This week’s writing prompt is inspired by a video, thoughtfully shared by my friend Linda Nixon. It shows how to make mochi, rice cakes, filled with red bean paste, one of my favorite Japanese treats. (If you haven’t experienced it in this exact way, you might have enjoyed it as part of a Trader Joe’s ice cream treat.) Oh, yum!
This video brings back memories for me, because I experienced the joy — and challenge — of pounding rice for mochi with my students in Shuho-cho, Japan!
Now, onto our writing prompt: Think of a food that is special to your family. Maybe its special-ness has to do with how it’s made, like this mochi. Or perhaps it has to do with its history (I’m thinking of my husband’s family’s braised reindeer recipe, learned from a celebrated chef in Finland). Or maybe its special-ness has to do with who first shared the recipe with you (I can smell my Grandma McKinnon’s oatmeal cookies now!). Or perhaps it has to do with a moment in time … like the lentil soup my Mom started making after her 1970s cancer scare (farewell, cream-of-mushroom-soup-coated pork chops … hello, lentil soup and chili).
Think of a defining recipe in your family. Then write about it! This might be a how-to piece … or it might be a history-sharing piece … or it might be an exploration of emotions you feel when you eat this food.
As you write, consider each of the five senses: Taste, smell, touch, sight and sound. How many can you incorporate into your piece?
Then, will you consider sharing it with me? The recipe and your story? If you’re open to me sharing it with others on my blog or website, let me know that too.
Bon appetit! (Or should I say, itadakimasu … !)