Martin story in the Bitter Southerner.
  4. 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?

Journal #5

On Tuesday, we talked about the guys who cook in the woods and other food TikTokers. 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. (We recently made hash browns in a mini waffle maker — pretty good!) For this week’s journal, I want you to continue this conversation and explore how social media affects your food/cooking habits. How much does your social media consumption influence what you cook/eat on a daily basis? Is social media your main source of inspiration for ideas? Or do you instead know what you want and go to TikTok, etc. for ideas on how to make it? Put another way: Does what you watch have a bigger influence on what you cook/eat or how you cook/eat? (In other words, is it more meal ideas or technique? Or both? Or something else?)

Journal #4

Two steps to this one: 1) Think of something you love to eat and then write the recipe for it. Don’t look up recipes as reference. Just do the best you can and write it in your own words. 2) Once you’ve written the instructions for the recipe, go back and write an introductory headnote for it. The headnote, which should be 200-350 words, is basically a place to tell the recipe reader/user some context that will help them better understand the history of, occasion for, and/or technique to produce the recipe. As you saw with this week’s reading, it can be any combination of personal history, food history, cultural history, ingredient context or technical detail. But it needs to flow. It can’t just be a hodgepodge of things. Like a story, it should have some internal logic.