Can you tell us about the meal we have prepared here today?
These are pancakes because it’s pancake day! Because it’s sunday! Normally this would happen earlier but it’s okay. (laughs) I haven’t had pancake day in forever.
Well let’s have some shall we?
Kay. We should probably put maple syrup on it before hand.
(We drizzle maple syrup onto the pancakes and cut them)
So you said Sunday is pancake day. Can you tell me a little bit more about that?
And you’d do this every Sunday for how long?
18—20 years. Like literally every Sunday until I came to Brown. Even when we stayed at my grandparent’s house, we’d do it. So it probably came from them.
Mm, you answered my question before I even asked it. I was about to ask if this was a tradition in the Sunderland family.
Well yeah definitely. It sure isn’t a tradition in the Han family. (laughs)
Did you stick mostly to traditions in terms of food from one side of the family?
No, my home and family were good at bring the two cultures together. It felt very natural and I thought it was standard for families when I was younger. We would have Chinese specials with lasagna and other non-asian meals.
The Beatles. Duh.
That’s really great to hear though this meal seems more geared to the white side with pancakes and Beatles music. Speaking of The Beatles, what’s their significance in playing during pancakes on Sunday?
Well I remember having a stereo system in our living room and I can’t remember what music we would listen to during it but I’m pretty sure it was Beatles especially “Here Comes the Sun” because you know, Sunday.
That reminds me of Sundays at my house with my family blasting music as well, though it sure wasn’t Beatles!
So it seems that Sunday and Pancakes are intertwined for you. Would making pancakes any other day remind you of home?
Going off that, what were the sort of memories that came up when making these pancakes?
I thought about when I was younger and helping my dad flipping the pancakes as well as how when I got older, i started doing them myself and I remember my mom would always tell me to turn down the heat because I was going to burn them. (laughs)
I’m curious to hear about what you would think your future home would be?
When I was younger I didn’t want to live in New York, that was for sure. My Brother was gone and it wasn’t the same which made home life stressful but now being away from it and knowing that it won’t be the same as when I was younger I would like to go back.
Though that isn’t my only vision of where I’d live in the future. When I was younger I always had this idea that I’d live in a large suburban house with pets and chirlden and we’d get into our soccer mom van and go places. I don't know if I'd like that though seeing as I'm from the city.
The Big Apple. Duh.
So you want to be somewhere where its bustling?
Eh not necessarily. See what I like about the city is that its easy to leave which isn’t that true of the suburbs. Suburbs have their own communities that are hard to detach from. Like when my mom went to our home in Pennsylvania, within an hour everyone knew why she was there. In New York no one gives a shit.
Oh you have another home?
Uh yeah, it’s in Pennsylvania (laughs)
Is there any dish that would remind you of that home more?
No, we’ve only had it for two years now. It’s not home for me just yet.
What would have to happen before it could feel like home?
It would probably be thinking of it when I say “I’m going home” though, maybe that’s not true. I mean I say “I’m going home” about my apartment here but I think of that as more of a headquaters as opposed to home. It’s hard because I’ve lived in the same home since I was 3 which makes it hard to think of anything else. The home that I used to make pancakes in doesn’t even exist anymore. My mom renovated the whole space.
Though I remember talking with my dad about home; He moved around a lot and so his ideas on home are that its just a box and people should stop attaching sentimental value to it. But when you’re younger you get attached and that box is yours though when you grow up, you realize that maybe the box isn’t that special and you can move around just as easily as settling down.
Wow, some seriously deep thoughts there.
Yeah sorry, didn’t mean to get so dark (laughs)
Oh its fine! Don’t worry about it. I find your point to be a very valid one. (clears throat)
This project revolves around food and how it relates to home but is food the strongest reminder of home for you?
Yeah! I mean whenever I go home, my mom always cooks a lot of food. Though if one thing is missing, its the white people food; That was always my dad’s forte and my mom just cannot cook any of it though she makes great tofu and eggs with tomatoes.
So one last thing I wanted to ask before we end this..
Yeah? What is it?
Did cooking this meal here today remind you of home?
No unfortunately not, the setting is all off.
Alright, well either way, thank you so much for joining me on A Heart’s Meal. It was a pleasure having you!
It was a pleasure being here!
This meal was cooked with Annalia Sunderland (Brown CS'15.5)
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