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Spirit

IACP Pain Points Panel: Tech Tools for Today’s Food Pro

poetry writing

IACP Pain Points Panel: Tech Tools for Today’s Food Pro

Maggie, Emma, Stella and I are sharing our favorite apps with you. The links below are the tools we use (or have heard about) that make our jobs easier, more organized, and efficient. Do you have an app you love? Or, have you found a tech solution that’s helping you work better? Share them in the comments!

Organize Your Time:

Organize Your Projects:

Find Your Content Easily:

Invoicing & Expenses

Working with Teams

Categories
Grief Spirit

A Tribute to Charlie Trotter

It happens like this: We do not see the thing for what it is until it is no more. It can happen so quickly: News of another person’s death distills the color and lines of the small band of people who surround your life, bringing their clarity into focus. Perhaps you pull them closer to you; you frequent your distribution of I love you’s or just keep a closer eye on them. I’m not sure what it is about death that wakes us to our senses like the sharp notes of a stiff cup of coffee kicks us into awakening. Make no mistake, death is about awakening, both ours and theirs.

I have come into this realization like the rest of us, through fits and starts. And, like those who know the particular cataclysm of the unexpected death, the one that rattles your core into a submission of gelatinous proportions, you feel another person’s pain in the new grim reality as if it might be intended for you. But, it’s not. What you can do, having worked through your own valley and cavern crawl through grief, you can say a prayer for them by imagining the moments you know: the planning of the ceremony which for those most immediately involved brings its own hollowness of pomp in the face of undesired circumstance, writing the obituary even as you have to trick your brain into compliance, dressing up for an occasion that makes you want to tear your clothes.

Through coping with death, I came to understand life. Poets naturally gravitate toward death akin to the way pigeons circle scraps of food on the sidewalk. There’s nothing more poetic than writing elegies, especially knowing that often when people return to poetry, it is because of death. Yet, I find writing humor, writing about the eccentricities we share in our living is infinitely harder to pen. And the death found in paltry poems is often as false as describing the contours of the male body without ever having seen or touched it.

Forgoing a eulogy for the living, sometimes you play into the audacity of celebrating a person’s life while they are still alive. You scrimp and save for one evening they may be waited on, hand and fork by watchful servers in an intimate dining room. You watch their surprise and delight at dining on the subtle delicacy of a peekytoe crab. You try as hard as you can to remember all the highlights of the evening so that one day you can call them back with the sharpness of focus(white tablecloths, a kitchen tour that upon leaving it forces you to pass by the Chef as if a visit to his eponymous restaurant would not be complete without it). As you leave the restaurant, any stardust of being on par with your fellow wealthy diners shakes off. You board the El, heading to your Schaumburg hotel with a full belly and merry heart of memories.

Tonight, I mourn the death of Charlie Trotter, not because I knew him, but because I keenly feel for this particular loss experienced by his son and wife. I send them my prayers, knowing all too well the sleepless nights after my own similar experience. I think of his friends in shock, unable to string together the words, he’s gone and remember making phone calls to tango students several years past letting them know their teacher was gone. It’s too easy for life to speed up and press on after the initial days of calls, casseroles and visits begin to taper off.

I may not have known Chef Trotter personally, but the wake of influence he had on so many students and colleagues will continue to carry on with so much of his presence and indelible mark. I remember an evening so long ago where, for the first time, at his restaurant, I stepped into adulthood, lavishing my mother with the luxuries outside our reach. That evening, its simple opulence, his meticulous standards left their specific impression on me. When I look to a life well lived and one that calls more out of the people around it, I think of Charlie Trotter. In this way, his thread weaves throughout the tapestry of my life and I am the better for it.

Categories
Grief Spirit

Memoriam

May eighth, you come without notice. After three years, you would think I would be mindful of your coming and yet you come and you take. A week ago, I greeted May, all bustle and business until it stopped me and put me in my place- the clock is ticking. You will soon be here again. I do not look forward to your visits or your interruptions, but death does that all the time, doesn’t he?

