My parents used an archaic version of the pressure cooker back in the day, primarily to cook spuds for mashed potatoes. As kids, we were wary of the thing--steam shooting from the hole in the top, making a wild whistle, an adult wrestling the beast open with difficulty.
But mashies were the payoff. My Dad used a wooden-handled masher, and banged away at the potatoes, adding milk, butter, salt and pepper to the mix.
Divine. To this day, mashed potatoes are my primary comfort food.
Hence, Monday's perversion of the use of a pressure cooker, to maim and kill, rather than to provide nurturing food, resonates deeply for me.
Much has been written/said of the caring behavior of the people of Boston. One commentator, oddly, seemed astonished that so many would rush to aid their fellows.
And yet this is what the majority of people do. We care, we help, we feed, support and listen to family, friends, and strangers.We enjoy one another's company. This is the norm of human behavior, not the exception!
The FOOD Museum's spotlight continues to be on what sustains, unites, and delights us all, rather than on the violence and war that depletes, diminishes and destroys us.
We salute institutions like Prague's Muzeum Gastronomie and New Orleans' Southern Food and Beverage Museum, whose story is being chronicled here on the Home Page by its prime mover, Liz Williams.
There are other creative endeavors focused on food and nurturance scattered across the country, and the world.
The FOOD Museum will continue to draw attention to them, and to focus on the universality of our shared food history. We will continue to shine light on the farmers, gardeners, vendors, cooks, restaurant and cafe owners, ranch, orchard, vineyard, brewery and grove people who strive to bring quality, local food and drink to us all.
In the words that have become the motto of The FOOD Museum---from our favorite foodie, MFK Fisher--- "First we eat. Then, we do everything else."