Counting Peas: Teaching Language Through Food by Monica Bhide at Life of Spice
Here’s a wonderful story for a snowy Friday morning. (We find ourselves with another snow day. And while I won’t complain, because I have a ton of grading for the end of the marking period due Wednesday, I also don’t know if a full-out cancellation was really necessary. I think I’ll be a sad, sad Susan over spring break when we get a day off because all of these snow days have chipped into our break.)
This article, which originally appeared in the Washington Post, is a lovely example of the power of food to bring generations together. I loved how the author intertwined culture, language, food, and memory together in a snippet of a memoir. Her vivid images of shelling peas with her son–and the parallels between winding dough with her Bahenjee in her own childhood–were captivating. I was also fascinated about her reminiscing of her background and of her family friend–the insights into the culture and the storytelling traditions were interesting. And while I had to smile at the mash-up of cultures when traditional storytelling of witches and princesses meets Buzz Lightyear, I’m certain that the author’s son will remember those moments–and I hope that he can look back and appreciate the traditional stories through those memories. I hope they’re still shelling peas and taking, about the deep questions she recounts at the end of the article or about memories and culture, surely no less important than the big questions about war and life and death.