Review: Home Made
Updated: Oct 25, 2022
Second book of 2021: Home Made, by Liz Hauck 📚
A Story of Grief, Groceries, Showing Up -and What We Make When We Make Dinner. Liz talks about this being a story about: "food and conversations and extracurricular spaces, and how flavours and cooking remind you of other kitchens you've been in, and what happens when you sit down to eat with neighbours."
Not all stories have beautiful endings. There is no one single intervention that could compensate for the gaps in opportunity that the boys experienced and other kids in foster care experience over the course of their childhoods. If one thing that was given to the boys during the three years of the project, it was a sense of "neighbourly love".
The book quotes: "Who are we to one another?"
Building a Safe Haven for "The Kids"
Liz Hauck's father was a social worker and chief financial officer of a nonprofit agency in Boston that provided residential services for youth in state care and adults with intellectual disabilities. Their agency's radical mission was to keep vulnerable youth out of institutions and living in the community, surrounded by community care.
He called all the young people "the kids" and the building where his office was "the House". Liz was kept out of the loop most of the time when it came to her father's work. He rarely talked about the work he did at the house of why he did it; that it needed to be done was reason enough.
He was hoping to get to know the kids better at the House. Liz made a running joke to her father, "what about a cooking class?", like the ones her father loved to watch.
Before they even got the chance to start, he passed away. To help with her grief, Liz decided to stay close to her family and finish her father's unfinished to-do list, a weekly program at the House, decided she would try it without him.
Building A Community Around The Table
This is not a story about saving anyone, "The kids picked the menu, I brought the groceries, and we cooked and ate together for two hours a week for nearly three years."
This story is simply about a volunteer trying to empower the boys to have choices in their lives, decide if they wanted to learn how to cook, invite whomever they wanted to eat with them and in the end sit down together for a meal like family. Whether you cooked or not, you were guaranteed a meal. "We feed our neighbors".
If you want an easy read with a beautiful storyline, this book is for you.