Dad, you left without notice. After three years, you would think I would be seamless and utterly stitched back together, and yet your anniversary comes and it steals joy away, even if just a little bit, even if just for a day (Write it!). The clock is ticking- how did I never hear its music?

A week ago, I bought myself flowers- blowsy peonies all flush in their fuchsia gall, almost garish in their enthusiasm. Those pom poms perked up a section of the kitchen with their cheers and thrill to be alive. Little did it seem fitting that they too might play the role of teacher. And yet, their cheer changed…

peonies falling apart

peonies petals falling

peonies another pale perspective

peonies full bloom white

peonies pink tinge

peonies-color-beginning-to-fade

peonies-full-pink

peonies-beginning-to-bloom

– how the color fades so quickly – how the bloom falls from the stem or how it fights to hold on until it withers in place – how little I understood then about the nature of love and about the truth of life – you, peonies caught me off guard but ready to be reminded of how fleeting the beauty of life is – and how the end is the beginning. Life and death as book ends for a love that will not fade or fall apart.

Categories
Sharing our Strength Spirit

The Future of Food and Hunger

the future of food - the food poet

In a room full of food writers, editors, movers and shakers, I found myself all alone. As applause struck a fevered pitch in the audience, my heart rate began to race.  I tried to edge out from my emotions and siphon them into the seat next to me. I tried to make my fingers with their triggered itch behave, but instead I let the pull sweep me into the locus of its energy. I began sinking deeper into a reality I’ve known would be my truth for too long and took up the helm of a voice in the wilderness crying out.

Monday marked several important intersections as IACP invoked trying to answer the question of “The Future of Food” and it also happened to be the day of The Giving Table‘s grassroots effort of bringing together over 200 food bloggers against hunger. How strange to see the overlap on two topics that affect one another. The future of food and hunger wrapped me in a curious cocoon from which I soaked in the five speakers’ comments. One voice in particular rankled me exceedingly.

According to one speaker from a large chemical company that’s gotten into the business of selling seeds, the future of food will be found in genetic engineering. He spoke with the ease of power and the smoothness of molasses letting phrases like “open-pollenating corn” slip out nonchalantly even as his agenda continued to propel his words forth. Their interest in “feeding the world” and “diversifying crops” didn’t speak to the terminator seeds they have engineered that have built planned

obsolescence into something that naturally would grow when nourished. My fingers hit the keypad with fervor trying to capture the comments and put them into the ether of the internet that others not in the room, not applauding could chime in. As luck or shrewd planning would have it, no time was available for Q&A, so any questions to put the propaganda in check could not be asked aloud. I refrained from saying something I might regret to the “former farmer” on best business practices.

A session later and like all the other attendees, I walked with the throng into the lunch line snagging salad greens with tongs and settling into an open seat. Between bitefuls and earfuls from my foodie friend, I caught snippets of story across the table. A chef I respect was speaking to two colleagues and I found a horror growing in my chest as their conversation continued down a treacherous path, citing how brave it was for the chemical company representative to show up and what good work they are

doing. My foodie friend piped up, head nodding that yes, their efforts would be the future of food. I was flabbergasted. Silently, I sat in a strange sense of observation. My thoughts turned back to the future of food session that morning and the comments of another panelist who claimed that the amount of food we are now eating means we have to account for an extra billion people that will need to be fed. Accounting for an extra billion people – GE seeds as the great white hope, together

they sapped any sort of hope I had held onto when I walked into the expansive ballroom that morning. On a day dedicated to fighting hunger now through raising awareness with readers and prompting calls to action, I found my thoughts in a dystopic future of our own making. Bedraggled, I crawled into bed that evening with eyes wide open. “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses…” would now read, “We are the poor, the tired, the ninety-nine percent masses…” with a questionable food future.

