Eat a Memory #2

Eat a Memory is a series of activities exploring food and meals as performed memories, and cooking as preserving family and community history.

The Eat a Memory #2 was organised in collaboration with Marketview Heights Collective Action Project in Rochester (USA), and researchers at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). Residents in the community were invited to share their memories through a joint meal in form of a potluck. Also see Eat a Memory #1.

Food memories to share

Figure 1. Food memories to share. Photo: Jane Amstey.

The invitation

Welcome to a gathering Eat a Memory
Time: Thursday, March 12, 2015, noon – 2 PM
Location: Susan B. Anthony Apartments Community Room
127 First Street, Rochester

Your Grandparents’ Gardens
Eat a Memory is an open invitation to a gathering where we share food that has a particular memory, something grown or cooked by your grandparents or similar person important in your family history. We do this in various locations in the world, as a way to get to know people and communities and to look into histories of people and places. We would like to meet with those who are interested and want to develop a project with us!

Please bring a dish from your family memories. An ingredient, a vegetable, a fruit, a soup, a dessert – something that your grandparents (or any other important person from your childhood) served you when you were a child. If they had a garden, bring something that could have grown in their backyard. If they lived in the city, bring something that they got for you in the grocery store. The gathering is about performing memories by tasting flavors from your childhoods, and sharing these memories by sharing a meal together. The meal becomes a performed memory, preserving history, as an archive that travels through time and place, from mouth to mouth.

The menu

The menu

Figure 2. Menu in the making. Photo: Jane Amstey

Eat a Memory with Marketview Height Collective Action Project Menu.

Figure 3. The menu. Photo: Jane Amstey.

Pulled Pork BBQ

“When there is not three feet of snow in the backyard, I’ll do it on the grill.”

Judy with her pulled pork

Figure 4. Judy with her pulled pork. Photo: Jane Amstey.

Pulled pork

Figure 5. After 6 hours on the stove CC: BY-NC.

Pork Belly Buns

“This is ramen, fat, muscles, and more fat – pork belly”.

Pork belly

Figure 6. Tender pork belly CC:BY-NC.

Biscuits, butter, honey

“My grandmother used to make these biscuits to almost every meal. Whenever I make these biscuits it always makes me think about her.”

Listen to the story.

Ann with her biscuts

Figure 7. On Sundays after church served with butter and honey. Photo: Jane Amstey.

Red Rice and Beans

“Red rice and beans made with sofrito. This is mainly what hispanics eat.”

Listen to the story.

Red rice and beans

Figure 8. Sharing joint food memories CC:BY-NC.

Fried Pork

Fried pork

Figure 9. Martin’s fried pork CC:NY-BC.

Grilled Cheese

“My grandmother would make grilled sandwiches with cheese.”

Picture shared of Keturah with Grandmother

Figure 10. Picture shared of Keturah with her grandmother. Photo: Jane Amstey.


“My mother used to grow the ingredients to the sofrito in her garden.”

Sofrito up close

Figure 11. Puertoricaner sofrito. Photo: Jane Amstey.


“My grandmother and I shared that special bond together, cause I was the only grandchild that actually ate the prunes, and like them.”

Listen to the story.


Figure 12. Prunes that help the system CC:NY-BC.

Swedish Ginger Cookies


Figure 13. Swedish gingerbread cookies a.k.a “pepparkakor” CC:BY-NC.


“Buckwheat used to be an important crop in Southern Sweden.”

Listen to the story.


Figure 14. Blinis made of buckwheat, served with sour cream, fish roe, and chopped onion. Photo: Jane Amstey.

Lentil Soup

“My mother was a pretty good cook. She made minestrone, which is basically just vegetable, but I would always ask her to put in a lot of beans. I love beans.”

Listen to the story.

Tony with his lentil soup

Figure 15. Italian lentil soup. Photo: Jane Amstey.

Sweet Potato Pie

“Sweet potato pie is a great Southern dish.”

Listen to the story.

Sweet Potato Pie

Figure 16. Ingredients from the Southern region. Photo: Jane Amstey.

Sharing memories

Figure 17. Sharing memories around the table. Photo: Jane Amstey.



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