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Our Plat du Jour Family

By Sherrie Gavin

Before getting married, I knew that I could not carry a pregnancy. But I didn’t know that my Mr. Right was an Australian who lived on the other side of the planet and that I would move there to be with him. Our meeting was a beautiful surprise, something like a Plat du Jour. A …

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Around the World in Fifty Meals

By Jessie Christensen

A few weeks ago I got a powerful craving for chocolate chip cookies, and realized that I hadn’t baked any for nearly a year. How did I go a year without baking chocolate chip cookies? I’ve been baking sachertorte, baklava, pionono, pavlova, and other international treats instead. For the last year, my kids and I have been studying a different country every week. I tried this project once about six years ago when my kids were much younger, but this time around has worked better since they are older and more excited about participating.

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Culinary Therapy

By Sandra Clark

I might need help, or maybe just an extra egg. I cook under fire. When I need a break, a distraction or feel like a challenge I usually take to the kitchen.  And even when cooking options are limited, I am still cooking. In December both the microwave and toaster oven went out. Not a problem. I made toast old school style in a hot buttered skillet. Then when added when we were without a stove top for two weeks in January, I still continued cooking despite the complication (everything happens in threes). As frustrated as I was to have my cooking options limited, I enjoyed the test of my creativity and produced some satisfying meals.

At the same time this month I’ve been reading Annia Ciezaldo’s Day of Honey, a memoir of food and war in the Middle East. In the midst of the wars in Lebanon and Iraq during the last decade, Ciezaldo experienced beauty amidst turmoil and celebration in turbulence through connections maintained and forged around the table. In one particular scene, when tensions are at a boiling point, “during the Mahdi Army uprising, the first Marine assault on Fallujah, and the Abu-Ghraid court-martials,” she stops for dinner at a local hotel restaurant. And despite the terror outside, the chef chose that night “to make a chicken roulade stuffed with cream sauce.” Ciezaldo is struck by the beauty of the gesture, amid the failing generators and lack of air conditioning in the heat. When asked why, the chef replies, “It’s what I do.”

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Smooth(ie) Operator

By Jennifer Whitcomb

I’ve entered the meal prep funk phase of my life. There are periods of time when I feel unmotivated to plan, shop or prepare for meals. These, like the seasons, eventually pass and I find myself inspired by others’ fresh ideas and motivated by the excitement my family generates when they realize good food is …

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