Thoughts on Food/Food for Thought

In our most recent Creative Writing ZOOM class, sponsored by New Horizons Senior Center, the prompt was the topic “fun.” I wrote a jingle (below) and my writing friend Helen wrote about her experience of cooking with her daughter-in- law’s family. Here is an excerpt from Helen’s essay that could be called “Family Fun with Food” or “Fun in the Kitchen.” For Helen,  the kitchen is her sanctuary, as she notes below. I am posting this because many people dislike to cook, and I think one of the reasons is that it is generally a solitary activity, unlike what Helen describes.  Thanx, Helen!
(P.S. I put in bold my favorite part and the photo of a Vietnamese food buffet is from the internet.)

My Funs* by Helen Lu


* Helen also wrote about travel fun, so I left her Title: My Funs (Helen’s word), perfect for Helen’s complete essay!)

My older son Henry has a large house with a big back yard and an outdoor pool in West Chester County.  His wife Linda’s two sisters and their families live close by. When their parents visit Henry’s house, they have a family dinner gathering. They never do potluck dinner. They cook Cambodian or Vietnamese dishes on that day.

Linda’s mother does the cooking. Linda and her two sisters do the food preparation. When they have a family gathering, David and I are invited to join them. I am always pleased to go and jump to the work force as soon as I arrive there. I take my assignment to prepare food for their mother to cook.

I find the sound of chopping, cutting, sizzling, kettle’s hissing, pot’s clanking…amusing. It calms my mind. My mouth is watering from the aromatic stewing pot. My hands burn from the hot pepper. I swallow my saliva from the sour lemon juice. However, the kitchen is my sanctuary.

Indeed, I always learn something from their conversation among the siblings, children and grandchildren in the kitchen or at the dining table.


Joy vs Fun by ellensue

My having fun has been replaced
With finding JOY at a measured pace:

Taking walks
Reading books
Never minding
How something looks.


 Planting flowers
Breathing deep
Staying in touch
With no promises to keep.

 Doing a chore
That seems inane,
Like cleaning a closet
To keep me sane.

Having fun is very fleeting
Finding joy is worth repeating
If the world is new each morn
Then no need to be forlorn.

Celebrate each day with JOY!
Carry it with you….like precious toy!

P.S. My husband and I love plants and we have very large floor to ceiling windows with many, many plants plus plants on the patio of our apartment. But I still get joy from fresh flowers in a vase that I see as soon as I come into
our cozy kitchen.

Imagine it! by Laurie David and Heather Reisman

Of all the books I have read so far, this one, Imagine it! is probably the best choice for taking action right now! The subtitle: “a handbook for a happier planet” could also add ….and happier humans. It is a handbook, and maybe a blueprint, because each chapter, called Shifts, since the actions require a shift in our thinking, is filed with ideas, actions, helpful websites, etc.

There are seven shifts/chapters, which are listed below and cover all the topics currently and hopefully being addressed by people and countries concerned about the tipping point:

1. Shift 1: Our Plastic Footprint

2. Shift 2: Our Food Imprint

3. Shift 3: Our Clothing Footprint

4. Shift 4: Our Chemical Footprint

5. Shift 5: Our Paper Footprint

6. Shift 6: Our Water Footprint

7. Shift 7: Our Transportation Footprint

After these chapters are the Appendices, which are also valuable resources because they include a Glossary,a sampler draft of an Advocacy Letter,a list of Environmental Groups, Recommended Reading, TV, Films, and Documentaries, and pages of the author’s Favorite Products that are “environmentally safe”.

The two authors have done an excellent job of putting all of this together in a user-friendly handbook, with photos, quotes and essays. Additionally, the print is larger than most books, so reading the pages goes quickly. The authors are both media people and have done an excellent job of putting together a guidebook for everyone, young or old. Laurie David was actually one of the producers of An Inconvenient Truth, the Academy Award winning documentary spearheaded by former Vice-President Al Gore. Heather Reisman makes documentaries among other talents and chairs the Love of Reading Foundation. Both women have good credentials and good sense!

I highly recommend this book for individual, especially teachers, as well as environmental groups looking for guidance on where to get started. It’s right here in Imagine it! published by Rodale Books ( and costs $19.99, with 250 pages packed full of ideas, actions, and how to make a difference.

Earth Day Every Day!

P.S. I will post my first “action” this week.

Copyright ©2022 Ellen Sue Spicer-Jacobson. | Website by Parrish Digital.