I Am Abundance: Food, Identity, and Art – Ian Kerstetter

Food is important.

I’ve always enjoyed the growing, the preparation, and the consuming of food. I have my parents to thank– my dad is an excellent cook, who can conjure up a feast on a budget, with no recipes, and no measuring implements. When I’m feeling in tune with my creativity in the studio, and things seem to fall into place with a momentum and rhythm, I am reminded of how it is to watch my father cook. He taught me that food is an open playing field, where rules can be broken and art can be made in the pursuit of filling a family’s bellies with energy and flavor. He’s made countless meals over the years, but doesn’t often bake- that’s my mother’s sphere. In stark contrast to my dad, my mom follows recipes religiously, fastidiously testing them until she finds the perfect one, only altering them if she’s sure that’s what it needs. Scones, waffles, cakes, muffins, brownies, cookies- my mom makes them all. Diligently dicing walnuts or carefully substituting oil for applesauce, my mom almost always bakes to share- with family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, students. My mom taught me the joy in feeding others, and the value of care and precision needed in the chemistry of baking.

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