About this blog: Meals with My Grandmother is a place where I write about food and beverage from a cultural perspective and highlight intersections between food and art as well as discuss artists who are interested in the same. Sometimes serious, often saucy, and always messy, I aim to explore the thoughts that arise from obsessively ruminating on consumption and desire in the gastronomic sense. Together the words and images are a steamy love letter to taste, hunger, communication, and all of the other reasons that we cook, eat, drink, love, and create.
It is also a place to honor my paternal grandmother, Julia Henrietta Ryznar Breckner, or “Grandma B” as she was lovingly referred to. Grandma B. was full of life, always had a fifty-cent piece held in her bra strap for you, and believed she could heal all of the world's ills with food. When my siblings and I were rocked by our parents divorce in the late 1970s she insisted we attend regular Sunday dinners at her house. The steadiness of that experience, the deliciousness of the food, and her unconditional love helped to stabilize life at a chaotic time. An excellent home cook and nurturer, she loved raising three kids in the tiny house that she owned with my grandfather, Andy, on the Southside of Youngstown, Ohio. Yet in a conversation with her before she passed away she offered that a tiny part of her always wanted to “have a job at a dime store” in order to experience “something that was her own.” In that spirit I offer this site as homage to her and to all of the other women in my family who nurtured me so that I could create space of my own here.