Great Lakes/Great Books is a monthly discussion group of books that have a focus on the Great Lakes or on water in general. Works of fiction, nonfiction, and more are discussed both in-person and virtually. This month’s selection is Survival Food: North Woods Stories by a Menominee Cook by Thomas Pecore Weso.
About the book:
In these coming-of-age tales set on the Menominee Indian Reservation of the 1980s and 1990s, Thomas Pecore Weso explores the interrelated nature of meals and memories. As he puts it, “I cannot separate foods from the moments in my life when I first tasted them.” Weso’s stories recall the foods that influenced his youth in northern Wisconsin: subsistence meals from hunted, fished, and gathered sources; the culinary traditions of the German, Polish, and Swedish settler descendants in the area; and the commodity foods distributed by the government–canned pork, dried beans, and powdered eggs–that made up the bulk of his family’s pantry. His mom called this “survival food.”