Friday, January 11, 2013

Keep It Local: FOOD: Transforming the American Table 1950 - 2000 at the National Museum of American History

If there is one thing our entire family loves, it's good food. Interestingly, each of our food interests are aligned pretty closely with mom and dad, respectively. If there is goat cheese, avocado, olives, crusty bread, sushi or fizzy water within reaching distance of me, it's dunzos. Kane can take down an entire bag of popcorn and shelled peanuts and top that off with a soft pretzel. He is also a big fan of edamame and steak and we both crush yogurt like no one's business. We also both like to cook and bake with mom and in our pretend kitchen, so mom thought the new exhibit at the American History Museum, which includes Julia Child's actual kitchen, would be a good fit.

The exhibit tells the story of Americans and food in the last half of the 20th century and some of the factors behind the big changes that occurred during that time period (e.g., new technologies and shifts in culture). I got to check it out first while Kane was at school one day. Julia Child's kitchen didn't pique my interest until mom and I started playing a little game of I-spy (I-spy peanut butter, I-spy kitty cats, I-spy a kitchen vastly more organized than moms, etc.). When I tired of that, we walked around to enter the rest of the exhibit. I was excited and there was a lot to see. I liked that I could recognize so many things and, because it's a pretty open set-up, it was easy for me to walk around by myself with mom close by.

But the exhibit is located adjacent to our beloved trains and I was intent on going there. So I walked around with my hands on my hips saying "come ON, mommy." Mom mostly ignored me because, according to her, there were so many interesting things to read and look at. She seemed particularly interested in the showcase on "Recovering from Prohibition" and the wine industry and the impact the "New and Improved!" technology had on women at home. And the graphic design of various food related ad campaigns. I liked sitting at the communal table and spinning the food pyramids around.

Mom eventually let me pull her over to the train exhibit, where I was glad to find that I can finally reach the lever on the "L Train," but then I suddenly remembered that there were SPARKLY DRESSES AND SHOES upstairs. And demanded to go immediately. I sat forlornly on the floor next to Michelle Obama's 2009 inauguration Jimmy Choos and asked everyone who looked remotely like they worked there to "please take them out." I eventually decided I was OK as I received no less than 5 pairs of princess shoes for Christmas, but I really wanted Hillary Clinton's purple lace gown from the 1993 inauguration.  Mom just seemed happy that my fashion choices were politically well-aligned.

The ongoing FOOD exhibit is located on the first floor east of the museum and a wonderful new addition.

that Julia Child was one organized lady

mom may have blown kisses at this

whaaaaat? no good, boss

those were the days

cook. attempt to feed. no one eats. clean up food. do dishes. repeat.

you've got mom's vote


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