In August 2006, the Observer Food Magazine published the winning photograph in a competition organized in association with the organic food label Seeds of Change. Entitled “Widow in Her Kitchen”, the black-andwhite photo by Ikuko Tsuchiya depicted a solitary elderly lady sieving fl our into a mixing bowl. It is an image that poignantly reproduces many of the stereotypes surrounding the cultural perception of the bereaved woman, implicit in the photographer’s attached commentary:

Mrs Hobbs is now living alone after her husband died last year. For her, cooking is one of the most important aspects of the healing process. So I wanted to create an image about the relationship between Mrs Hobbs and food preparation. . . . She was sifting fl our for her baking, a task she has been performing for over 60 years. It has become part of her being.1