my father cooked to love, loved to cook

papa was born in 1935 in germany. although he grew up in urban paderborn, during the war he was sent to the family farm so he wouldn’t starve. he became a waiter and escaped the family business, coming to canada in the fifties. he eventually founded germanic restaurants and a catering company, for which i worked. Der Apfel fällt nicht weit vom Stamm. the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

more to the point he showed love with food. we never lacked. but he was an omnivore. he ate animals, sometimes raw; for example, steak tartar.he had gout, became a type 2 diabetic, died of heart disease. last week on tvo we watched inuit hunters kill and eat a seal, raw. i know if i had been born in a different place or time i might have eaten that seal raw too.

wade davis reports that in the andes, some local religious pilgrims have stopped taking ice from a glacier back to their villages because the glacier is melting because of warmer weather. it’s not their fault. but they love this planet and feel connected to it. world war two wasn’t my father’s fault. the fate of animals isn’t mine, nor can i do much about it, in one sense. nevertheless, i’m struggling to re-establish a connection.

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