Story Telling with a Focus on Food

In 2015, the Lower East Side Tenement Museum initiated a living exhibit called Your Story, Our Story. The project tells the history of immigrant families through objects passed down through the generations. Originally a hands-on project with NY City school kids, Your Story, Our Story is now open to anyone as an ever-evolving online exhibit.

Students in my Food Writing class at Gateway Community College and I will use this project to jump start the new season.  (And it’s thanks to one former student, Marcy Juran, that I know about this project.) When class starts in 2018, we’ll use the site to explore our own family past by looking at the foods, recipes and food-related objects that define us. For me, it’s a 100+ year old brass sugar thermometer passed down to me by Mary Pilarski Sheridan. She was my maternal grandmother who arrived at Ellis Island in 1914. She fled Russian-occupied Poland with her parents. I still use the thermometer when I make candies and sugar syrup.