To live in the Borderlands means to
put chile in the borscht
eat whole wheat tortillas
speak Tex-Mex with a Brooklyn accent
to be stopped by la migra at the border check points…
–Gloria Anzaldúa, “Borderlands”
Welcome to my world.
A world of food stories, culinary memories, and recipes for trouble.
Trouble in this case means: non-normal, unruly, of the margins and wild borderlands Trouble means queer, means non-anglo, off-white; means anti-nationalist; means organizing for peace, not blood for oil; means trying to eat locally and organically when possible (not to mention affordable!) but not being all sanctimonious about it; means food as a way of expressing community, food as seduction, food as a sexy, sensual, fragrant, laborious, circuitous line of connection between lovers, among friends, colleagues and family, (however you may define that troubling, fleshy, ambiguous word).
My world begins here, which is to say here and there: in Vancouver and Toronto, with forays to San Francisco, Vancouver Island, Ottawa, Montreal, and beyond. My world is comprised of morsels, tart and sweet, salty and spicy.
A moment on a drizzly Vancouver day, my mother grabbing the dough from me as I knead it, taking it into her own beautifully time-worn hands where it becomes transformed into a fold of silky cloth.
ghosts of the Beats becomes a chance encounter with a simple, sublime dish of roastedeggplant rolled around ricotta spiced with nutmeg and a gentle marinara sauce.
An evening of making soup in my kitchen, at the fold of summer and autumn, where sweet corn and soya milk (yes, soya milk…), garlic and onions sidle up to the flirtacious acidity of tomatoes and lime, and proffer an invitation to dance.
My world is composed of many characters, several of them mine : teacher, writer, filmmaker, foodie. And a cast of friends, and ex-lovers, acquaintances, butch and femme
and tranny, queer , straight and inbetween, Ukrainian, Jewish, Scottish, German, Danish, English, Jamaican, Chinese, Newfie, South Asian, Californian, Bulgarian, Argentinian, Métis, Italian, tall, fat, portly, skinny, bleached blonde, hennaed, close-cropped, stylin’, messy, dignified, reserved, loquacious and licentious.
Food connects us to one another, and to the world. Russian philosopher Mikhail Bakhtin writes about eating: “the body here transgresses its own limits:it swallows, devours, rends the world apart…” Eating itself links me to ways of being in the world that are unruly, excessive,