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Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year


This is what I will be eating tomorrow. As a transplanted midwesterner, I have a weird relationship with southern food culture. On my first day of elementary school I did not recognize any of the food on my lunch tray. There were grits, greens, and ham (all freshly made in the cafeteria kitchen). When I worked at my first corporate job, several women threw me a party with the intent of introducing me to all the southern delicacies I was ignorant of.

Many years later, I am coming around. I am now in bona fide love with collards and all other greens- albeit with out the hamhock. I can make a mean red velvet cake and might even be able to tell you the difference between Georgia and South Carolina BBQ. So, I look forward to ringing in the new year with black eyes peas (hoppin john), rice and collards. There might even be some sweet tea and a peach cobbler. 

The New York Times just published a great piece on the cultural roots of this meal that will make it even more special as I remember the people who brought these foods to America from Africa. Read it here.

As I look forward to the new year, I am glad to have something so special that ties me to the past. I wish the same for you! Happy 2001!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Pickle Jar Exchange

I have an amazing group of friends that I meet with each month for a night of creativity, conversation and laughter. Each month a different woman hosts and leads in teaching a creative skill. Usually there is some creative writing project too. 

We have candle dipped, sewn, paper mached, wove, made books, made vision boards and more. I love this night more than any other during the month and leave feeling energized and nourished. 

One recent project had everyone bringing many slips of paper with quotes, affirmations and inspiring words.

The idea came from an aunt who had a paper slip filled pickle jar sitting on her counter and used it as a go to for pick me ups. 

Feeling dejected? Go to the pickle jar! Wondering what to do? Go to the pickle jar!...... It will you give you the guidance and perspective you need.  

I love the idea and was lucky enough to find a great shaped pickle jar with a green top. I look forward to sharing it with my kids and husband as it becomes a fixture on our counter too.


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