Recipes, Peter Freeman with Anna and Laura Freeman (2022)

Peter was interviewed by his two daughters, Anna and Laura about his position as a single dad. He lost his wife when Anna and Laura were a little older, but still there was learning curve in how to care for them on his own. The three of them discuss how they overcame obstacles of communication and how food was a point of connection for them, specifically because Peter had to learn how to cook more variety of foods for his daughters. They also talk about how music and sports were points of connection for them and how overtime, they’ve developed a pattern of communication that helps them remain close over large distances; Laura and Peter live in Canada and Anna is in the States finishing her PHD at Ohio State University. 

Peter scanned the recipes he used to develop a more robust cooking practice, recipes from his wife, Nora (the mother of Anna and Laura) a supportive co-worker, and his second wife, who also passed. Peter then wrote reflections about each recipe.

The conversation between Peter, Anna, and Laura was transcribed and turned into a booklet. The recipe scans and refections were printed on vellum and placed in between the pages of the book.  

Peter (he/him): I was born, raised and have lived in Canada for most of my life. I spent my early years in Windsor, Ontario, an auto manufacturing town just across the river from Detroit. I received both my undergrad and graduate degrees in political science from the University of Windsor.I met Nora, a native New Yorker living in Toronto, in 1980, and we were married in 1981. We made our home in Mississauga, Ontario, a community just west of Toronto. In 1990, we traveled to Peru and adopted our 3 month old Andean Indigenous daughter, Anna. In 1995, we traveled to Guatemala to adopt our 1 year old daughter, Laura. She, too, is Indigenous. Both experiences informed and ultimately re-formed our perspective on white privilege. We raised our new family in Mississauga, committed to giving the girls everything they needed to achieve their potential, never losing sight of our obligation to provide them with any and all opportunities to learn about, and be proud of, their heritage. At some point during those years, Nora and I talked about career changes, leading us to enroll in and graduate from an out of town Faculty of Education. Nora attended in 2002 and I followed the next year. In May, 2010, Nora was diagnosed with cancer and passed away 6 days later. We were shocked, went through the many stages of grief, and by the grace of God, we somehow carried on, damaged but not broken. In March, 2016, I retired from teaching and moved to Myrtle Beach, SC, to marry Dee, whom I had met 18 months earlier. She co-parented Matthew with her ex-husband; the situation was acrimonious. In April, 2018, Dee was diagnosed with cancer and passed away in September. I sold the home I had built for us, surrendered my green card, and returned to Mississauga. John Donne expressed that “No man is an island”. With the strong support and hands-on help of my daughters, I started over in Ontario. With the help of so many in the school board, I returned to teaching.

Anna (she/her): Anna Freeman is a Ph.D. student in the Arts Administration, Education, and Policy program at The Ohio State University. She specializes in museum education and is currently a graduate teaching assistant. Her research interests include Indigenous art and culture, museum education, and community-based outreach. In her free time, Anna enjoys exercising and discovering new movies and documentaries. She is a former competitive swimmer and enjoys cycling on the many bike paths throughout Columbus, OH. 

Laura (she/her): I currently work for a top five bank in Canada in their Estates Department assisting clients that have experienced grief and loss navigate the financial settlement of assets. I completed bachelor degrees in Mathematics and Art History at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and recently got engaged to my partner of nearly ten years.