Rachel Eliza Griffiths is a poet and visual artist. Her most recent collection of poetry is Lighting the Shadow (Four Way Books, 2015). Griffiths’ visual and literary works have appeared widely. Currently, she teaches creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College and lives in Brooklyn, New York.
We discussed boycotting childhood meals. unnecessary sandwiches, and guiltless pleasures.
On her mother’s cooking:
Every meal my mother ever prepared for me and my family would be my all-time favorite meal(s). She died last summer and I miss her meals so much. I know a lot of her recipes and am a very good cook. I loved her imagination, which she always shared when she prepared food. There were always stories. Once when I was young she made me a plate of liver and onions with what I guess you’d call liver-gravy but I called it slime and refused to eat any of it. That night we had ourselves a sit-out until she finally sent me to bed. The victory was that I was hungry. She hated to waste food. I’d give anything to have her eyeing me across the table pointing at that lumpy plate.
On snacking while writing:
Is coffee a snack? But no, I don’t snack while writing. I’d get too distracted. It’s better for me to be hungry and know I’ll have something to look forward to after the work gets done.
On guilty pleasure food:
Nearly anything fried. But I don’t feel the guilty part. I also really love to have raw oysters and crab cakes they don’t make me feel guilty either. I’ve got guilt covered elsewhere, trust me.
On her food quirks:
I don’t like when I’ve made a meal for someone and they take everything on the plate and make a sandwich out of it, unless, of course, I’ve served it as a sandwich. I’m guilty of actually taking the entire plate of food away from the offender and tossing it into the sink if I see a sandwich created without my permission.
I also really cannot stand ketchup on eggs or ice in milk, unless it’s part of an iced coffee situation. I don’t want to think about this anymore, it’s getting weirder and weirder.
On her final meal request:
Could I just have everything, please?