Every family has its hardship foods, its illness foods—in ours, I remember my mother's cracker soup: a pack of pulverized Sky Flakes, water, milk, salt, and pepper made richer by the heat of the stove. An extravagance: onions, celery, a chicken wing. The uncles were always talking about the war that still felt as close as yesterday; what they found in the ditches and ate— snails, frogs, mushrooms foraged in the woods. Fronds, rinds of fruit, blackened peel; even the humid rain that salted dusty towns. Look at the wide and generous platter made by the dark, night after night.