Hi, I’m Martina, the human behind Comfort Me Beets. I eat and write in Seattle. The best time in my life was in Australia, where I spent six years writing a dissertation, getting an agent, dumping an agent, losing a publishing deal, traveling, buying the freshest most amazing produce at farmers’ markets, and drinking soooo much wine. Despite all of the wine or fueled by it, I managed to earn a PhD working with the smartest, most creative and sensible people I’ve ever known. I also met an awkward super smart sweetiepie engineer who also liked books and food and didn’t think I was weird, so I married him. Every minute of it was electrifying and worth the pain of hangovers and failed attempts at publishing a novel. The processes, experiences, and opportunities gained and missed made me into a more interesting and loving person than I could have been without them. And so here is my labor of love to you, dear reader. If I can make your day, then I have written well.
Food Writing – why I bother
To write about food and hunger is to write about power and love. MFK Fisher asserted as much in the introduction to her book, The Gastronomical Me. This understanding made her into one of the greatest food writers ever. This is why food blogs are so ubiquitous. On an unconscious level those of us who are obsessed with food know this, but a few of us dive deeper and connect our relationship with food to all of life though our adventures in the kitchen and on the page.
This blog is organized in such a way as to allow those who just want a recipe right now to get one without the need to scroll through a lot of text. Each recipe is related to a story plucked from a memory of food and how it was served, what it felt like to eat it, and its connection to the people at the table. Sometimes these stories are true in the sense that the writer has related the best of her recollection of something that happened. Sometimes they are fully or partly made up, but they convey truth as only the best fiction can.
I began to explore my relationship with food, its connection to the dynamics in my family, and how these connections shaped me, after my dad died. A piece I wrote called “The Lonely Hours Before Supper,” published in Meat For Tea in the spring of 2019, sparked me to look more deeply into how food relates to love and power in my life.
In writing about food, I have taken a measure of my love, desire, and power—in other words, hunger. It is my hope that these stories and recipes connect reader and writer, transcending cultures and experiences to the extent that readers can say, yes, it was that way. We both see that now.
Food Memoirs I have loved
- The Gastronomical Me, MFK Fisher
- Tender at Bone, Ruth Reichl
- Comfort Me With Apples, Ruth Reichl
- Kitchen Confidential, Anthony Bourdain
- Coming to My Senses, Alice Waters
- Like Water For Chocolate, Laura Esquivel
- We Fed an Island: The True Story of Rebulding Puerto Rico One Meal at a Time, José Andrés & Richard Wolffe
- A Moveable Feast, Ernest Hemingway (Technically not a food memoir. But Paris in the 1920s!)