a love affair with food

By Louise Sukle
Editor & Publisher
Woman Newspapers

We talk about it, we cook it, we enjoy it with friends. Food in all its varieties is such a part of our lives that we have decided to dedicate a portion of the July/August issue to it.

I should clarify something: I have strong opinions about food, but I am not a food expert. I've never cooked in a professional kitchen. I've never even posted a restaurant review on Yelp. I simply know what I like.

My grandmother’s roots were of Pennsylvania Dutch origin. What a spread Grandma Morley used to set out - so many "exotic" foods: chow-chow, apple butter, stewed rhubarb and pickled red beets. But nothing could compare with her wet-bottomed shoofly pie and crispy fried scrapple.

Had I first stumbled upon them as a health-conscience adult I probably would have balked. After all, scrapple is made from pig "scraps" and shoofly pie is little more than flour and molasses. But how do I describe this overpowering obsession I have to reminisce about these dishes whenever I get the chance? What is it about food that draws us back to childhood and associations far more complex than the taste of food itself?

It’s often much easier to enjoy food than to write about it, but columnist Kathryn Baxter beautifully connects an intimate moment in her mother's kitchen with the emotional well-being of her family. Food connections in Erika Farber's column reveal her pleasure with cooking, but as she learned, a chef could be more than the sum of her ingredients.

Columnist Deb Becker's connection to food is more grassroots as she shares her dirty secrets about growing her own vegetables. Lonely strawberries, prickly vines and hungry predators haven't dampened her inner earthmother. We've also gathered a wonderful collection of reader's favorite foods and cooking tips in this issue. I hope you'll enjoy their reminiscing and advice. I'm sure you'll have your own!

It's true, foods go in and out of fashion. Some people claim gluten is our greatest enemy, but for others it’s plain old sugar, in any form. It’s common to see certain foods lauded as ‘superfoods’, while others are consigned to the wasteland of pop-nutrition’s disapproval: Eggs, sharing the dietary pariah spotlight with whole milk, salt, oil, carbs, and red meat.

But this issue really isn’t only about food. You’ll find we delve into the deeper levels of health and well-being, fitness and family. In Part 2 of Brenda Tadych's journey to healthiness, we follow her path from pain to pleasure which leaves us anxious to hear what will be next for this tenacious lady.

I’ve had fun working on this issue. So please, go ahead - devour it!