Women’s History Month celebrates Kitchen Conversations

In honor of Women’s History Month, the Canyon Theater at the Boulder Public Library will be hosting a screening of the documentary Kitchen Conversations: Life Through Recipes on Thursday, March 21, 2013 from 6:30 – 8:00 pm.

In the film, directed by Dhera Strauss, professional women over the age of 50 invite us into their kitchens, where each prepares a recipe that reminds her of her family. As they prepare each recipe, they reflect upon food, lives lived, and lessons learned. As the stories and reflections build, an engaging portrait of a generation of women who launched their careers shortly after the rise of the feminist movement gradually takes shape: “This documentary explores the connection between food and narrative, reminding us that our memories and taste buds are often stirred together” (imdb.com).

Strauss, who teaches documentary film making at Kalamazoo College, was inspired to make the film because of her own love of cooking, the local food movement, and the fact that women have often found connection and community in the kitchen: “Women of a certain age become a reflection of a certain generation. Our generation is caught in the advent of the women’s movement. I’ve long been interested in the association of food with memory, what better way to explore that connection than through favorite family recipes” (mlive.com). Strauss recalls that the best advice she ever received from her mother was related to cooking: “She had this saying, almost like a mantra: ‘Don’t worry the crust,’ which meant don’t over work it” (mlive.com).

In the film, Jan Soldberg and her mother Louise share a recipe for lefse, a Norwegian-American bread. Jan was thrilled to be filmed together with her mother, because “that’s what this is really about. You get to hear everyone talk about their mothers and how they learned to cook — or not to cook — from them” (mlive.com). And that is the true message of this film: “A recipe, after all, is simply a reminiscence of family” (mlive.com).

For more information, call the Boulder Public Library at (303) 441-3100.

Diane DeBella

As a writer, teacher, and speaker Diane has spent over twenty years examining women’s issues. She is the author of the collective memoir *I Am Subject: Sharing Our Truths to Reclaim Our Selves*, and editor of the anthology *I Am Subject Stories: Women Awakening*. As a long-time faculty member at the University of Colorado, she received the CU Women Who Make a Difference Award and the CU-LEAD Alliance Faculty Appreciation Award. Through her organization I Am Subject, Diane helps us understand how we—as women—are impacted by the society in which we live. By claiming ourselves as subjects of our own lives, we become empowered and also provide strong role models for other women and girls. In healing ourselves we help others—a beautiful way for women to create nurturing, supportive communities.

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