"If you want to write, you can. Fear stops most people from writing, not lack of talent, whatever that is. Who am I? What right have I to speak? Who will listen to me if I do? You're a human being, with a unique story to tell, and you have every right. If you speak with passion, many of us will listen. We need stories to live, all of us. We live by story. Yours enlarges the circle."

How To Write

by Richard Rhodes

Eat, Darling, Eat is a community of storytellers exploring the mother/daughter relationship, each with a unique connection to something that's shared in all cultures, all families, all generations: food. It’s not about perfect meals (or perfect families), but food is a rich pathway for showing who we are and how we got here, for exploring the personalities, experiences, and family dynamics, sweet or sour.

 

We invite mothers to write about the challenges and pleasures of having a daughter, and daughters to write about Mom (or Mum or Mama), whether she was an omnipresent influence or a photograph in a frame, whether she peeled homegrown apples for homemade pies or considered Sara Lee a close friend. Every woman has a story, and everyone is welcome. Some of the questions here may poke your memory and start you thinking about your own story.

If you're a daughter:

  • Did your mother's approach to feeding the family inform your own ideas about traditional female roles? 

  • Did cooking with your mother help to develop your creativity, aesthetics, an appreciation of life’s luxuries, an accommodation to making do with less?

  • Did you learn teamwork, discipline, humor, bad habits?

  • Were family history, politics, or dynamics revealed?

  • Did a particular occasion—a holiday preparation, a newsworthy event, an emotional milestone—lead to mother-daughter bonding, fortified by tomato sauce, kimchi, or herbs de Provence?

  • If your mother couldn't/wouldn't cook, did you figure out why she she was who she was, as you poured hot sauce over her disaster dinners or ordered Szechuan take-out? 

If you're a mother:

  • Have you tried to pass along family heritage by sharing culinary traditions?

  • Did making brownies or biscuits together with your daughter help navigate a truculent teenaged decade?

  • Is your kitchen a place of such warmth and safety that you and your daughter could have a difficult conversation there?

  • If you didn't have much interest or many skills in the kitchen, how did your family get fed for a typical Tuesday dinner or Thursday breakfast?

  • Have you experienced one of life's little full circles by having your daughter cook for you?

  • If you and your daughter have different ideas about clothes, politics, or piercings, do you find common ground about food?

  • Does your family have an immigration story—hilarious, heartwarming, or heartbreaking?

We'd love to help you discover your story. If writing feels unfamiliar or challenging, we're happy to brainstorm, smooth and polish. Let us know: info@EatDarlingEat.net.