Hello and happy day! I am thrilled to be able to participate in the Hungry Hearts Blog Tour hosted by Vicky at Vicky Who Reads and CW at The Quiet Pond.
The purpose of this blog tour is to showcase the way food contributes to culture within our communities. When I first heard about the idea I was very excited. Hearing that there would be Native American representation made that excitement really grow.
Today I’ll be discussing Rebecca Roanhorse’s story The Missing Ingredient.
In the story Kelsie is struggling with relating to her mother who has had big dreams of being a chef. So much so that she begins to put her attempts at success before the care of her daughter. It explores thoughts on having a native parent and a not-native parent and what someone who learned to love cooking from her native father might be thinking when saddled with a restaurant run by her white mother.
Kelsie meets a boy who tempts her with a bit of cooking themed magic. He claims he will know her true hearts desire if he eats something she cooked, and he will be able to grant the wish.
The conclusion definitely left me with a little thrill. In a way that made me long for more short stories. Sometimes just a, well, taste of the theme and story is all you need to find fulfillment. This one delivered for me.
I loved the story and all the pieces of familiarity it brought along with it. Including the delicious frybread that Kelsie may or may not cook…
I recommend this one for anyone looking for a story with a twist, a glimpse into another culture, or major foodie’s.
I want to take a moment to explain what Indian frybread looks like, as well as give a bit of a backstory on why this is a staple in most native homes and community events.
The United States Government has a history of fickle promises with the hundreds of native tribes that occupied the land before them. One of the most infamous being the Trail of Tears, and while that is where my tribe was split and how my ancestors arrived in Oklahoma, other forced removals were happening all over the country. After being removed to new territory the natives did not have access to the type of landscape they were used to using for agriculture. Farming began to look very different.
This is when the United States, graciously, decided to prevent us from starving by handing out basic commodities. These are government packaged food staples such as canned goods, beans, flour, sugar, and shortening (lard). These ingredients make up the simple thing that is frybread.
In this way frybread is something that unites the tribes, it is symbolic of something that remains strong within the hearts of natives, we survive. Even on the most basic of things we maintain strong hearts and a sense of community. It’s an unspoken affirmation that everything will be alright because we have one another. We are the quiet solidarity.
There is certainly no denying The Missing Ingredient‘s claim that heart is a huge part of native cooking. To me this concept is less a statement and more a stream of images. Scenes of the elder women in my life from my childhood to now working together in the kitchen to make lots of frybread for the family. A gathering of aunt’s making frybread before a powwow. Scenes of my grandmother showing me how to shape the dough, the smiles of encouragement from my aunt’s and older cousins, to now when I get to do the same for my younger cousins. I imagine the character of Kelsie sharing these same moments with her father as he taught her to cook frybread.
The women in my family have a tradition of getting together once every season to visit, quilt, and cook. One of our common lunches is indian tacos.
The dough is topped with homemade chili, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, and onions in a delicious lump of tastiness.
From some of your favorite bestselling and critically acclaimed authors—including Sandhya Menon, Anna-Marie McLemore, and Rin Chupeco—comes a collection of interconnected short stories that explore the intersection of family, culture, and food in the lives of thirteen teens.
A shy teenager attempts to express how she really feels through the confections she makes at her family’s pasteleria. A tourist from Montenegro desperately seeks a magic soup dumpling that could cure his fear of death. An aspiring chef realizes that butter and soul are the key ingredients to win a cooking competition that could win him the money to save his mother’s life.
Welcome to Hungry Hearts Row, where the answers to most of life’s hard questions are kneaded, rolled, baked. Where a typical greeting is, “Have you had anything to eat?” Where magic and food and love are sometimes one and the same.
Told in interconnected short stories, Hungry Hearts explores the many meanings food can take on beyond mere nourishment. It can symbolize love and despair, family and culture, belonging and home.
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Elsie Chapman grew up in Prince George, Canada, and has a degree in English literature from the University of British Columbia. She is the author of the YA novels Dualed, Divided, Along the Indigo, and Caster as well as the MG novel All the Ways Home, and co-editor of A Thousand Beginnings and Endings and Hungry Hearts. She currently lives in Tokyo, Japan, with her family.
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Caroline Tung Richmond is an award-winning young adult author, whose historical novels include The Only Thing to Fear, The Darkest Hour, and Live In Infamy. She’s also the co-editor of the anthology Hungry Hearts, which features stories about food and will come out in June 2019 from Simon Pulse. Her work is represented by Jim McCarthy of Dystel & Goderich.
Caroline is also the Program Director of We Need Diverse Books, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that advocates for diversity in children’s publishing.
After growing up in the Washington, D.C. area Caroline now lives in Virginia with her family.
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Rebecca Roanhorse is a Nebula and Hugo Award-winning speculative fiction writer and the recipient of the 2018 Campbell Award for Best New Writer. Her short fiction has also been a finalist for the Sturgeon, Locus and World Fantasy awards. Her novel Trail of Lightning was selected as an Amazon, B&N, Library Journal, and NRP Best Books of 2018, among others, and is a 2019 Nebula Finalist.
Her short fiction can be found in Apex Magazine, New Suns, and various other anthologies. Her non-fiction can be found in Uncanny Magazine, Strange Horizons, and How I Resist: Activism and Hope for a New Generation (Macmillan).
She lives in Northern New Mexico with her husband, daughter, and pug. Find more at https://rebeccaroanhorse.com/ and on Twitter at @RoanhorseBex.
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June 10th – Introduction
Vicky (Welcome + Interview)
June 11th – Karuna Riazi
June 12th – Rin Chupeco
Bianca (Review + Creative Post) & Kate (Review + Recipe)
June 13th – Jay Coles
Nikki (Review + Creative Post)
June 14th – Elsie Chapman
Kevin (Review + Creative Post) & Natalia (Review + Creative Post)
June 15th – Sara Farizan
June 16th – Caroline T. Richmond
Lili (Review + Creative Post) & Tiffany (Review + Creative Post)
June 17th – Adi Alsaid
Moon (Review + Creative Post)
June 18th – Sandhya Menon
Aimal (Review + Aesthetic/Mood board) & Nia (Review + Fave Quotes)
June 19th – S. K. Ali
Mish (Review + Creative Post)
June 20th – Phoebe North
Kayla (Review + Aesthetic/Mood board)
June 21st – Rebecca Roanhorse
Lila (Review + Aesthetic/Mood board) & AJ (Review + Aesthetic/Mood board)
June 22nd – Sangu Mandanna
Nandini (Review + Creative Post) & Prags (Review + Fave Quotes)
June 23rd – Anna-Marie McLemore
Nox (Review + Creative Post)
June 24th – Closing
CW (Review + Food Crawl)
Two winners – 1 U.S. and 1 international reader has the chance to win a finished copy of Hungry Hearts! Click on the giveaway button or here.
2 thoughts on “Hungry Hearts Blog Tour”
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