Let’s Eat — A Writer’s Guide to Cooking

Being hungry can be a wonderful thing, but only when you have access to food. Unfortunately, this simple fact is lost on a great many people. Too many of us waste a large portion of the food we have, and too many forget what that wasted food would mean to those who are truly hungry. This is not to say we should feel guilty for a bountiful table. But we should be mindful, and not assume that because we are eating well today, we will always be this lucky.

When I was growing up, I heard many stories of the Great Depression, and about how hard times were. My father, especially, refused to waste food, even though we always had plenty. He remembered the times he went to bed hungry, and so now I remember them. Sometimes, when I see my own family gathered around the table, I almost can’t believe our good fortune. Ours isn’t a fancy life, by any stretch of the imagination. There are things we have to do without. But we have enough to eat, and we usually manage to have ice cream on hand for dessert. For me, there is nothing quite like watching the kids devour a bowl of ice cream. Eating ice cream is a joyful act, an exercise in positive living.


This simplest of simple recipes can be found in William Saroyan’s autobiography, Here Comes There Goes You Know Who (1962), in a chapter about his childhood called “The Bath.” After enduring a vigorous weekly scrubbing at the hands of his grandmother, the young author would dash into the kitchen for his reward:

A large glass of cold water with three teaspoons of sugar stirred into it was always waiting for me to drink immediately upon my arrival in the kitchen. No drink ever tasted better. The drink was called sharbat, obviously derived from sherbet, or the other way around. I passed along the custom to my kids when they were little. If somebody forgot about this, my son or my daughter said, “Where’s my sharbat?”

And there you have it. May your table be full, and your life be sweet.

Also by William Michaelian

Winter Poems

ISBN: 978-0-9796599-0-4
52 pages. Paper.
Another Song I Know
ISBN: 978-0-9796599-1-1
80 pages. Paper.
Cosmopsis Books
San Francisco

Signed copies available

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