Sometimes, if I let myself think about the problems in the world around us, they can easily bog down any sort of small progress with their enormity. This stymies the process from starting.  It keeps us mired down in quick solutions instead of considering long-term consequences. On Tuesday morning, the topic of “How California Has Changed Food and Continues To” brought me to a new understanding that what we, as food writers, editors, movers and shakers attempt to do is deeply

entrenched in the future of food. We write, photograph, develop recipes not merely for today but with tomorrow in mind. The grim reality of lack of real food access beyond boxed food and tampering with nature thinking we can outsmart it affects us even if we don’t realize it. When the food writer posits aloud in a room of their colleagues, “How can we be adequately compensated for our hard work?” this is the question asked by our readers. So, in thinking about the future of food collectively, we can make

a difference in how that system gets shaped by asking important questions and calling for greater accountability and provoking our readers to do the same. As Kat Flinn reminded a room full of food writers, “the pen is mightier than the sword” is more than just an adage. “Communitarian food” and the drive back toward local may not save our food systems or eradicate hunger, but applying the principle of loving your neighbor as yourself could ensure they don’t go hungry and that they have access to food that doesn’t play at being real. If this is the future of food, it is one I can easily espouse.

Categories
Spirit

Hunger in America: Have You Ever Gone Hungry?

Did you know that 16 million children live in households that struggle to put food on the table?

Put another way, that’s 1 in 5 kids.

It’s absurd isn’t it? The number confounds with its profundity. It feels so big as to be out of reach.

It requires a groundswell of people involved to make their voices heard, to shout if necessary, to keep eyes open for the invisible hungry in our midst and see how we can be the change in our communities and by urging our senators to hear us and reverse this disturbing trend through legislation and programming. It needs all of us to get involved and share our strengths to end hunger in America.

FBAH Logo

 

Food Bloggers Against Hunger
Today’s kind of a special day. My friend Nicole Gulotta, who you may remember a few weeks ago, contributed a guest post for Sesame Crackers with Smoked Salmon and Chive Creme Fraiche along with the food poem that inspired the recipe has done something kind of wonderfully grassroots. It’s even gotten the attention of the New York Times. Over 100 food bloggers today are dedicating their blog post and recipe to talk about hunger and how together we can make a difference and bring hunger to the forefront of peoples’ minds. After all, have you ever gone hungry? Have you ever questioned where and when you would find your next meal? This intrinsic need isn’t something a lot of us have to think about. I hate wasting food and yet find myself guilty time and again. Addressing and curing hunger is not about pointing fingers, but about finding sustainable solutions.

Share our Strength / No Kid Hungry
The past five years, I have volunteered with No Kid Hungry, a national non-profit with the belief that if each of us shares our strength, together we can eradicate hunger among America’s children. Working with them, I have advocated as a sponsor for their Taste of the Nation San Francisco program, helped lead the marketing initiative for Taste of the Nation and finally gotten into the kitchen, teaching cooking classes as part of their Cooking Matters classes, teaching nutrition and cooking to kids in low income communities. Hunger is something I have seen firsthand, working at the Living Room, a homeless street-kid drop-in for three years. It is something I hear about through the hunger cycle of community plays in Cornerstone Theater’s current run of Lunch Lady Courage in L.A.

What Can I Do?
This is a question I ask myself often. The enormity of the problem makes me creative to find ways I can help. Here’s the good news, you can dive in and help too.

Hunger in America- A Place at the Table

  • PARTICIPATE IN YOUR OWN HUNGER CHALLENGE: Subsist on the California daily SNAP budget of $4.72 per person for a week. Write about it. Share your experiences with others. And if you decide to go this route, let me know so I can cheer you on!

The Hunger Challenge
Two years ago, the San Francisco Food Bank invited local food bloggers to live for a week on a SNAP budget and blog about their experiences. My husband and I took their hunger challenge, made more challenging in that we were trying to do it gluten-free. If I was to attempt it again, I would also put an added challenge of making it GMO-free. What we found through our experience is that it is doable to live off of $4.72 per person per day on a SNAP budget, but requires a helluva lot of planning, prep and cooking that a mother working two to three jobs to pay rent may not easily be able to master.

