Weeds keep coming up and we can’t keep up.
But July, all carefree, just shrugs its shoulders and the zucchinis bloom happily anyways into these steaming plates, lettuce frilling the edge of sultry days.
So I take that basket brought back from Africa, the one with the name of the woman who wove it, written right there on the tag in her own hand — I take that basket to the garden to gather up the zucchinis.
Set the basket there on the counter, the Horn of Africa coming to the table every time we serve food, trumpeting its hunger, begging us to extend the table out.
Lentils and rice roil in the pressure cooker.
I stir tomatoes and slices of zucchini and the haunting scenes of this in my head.
How had I forgotten — how food isn’t a given but a gift, that serving plates is a sacred portion?
How could I forget that while I heap food, others beg for theirs?
How is it that I forget that a grain of rice is a hallowed thing…
There is a hunger in eating alone and a joy in breaking bread that brings us together.
Break the bread — break the bread and pass it around…
The Horn of Africa, she sounds, and I remember.
Slip off sandals there at the stove.
There by the cross hanging right there by the spoons.
What you might prayerfully do to reach out and touch the starving children in Africa
And what I can humbly attempt to do in response every time I come into the kitchen:
More-With-Less Cookbook (World Community Cookbook)… the cookbook the Farmer’s Dutch aunt, Taunta Corrie, gave us a wedding present and I have cooked far more from than any other cookbook. Cannot recommend highly enough. “Longacre has gathered 500 recipes from Mennonite kitchens that tell us how to eat better and consume less of the world’s limited food resources. All recipes have been tested by professional home economists. This cookbook is written for those who care about their own health and the food needs of others in the world.”
Simply in Season Expanded Edition (World Community Cookbook)… To cook what is in season… “In many ways, this cookbook is also a theology of food. It reminds us with every page the meaning and place of food in our lives.”
Extending the Table: A World Community Cookbook “But what makes this cookbook so special is its social conscience: following the lead of Doris Janzen Longacre, author of the More-with-Less Cookbook, Extending the Table invites readers to reduce their own levels of consumption and share resources with others around the world. Even more, it encourages us to learn from the global community. In addition to the recipes, there are stories about both individuals and whole cultures, explanations of the importance of certain types of food in different lands, and the rituals that surround particular meals.”