This blog post comes from Food Action Committee volunteer, poet, and farm kid at heart, Mary Ellen Sullivan.
Sometimes at the market you are introduced to a friend you are yet to meet. Sometimes you look at the cover and title of a book and realize you and the author would be great friends, maybe even relatives. That’s what happened when I spotted Mary Sue Waisman’s book, From the Heart of The Kitchen: A Daily Journal – 365 Inspirations to Feed Your Soul on the counter at Foxhill Cheese House’s booth at the Seaport Market. Richard Rand of Foxhill told me that Mary Sue is a friend of his and his wife Jeanita. The back cover told me she is a dietician, and has published three cookbooks.
In this sturdy, coiled book – meant to be well-used – she shares her daily meditations, reflections, and sometimes a food-treasure hunt. Entries range from “Do you know there is actually a marshmallow plant?” (July 20.) to “Have you ever been to a Festival of Forgotten Skills?” (Aug 26.) I love the image of being aware of a farmer’s strong grip as he shakes your hand – my dad had huge farmer hands. One of my favourites is “My dad grew up on a farm. When my children were very young, he always told them farm stories – true stories with hardship.” (July 2.)
And Mary Sue leaves a daily space for the thoughts, memories, and actions she sparks.
This is a book that I like to keep close to our dining table – a lovely way to bring family, meals, and thanksgivings together.
My wee verse for Mary Sue:
From the heart of the kitchen
Kids at the table
– Mary Ellen Sullivan