Ukrainians on a Road Trip

My parents are driving over from Montreal. They are bringing:

1. Bell peppers

2. Eggplant

3. Duck legs

4. Smoked sausage

5. Pasta

6. Corn oil

7. Honey

8. Cucumbers

9. Pork

10. Macarons

11. Green peas

12. Condensed milk

13. Farmer’s cheese

14. Mascarpone

15. A meat grinder

16. Bread

17. Three kinds of fish (1 fresh and 2 smoked)

18. Canned meat

19. A large cooking pot

20. Millet

21. Beets (“Yes, I know you have beets. But I don’t trust anybody else’s beets. The ones I’m bringing are real beets.”)

And a lot more that I can’t remember.

We don’t have food shortages here in the US but Ukrainians don’t travel without food. My mother and aunt recently traveled to the Cayman Islands and brought their own rice, sugar, cookies, etc with them.

The border patrol virtuously confiscated a jar of dandelion jam. I’m sure the jam is a lot scarier than endless shipments of black tar heroin crossing the border all the time.

For the past 30 minutes, my mother was on the phone from the hotel where they are spending the night making me write down a list of food I absolutely have to buy before she arrives tomorrow. On top of everything they are bringing and what we already have. Because she needs to start cooking the moment she arrives. After driving all the way from Canada. (My father doesn’t drive). As much as I tried to convince her that there is no need to start cooking immediately, it was all in vain. We need to cook! There’s nothing to eat!

This is what a collective food trauma looks like.