ROOTS—THEY’RE NOT JUST CARROTS AND POTATOES. Roots remind us of our heritage and our connection to the land. In this issue, their ever-expanding and interconnected nature is explored through stories, art, photography, and comics: learn about a Black-owned BBQ enterprise that binds multiple generations; reflect on the bittersweet nostalgia of Jell-O salads, kitschy vintage cookies, and a Mother’s Day gone awkwardly wrong. Meet a cluster of sauce-makers and a Navajo food podcaster; and walk with four intrepid young women laying down new roots outside the traditional concept of the modern farmer.
KITCHEN TABLE #5: THE ROOTS ISSUE is about place-based culture that influences how we eat. Whether it’s the straight-up joy of a Mid-western White Castle slider or an inventive chef discovering the pleasures of vegetables through foraging in nature, the food traditions that we carry with us and the ones we build around us continue to reverberate through the communities in which we grow.
Whether it’s a recipe passed down through the generations or one created yesterday and served with love to a chosen family, food draws upon our roots and allows us to honor and learn from the past in order to savor the present and grow in the future.
ON THE COVER
QUEER ARTIST DOROTHY SIEMENS draws on her Ukrainian roots, with a glorious and joyful image of people cooking for each other.
A LONG-LOST RECIPE for a gaudy 1950s cookie evokes a grandmother’s care packages; the hunt for the origin of a mysterious Jell-O salad; a steamy romance over nicoise salad; a young Japanese woman records and illustrates the small-producer winemaking scene in Champagne, France; a comicstrip ode to White Castle sliders; and a reminder to eat the rainbow—the nacho rainbow.
MAKING A NEW HOME with family in Xoxollywood, Mexico; from small-town Indiana to Southern California, a young man immerses himself in his surroundings on the way to becoming a chef and forager; from urban backyards to pastoral rural landscapes, farms are where you find them. Bringing kids into the home garden.
THE MULTI-GENERATIONAL SAGA that is Felton and Mary’s, a barbecue business that’s provided employment and connection for one family resourceful and adaptable enough to change with the times; a disastrous Mother’s Day that ends in tears and laughter; learn about the new wave of small farmers that are rethinking what it means to be in agriculture.
- Lovage, Actually
- Nasturtium Capers
- Chicken & Rice
- Coconut Cherry Bonbon Cookies
- Tofu Scramble
- Personal Pandemic Pretzel Salad
- Shrub Spritzer
WORD FROM THE KITCHEN: umami
“…a serious flavor, different from the sweet, sour, salt, and bitter we have traditionally defined as our taste receptors.”