As two of the students and I prepared dinner tonight, I shared my memories of learning to cook in the kitchen with my great-grandmother, grandmother, mother, aunt, sister, and my two cousins. (Cooking in the kitchen with mama, May 18, 2012, Suzassippi’s Lottabusha County Chronicles)
I love community work, and it generally involves preparing and consuming food. Food is essential, no less than the air we breathe and the water we drink. And, we can easily take all those things for granted–that is, if we have each of those necessities in abundance, and it is clean, healthy, and accessible. One does not have to visit another country to meet people who live without those essentials.
Yesterday, I posted about smashing garlic…and the patriarchy. Drawing the connection between how the ‘restrained flattening’ (Rosenfield, 2014) of garlic is a metaphor for disrupting the dominance and oppression of the patriarchal system might seem like a bit of a stretch, and truthfully, I did arrive there in a somewhat circuitous route. When the gift of the dish towel arrived and I figured out it was from my friend Jane, it reminded me of a “present” I had been intending to do for her and her chef husband. I jokingly told her that the dish towel was working–I was taking action already.
My friend and I were involved in many social action causes over the years, and most of them involved a pot luck meal, although the meal itself was never the focus. I have been following the work of Chef Nick Wallace of Jackson in the past year, and appreciate his mix of social action and food–the farm to table emphasis. Chef Wallace also works with Jackson Public Schools in preparing healthy and nutritious foods for students, and supports community gardens through a project called Creativity Kitchen.
For several days, I had been “fixing to” make a donation to Chef Wallace’s GoFundMe for the Creativity Kitchen project. My friend and partner in many community support projects, and her husband, a former Executive Chef, decided a few years ago to have a Birthday Bash through Donors Choose and asked friends and family to support that rather than a material gift. That dish towel inspired me to donate to Creativity Kitchen right then.
I have an affinity for people who work to improve the lives of those in the community in which they live and work. I have an affinity for people who recognize that healthy communities contribute to healthy families. And, I have an affinity for food shared with like-minded people who understand that nourishing the body is nourishing the soul and the heart.
You can be part of Chef Wallace’s work in making a difference that matters. Go to the Donate Now page, and when you are done, share, tweet, and ask someone else to donate, too.