Friday, May 26, 2017

Business Writing: Ann Taylor Pittman's "Mississippi Chinese Lady Goes Home to Korea"

In Friday's class, we handed out copies of Ann Taylor Pittman's 2013 James Beard Award-Winning article, "Mississippi Chinese Lady Goes Home to Korea."  One of the topics we discussed was how recipes tell stories--some, more than others. When authors write recipes, a magical process occurs in which they become part of the recipe's story and the recipe itself.

As we will look at the article more closely, here are some of the questions I want us to discuss:

1) What is Pittman's relationship to the South? Where did she grow up?
2) What does she mean when she defines herself as a "southerner?"
3) What does Pittman mean when she says, "I love the South, long for Mississippi, feel the South ever-present in my blood and soul?"
4) How do the places we grow up influence our relationship to food?
5) Compared to the South, how is Seoul characterized?
6) Why does Pittman feel like an outsider and an insider in Korea?

Homework for tonight:
Create a story for the recipe you have chosen as your summative assessment. If it was given to you by a family member, think about the family story your recipe tells.  If it's one you got online, think about how the recipe ties into the food your family makes. 

For example, my mother always made Louisiana recipes that were amazing--red beans and rice, blackened fish--but she wasn't much of a baker. If I were to craft a recipe for homemade cupcakes, I wouldn't be able to use her as an example, but I could use what she was really good at making: "a talented chef, Rebecca Brigman had a knack for spicy, Cajun cooking, but never baked from scratch. The only cakes she ever made came out of a box."

Do you see how I don't have a family story about baking, but I do have a story? Take a shot at it! I can't wait to see what you bring in tomorrow!
-Dr. B.


  1. 1. Pittman grew up in Mississippi.
    2. That she grew up in the South which makes her a Southerner. That she got all the culture experience that anyone else from the Mississippi region any other person would have got.
    3. That no matter where she goes her home will always be Mississippi, it is in her blood.
    4. Because different places have different "tastes" and likings of food. Like Maine is lobster and Mississippi is fried chicken.
    5. "The Seoul obsession with technology outdoes our own, yet her food is surprisingly traditional." -Ann Taylor Pittman
    6. She is Korean but grew up in Mississippi.

  2. 1) Ann Taylor Pittman is from Mississippi and loves the southern United States.
    2) When she calls herself a "southerner" she is saying where she is from and how she is proud of where she is from.
    3) Pittman's quote means even when she is away from home, she still feels her origin with her.
    4) When you grow up in a certain place you experience the local food and even learn how to make that food. When you leave home you are mainly used to the food from where you are originally from and cook with that style.
    5) Seoul is larger and busier than the South, with more industries and buildings.
    6) In South Korea, people can tell Ann Pittman is not from Korea, despite her being half Korean.


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