• Nora Walsh Kerr

Food for Thought


My family gathered around our dining room table, ~1980

Chalk it up to my love for food, but one of my favorite interview questions is about childhood family meals. There is so much nostalgia wrapped up in home cooking, whether it's Grandma's cookies, Mom's meatloaf, or Dad's pancakes. These people in our lives often show their love for us through food. In the careful dicing of vegetables, in the extra pat of butter, or the sugar sprinkled on top.


Just talking about it can bring back the sights, smells, and tastes of home. Plus, this one simple topic has so many layers, so many questions within! Who cooked the meals? What type of cooking was served? What meals did you love? What food did you hide in your napkin? Was there enough? Who was seated around the table? Where and when did you eat? What was mealtime conversation about? Then there are the meals around special events like holidays and birthdays that bring up other stories. Aside from opening presents, the food served on these special days are usually treasured memories. Around our table, Christmas meant beef tenderloin stuffed with spinach and mushrooms. Birthdays meant my favorite meal, my mom's cheesy, buttery, chicken-y rice that I have yet to be able to recreate successfully.


Meals are sustaining, universal, and so symbolic. It's about way more than food. Breaking bread with someone is one of the quickest ways to connect, as is sharing stories. So what about sharing stories about breaking bread? Talk about connecting with your fellow man! Try some of these questions out with your loved ones. Just be sure to bring some snacks.

Client photo, meal memories, 1970s