Hunger in America: Assembling Your Hunger Challenge Provisions DAY 1: Time and Shopping List
Hunger in America: Lemon Pepper Tuna with Apple SlawDAY 2: Lemon Pepper Tuna with Apple Broccoli Slaw
Spinach Quiche CupsDAY 3: Cravings and Spinach Quiche Cups
Hummus Veggie TostadasDAY 4: Support and Hummus Veggie Tostadas
Green Smoothies 
DAY 5: Fatigue and Green Smoothies
                                DAY 6: Getting By
Hunger in America: Black Refried Beans DAY 7: Take-Aways and Black “Refried” Beans

 

Categories
Grief Poetry Spirit

Good Friday Poetry: Myopia

I’ve been thinking about death for the past few weeks. Lest you think this is stemming from some sort of morbidity on my part, it’s been a dose of digging deep into the passage of John 19 for guidance in writing a poem I read aloud today at a Good Friday service. Culturally speaking, Good Friday gets glossed over in favor of Easter, and I get it. Who wants to dwell on death when you can spend the time feasting with friends and family, celebrating, joyful. But without Good Friday, there is no point of context for Easter.

One moment stands out from the passage to me. It’s such a human moment for an inhuman instance. Jesus has been nailed to the cross and looks out at his mother, his mother’s sister and Mary Magdalene. It’s hard to imagine that kind of pain and suffering or even still the clarity of vision as he speaks to his mother saying, “Dear woman, behold your son” and to his friend standing nearby, “Here is your mother.” In spite of the circumstance, Jesus sees his mother weeping and wants to care for her- now and in the future.

What’s so remarkable about this moment is how in uttering those words to Mary, he is speaking to her as both son and God. It makes me think about last moments…

Specifically, a man doubled over, in the middle of a heart attack. He hears the directives a 911 call attendant provides to his wife on the phone, hears the distress in his wife’s terse response of “I can’t flip him over, he’s too big.” And in that moment, in that hearing, he sees his opportunity to care for her and flips himself. It must be so hard to see that you will soon pass over and watch someone you love hurting and not know how it will turn out.

Death is not easy. It never was intended to be easy. In fact, it was not part of the original plan at all. But it does visit each of us and I think of this moment where we, the readers get to listen in on the last words exchanged between a mother and her son, a woman and her God. He cares for her and in his telling, speaks words that will ensure she is cared for.

Today, we encounter such difficult things, don’t we? The unexpected prognosis. The accident. The before-their-time demise. Nothing can soften the blow. And yet, we have these words to plant deep in the soil of our souls. We get a sense of something bigger that can help us buffet the storm of grief that rocks our already tottering boat.

 

Myopia
(John 19:25-27)
by annelies zijderveld

In an instant a child can disappear

Instead of walking with you, he’s just not there.

Steps get retraced back from where

You came and find him turning over questions

with teachers, surprised by concern,

Didn’t you know I would be in my Father’s house?

Who reproves a child making sense

of father from Father- you take his words to heart.

 

After some years, your boy becomes

a man selecting the right companions. Who is it

that draws to him people like a bucket

of water pulling from a well? A crowd gathers

curious, you round up your boys

who mutter, He must be out of his mind, and

try to take charge, still not getting

what season he is now entering. Instead of access

you hear him ask, Who are my mother

and brothers, you see him motioning to the crowd,

continuing to assert his godliness in

declaring those obedient, mother and brothers.

 

Who knew the road would lead here:

a hill, a cross, a crown. You watch as they drive nails

into the hands you used to hold as he

learned how to walk – hands that learned his father’s

trade – hands that knew how to save

water and turn it into wine.  You’ve always taken

his words to heart, not comprehending

this day would come. And even if your boy wanted

none of this would be undone.

