Yesterday, I described fond memories of my mother cooking.
But the truth is:
Some of my best kitchen memories of my mother are not in our home—but in our church’s kitchen with a small army of other women, sleeves rolled up and aprons tightly tied. The D-Day invasion was nothing compared to the marshaling of resources this group managed when they gathered to make Cornish Pasties to fund the latest project of the Women’s Society. This crew would make 500 of these meat and potato wonders by noon and another 1,000 by dinner.
Every woman had a special task. There were the onion choppers, the potato chippers, the meat cutters, and finally, the Michelangelos who did the pastry. My mother was a chipper who never managed to graduate to doing pastry. They would begin at dawn and the last of them would leave 12 hours later having scrubbed and put away the final cooking tray.
Of all my mother’s meals, I continue the tradition of making pasties. I never make one or two. I make a dozen or more. I make them now for my father, my brother and for our freezer. Life is good as long as there is a pasty in the freezer. I am lucky to be married to a chef who does all the prep work … except for the pastry. That is mine to do. I’d like to think I could have made the pastry team back at old St. Paul’s.
Millions of us have stories of community kitchens! Did you know that, each year, thousands of Americans make spiritual pilgrimages to the legendary island of Iona where one of the highlights of the pilgrimage is working together in the kitchen?
For a billion Muslims, this is Ramadan. It may surprise you to learn that one of America’s largest mosques was built partly by women gathering to bake and sell bread.
As government funding dwindles in many of America’s big cities, activists are organizing new community kitchens this year to meet the need.
So, what’s your community kitchen?
Where have you rolled up your sleeves and cooked with others?
Share a fond memory of cooking with others?
Please, take a moment to leave a Comment below.
Originally published at www.OurValues.org, an experiment in civil dialogue about American values.