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[personal profile] miss_swamp
I had a meeting tonight for our Community Kitchen, and I'm realizing just how happy it makes me. Community Kitchens come in lots of different varieties, but ours is a monthly community meal planned, prepared and shared by neighbors in our crazy-diverse 'hood. Lots more people come help and eat, but right now there are eight women helping to plan it. We're natives of 4 countries on 3 continents and range in age from probably-younger-than-25 to probably-at-least-60. One I'm pretty sure can't read. Since New Holly has a Community Organizer as well as a modest amount of grant money, it's been less difficult than it could have been to get it started.

But that doesn't mean there aren't things to figure out. For starters, the grant will go farther if we don't use much meat; but for some folks it's not dinner without it. Plus we only buy halal meat so everyone can eat. So we had chicken and vegetable soup and quinoa for the first meal, veggie pizzas (I brought GF crusts for my boys) for the second. Next one is curry, coordinated by a couple of Cambodian women. I suggested making it a multi-cultural curry fiesta by including an Indian dish as the vegetarian option, but the Indian woman pouted that she wanted to do a full-on Indian mean and I could hardly disagree with that.

It's about the food, of course. It's about promoting healthy, affordable meals. It's about cultural awareness. But it's really about the cooking together and building relationships. It helps that we get a babysitter to care for our kids in another room while we cook in the Community Center kitchen. Nobody yanks on our legs, demands milk, tattles. Instead, we chat. The person I'd only have smiled at on the street (if my kids weren't distracting me), I can talk to about recipes or husbands or Jesus as we slice onions. More onions. So many onions.

It's not as good as singing, but it's a good start.
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