Your God, your son looks on you weeping and loves

You, utters, Dear woman behold your son,

as he motions to his friend and to him, Here is your mother.

Taking care of those he cherishes because

He knows how this ends, that it is near, soon to daven

It is finished as the rest of the story begins.

 

© Annelies Zijderveld. All rights reserved. Please do not reprint or post without attribution. I wrote this poem for City Church San Francisco, and read it as part of their Good Friday service 2013.  

 

 

Categories
Grief Spirit

Sally’s Pumpkin Bread and #HatDay

Sally's Pumpkin Bread

Today: Sally’s first anniversary.  Tuesday: Tio Z’s second anniversary. Sunday: a friend’s grandfather’s passing. This week is mired in remembrances of lives well lived and yet also, death pocking the days.

It’s a curious thing trying to accept our own mortality, isn’t it? It’s an incredible thing to think of death as a gift, which it sometimes is. But that’s something I found in my own experience that can only be uttered when on the other side of the grief. It’s like trying to edit a poem you think to be your greatest masterpiece. You have to put it away for a few days to see it for what it is, a work in progress, full of editable bits.

Time brings that sense of perspective.

 

Sally

Here’s what you need to know about Sally: she had a voracious appetite for living and an incredibly mischievous side. She possessed a generosity and candor that few exhibit. Her tongue might be sharp, but her kitchen knives were even sharper.  She entertained moose and men, and could command attention or men to do her bidding. In short, it’s hard to come by someone with her tenacity of spirit. I, for one, am grateful for the tenderness she doled out on a grief-inducing Mother’s Day several years past, and for all of the love, support and steel words she spoke to me when I felt like limestone. Sally and I shared a fondness for instigating- either for good or for prank. When playing dominoes, she might win or I might (or we might pretend, when her daughter Olga swept the match).

At her funeral, Olga positioned hat trees near Sally’s coffin with a bright array of her hats ranging in color from the red of a California poppy or the pale slip of blue in a spring sky. Today, on Sally’s anniversary, I’ve declared it to be #hatday. It’s simple, wear a hat, upload it onto Instagram, Facebook, twitter (or email it to me), use the hashtag, #hatday and tag me so I can see it. What I’m hoping for is an equally bright collection of smiles beaming out under fabulous hats, a fitting tribute to an indomitable woman and perhaps in its own quirky way, a bit of balm for any of us who have someone’s life to celebrate in their absence. This too, is part of grieving.

And, when one season slips into another, fall will come back to us, just like the very best stories that sometimes spill out between laughter and tears. When fall returns, make a few loaves of Sally’s Pumpkin Bread and you just might find it to be warm and nurturing like her.

Sally's Pumpkin Bread

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SALLY’S PUMPKIN BREAD 

I like to slice and freeze one of the loaves so I can pull out a slice at a time to warm up. This recipe is perfect for baking gifts for people you love. The fall isn’t complete until the aroma of Sally’s Pumpkin Bread permeates the kitchen. (Note: I love this recipe so much, I tweaked it and included it in Steeped: Recipes Infused with Tea and also because I wanted a piece of Sally to be in my first book. She was a cookbook author and I think that would have tickled her.) If you go the route of gift-giving, consider using the recipe below and using 4  prepared mini loaf pans.

YIELD: 2 loaves

INGREDIENTS
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon nutmeg
3 cups sugar
3/4 cups safflower oil
2/3 cup cold water
5 eggs
1 (16-ounce) can pumpkin puree
Optional: 1 cup chopped toasted pecans or chocolate chips

INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat oven to 375F. Spray two 9×5 inch loaf pans with nonstick spray. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix together the wet ingredients in a medium-sized bowl until combined. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined. Pour into prepared loaf pans. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out dry.

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Categories
Grief Spirit

A Day of Remembrance

NationalBloggingDayofRemembrance_zpsfcb06e06

Categories
Spirit

Down but not out

Money wins.

