This week I was going to reflect on what I learned about freezing from the book I am cooking my way through, The Make Ahead Vegan, but then life happened. Three people of varying importance in my life passed over and I, once again, found myself in this state of grief. I once again found myself wondering if meditations of my heart and my work in this world was making a difference. So I did what I normally do and then the signs began to pop up as they tend to do when I need them the most. Yet despite those signs I did not feel motivated to write about food. I wasn’t really feeling motivated to even cook food this week. It was just one of those weeks where I wondered how I could make eating plant based food feel junky and comforting. I haven’t been successful at that either. The the universe heard and answered my prayers in the form of the following random Facebook message from a woman and an organization I had never heard of.
Hi, Sharon--I found your blog when I was seeking inspirational words about how food is a global language. I am one of two founders of a non-profit in Austin, Texas, that is dedicated to help refugee women use their amazing cooking skills and heritage to earn money and integrate into our community. One of the things we do is host dinners--people buy tickets to come and eat food from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc., and meet these women, etc. We're about to do one with Chefugees from Syria and Iraq, and I would love to include the passage below on the inside of our printed menus (there will be one at each guest's place).
What I love about creating in the kitchen is that it connects me with people around the world. Although we may all do it in different ways, the one thing every culture in the world does is prepare food and eat it. Food and the preparation of it is something that enables us to come together as a global community and speak a common language. Even if one has never prepared a single dish or meal in their lives, they have eaten one. The language of food transcends race, ethnicity, sex, sexuality, age, class. Food calls people into community. We create traditions using food. We celebrate events and holidays through food. We socialize around food. We comfort each other and ourselves with food. The thing about food is that it does not need to be complicated. It does not have to cost a lot of money. It does not have to be complex to make. It does not have to require rare ingredients. It is an offering of one’s self, one’s culture, one’s experience of life with another.
Of course, I would attribute the writing to you! If that would be okay--or would not--please let me know. If you want to check us out, our website is www.HopeAndSesame.org, and our FaceBook page is @hOPENsesame
Tonight, I offer my thanks to the Universe for bringing our organizations together. I offer my thanks for bringing me back to my own words, which were written at a time when my heart was not broken and I was not feeling like a refugee in my own way. Thank you for reminding me how I can use food to minister to us and to others. Thank you for reminding me of the importance of feeding and serving God’s people.