"Airplanes and television have removed the Threadgoodes from the Southern scene. Happily for us, Fannie Flagg has preserved a whole community of them in a richly comic, poignant narrative that records the exuberance of their lives, the sadness of their departure. Idgie Threadgoode is a true original: Huckleberry Finn would have tried to marry her!" ~Harper Lee
We’ll be taking a slight departure from our usual selections—as well as a stroll back in time—for the March Good Food Book Club selection. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg spent 36 weeks on the New York Times best sellers list after its release in 1987. It’s a beloved novel cleverly set in two different eras in the south that deftly weaves issues on same-sex love relationships, family bonds, aging, and the impacts of racism on both blacks and whites . . . all with the unifying element of good food as the crux of human story.
Like our local Moscow Food Co-op, the Whistle Stop Café serves up not only delicious local food, but it’s also a nerve center of friends and family, across time. The power of the Whistle Stop allowed friends from long ago to grow and nurture justice and empowerment in their own and others’ lives, and with an ingenious plot parallel, those same stories and characters cultivate healing and connection in characters well into the future.
Clearly we here in north Idaho are a far piece from Deep South Alabama. But what remains true between the two? What central elements and themes that populate a beloved, now-classic American novel, hold across another generation forward in time? How does good food plait the novel’s threads, and how does that happen here in our own local community?
This is a book that invites us to take a moment to celebrate our local community, and what local food and farmers—as they are here and now—may inspire far beyond a well-fed family, a grin of sweet-pucker delight, or the feeling of satisfaction after a healthy meal. What else does food do for us here, now? How different or similar are the issues faced by characters in Flagg’s novel, versus those we face in the world today?
And how will our Moscow Food Co-op be remembered by our grandchildren and their friends? What stories do you have about how its simple presence in your daily life provoked life-changing growth, connection, friendships, or civil action? Will you share those stories with people in the future, people you may not even know yet? (Heck ya’ll, maybe we’ll even set up a movie watching potluck!)
Come join us to celebrate our local food joint, the MoscowFood Co-op, as we discuss Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafeby Fannie Flag (Random House 1987) on Sunday, March 26 from 7-8:30 at the Moscow Food Co-op. Remember to email firstname.lastname@example.org to receive email reminders about the Good Food Book Club. Fried Green Tomatoes is available through your local library. If you are interested in buying the book, check out the area’s local used book stores or visit Book People of Moscow where Book Club members receive a discount. For more information about the Good Food Book Club, check out the Outreach section of the MFC website at www.moscowfood.coop.