Election day finally pulled into the station yesterday. A campaign of over $45 million dollars was funneled into confusing consumers on the issue of what mandating food labeling of genetically modified foods actually involved. And the voters have spoken.

The thing is, most decisions in life, for adults, come down to money, right? And if you think about it, that is what deterrents of genetically modified food labeling were scared of too and why they stopped at very little to put their financial muscle into confounding a very simple issue of labeling. They knew if the labeling passed, consumers would continue voting with their wallets because who would actually choose to eat food that is resistant to pesticide. If it can fend itself from pesticide, what will it do to the person eating it? To their health?

As much as I want to congratulate Humboldt and Sonoma counties, give a high five to my neighbors in San Francisco, Alameda, San Mateo and Monterey counties and then, of course blow kisses to Santa Cruz county, there sure were a lot of other counties where the vote for no edged its way forward. And here, I thought the issue involving Prop 37 was merely around matters like who you trust. I forgot the truth that where your treasure is, there too, is the heart.

When Obama won, before Obama won, he promoted the word #forward on twitter. And this is the call to action for those of us who still believe all consumers, even the ones that don’t care or see a congruence to food in / health out have a right to know what is in their food. I am not a science experiment nor do I want to find myself consuming insecticide.

Forward.

What the next two years must involve is continuing to raise the stakes, conversation by conversation about what genetically modified organisms are and what makes them something to avoid. It’s that simple. Proposition 37 was proposed by a grandmother who believed we have a right to know what’s in our food and while we may not have won, this proposition has lit a fuse for a grassroots food movement. I am a single person in a sea of thousands. My voice is but one. And yet, it does have pitch and timbre. It does have reach. So does yours.

Categories
Grief Spirit

Memorial

May his memory be a blessing. In my heart, a yahrzeit candle burns, two years later.

lighting the Memorial yahrzeit candle

You go to bury the dead. You put something dead into a still living soil.

taking home a sapling

And what if you planted something real and still waiting for its blooming-

planting a Memorial tree

What if you look for a way to keep the memorial burning longer than a 24 hour candle

digging the hole to plant a Memorial tree

to put down roots that will grow and stretch out like leaves and blossoms.

memorial tree planted

to be surrounded by daisies and Monkey Grass, life thriving among the living.

Categories
Sharing our Strength Spirit

THIS SATURDAY: SF Food Bloggers Bake Sale

2012 san francisco food blogger bake sale

Just in case you haven’t heard yet, tomorrow is kind of a big deal.

All around the country, home cooks and food bloggers will be hosting bake sales to benefit Share our Strength as part of the Great American Bake Sale. I remember my friend Nissa participated in a Brooklyn bake sale a few years ago and I found myself hankering to be a part of a bake sale in San Francisco. A few years ago, Gaby Dalkin of What’s Gaby Cooking helped organize an arm of the bake sale with food bloggers.

Share our Strength’s #NoKidHungry campaign is looking to eradicate childhood hunger in the United States by supporting local resources and also appealing at the legislative level. In the Bay Area alone, 1 in 5 children are at risk of hunger. This issue is one that is often not easily seen. As a San Franciscan and a food-passionate person, I think all kids should have a shot at developing their own taste memories. I’m a fan of Share our Strength and have volunteered with them for several years in different capacities. It’s a non-profit I feel strongly about and am looking forward to being a part of their local Cooking Matters program next month.

I’m particularly excited to join Anita, Irvin and Shauna again as an organizer for the San Francisco Food Bloggers Bake Sale. We will be convening on Omnivore Books from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., which means you can drop by Omnivore and attend the Alice Medrich talk from 3-4 p.m. and make sure to pick up some treats on your way out!

I’ve been playing in the kitchen with green tea and will be making up a batch of Green Tea Granola that’s also gluten free. Come pick up a jar on Saturday and look for the recipe here next week with photos of the bake sale.

If you’re gluten free, vegan or have food allergies, we will have a vast array of homebaked goods to choose from. So whether you’re jonesing for a loaf of bread, cupcakes, cookies, macarons, tarts or quickbread, we’ve got you covered.

Doing good never tasted so sweet.

green tea granola jars

SF Food Bloggers Bake Sale Bakers:

Anita from Dessert First

Stacie from The Flirty Blog

Namthip Paine

Mariel from OriginalCinn

Erika from honeynhero

Nichole from Mad Dough

Cristina from Bake for Change

Angela from A I Love Baking

Allison from Bake Your Heart Out

Katy from Dining with Dusty

Suzie from Suzie Sweet Tooth

Scott from In Scott’s Kitchen

Andrea “Kittie” from Chef Kittie

Angela from Pastry Angie

Ariel from Cake Sharing

Pei-Yee from Dulcinea Bakeshop

Stephanie from Desserts for Breakfast

Laura from She Eats Well

Penni Wisner

Eleanor from Kitchen Salt

Katie from I’d Have Baked a Cake

Faith from Click Blog Appetit

Patricia from The Pie Store

Moi

Rose from Magpies Recipes

Kellan from A la Tart

Shauna Sever

Irvin from Eat the Love

Sabrina from The Tomato Tart

Lisa from With Style and Grace

Charissa from Zest Gluten Free Bakery

Categories
Sharing our Strength Spirit

SF Food Blogger Bake Sale – April 28 at Kiehls

2012_SOS_Food Blogger Bake Sale

Who has time to volunteer?

I ask myself this question as I’m juggling a multitude of activities, commitments and trying to do the careful dance of not plunging into the depths of my inbox while staying current in correspondence. What’s interesting is seeing how volunteerism looks a bit different from the high school days. It’s been eons since I planted flowers at a senior nursing facility or played bingo at a community center. Even longer are the days of candy-striping at a children’s hospital or collecting tickets at a senior center.

In high school, they drilled into us the importance of volunteering, which worked to my benefit given that I a.) like people a whole lot and b.) really do want to make my patch of the earth a bit better for my having been in it.

No kid hungry.

This seems simple enough even for a non-parent like myself.  I get fired up on topics of real food access for all and it sometimes seems inconceivable that anyone in the Bay Area, let alone a child would be wanting for food.

We know this isn’t true.

Hunger in the United States is not something you detect easily by mere observation. It’s something that someone like me, ever in the hospitality and food industry wants to work to correct. I cherish feeding people and know that you can’t feed their minds properly if their stomachs are grumbling or empty.

If you’ve been reading La Vie en Route for a while, you will know I am a hearty advocate of national non-profit Share our Strength. Their No Kid Hungry mission extends into supporting local community resources and also to effect legislation in the government. I like that approach. Last year, at the SF Taste of the Nation event, the pre-eminent food gala fundraiser for SOS, I had a chance to meet representatives from some of these local community resources- people from Food Runners and Cooking Matters. Share our Strength underscores that each of us has a strength to share.

Cupcakes. Pies. Scones. Freshly baked bread. Cookies.

On Saturday, April 28th at Kiehl’s on Fillmore, from 11-4 p.m., these sweet treats will be on a mission to raise funds that go back to supporting local resources working to make sure no kid goes hungry in San Francisco. Irvin, Shauna, Anita and I are joining together again this year to organize the SF Food Bloggers Bake Sale after last year’s rollicking good time and success.

I am planning to bake up something extra special since last year’s contribution included Homemade Almond Joys that clinched me a grand prize ribbon in a church competition when I was a kiddo myself.

Join us and bring cash for cookies. You share your strength and I’ll  share mine.

DETAILS: Official SF Food Bloggers Bake Sale Website
WHERE: Kiehl’s, 1971 Fillmore Street, San Francisco 94115
WHEN: 11-4 p.m.