Category Archives: Links and Musings

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Whoa! Autumn Update

Hello friends,

I am home sick today, with an ear infection. Boo. It’s a great excuse to put on Christmas music and sip tea, though. In spite of the quietude here on the blog. I’ve actually been feeding my community appetite quite well the past couple months.

8167290791_514616a730_cferment harvest Nov12First of all, it’s pickling season again here in Houston. So the Mister and I have been having more than monthly gatherings in our new condo to wash, chop, pack, and enjoy fermenting vegetables.

Also last month was my birthday (Six Squared!), and much of my celebrating with friends included food.

theresa thompson b-day cake.jpg

Jeanne brought Meyer Lemon mead and pickled eggplant, neither of which lasted the night. Dustin brought home-made goat’s milk cheve and kim chi to the party. Madison brought me some pre-party snacks and sour dough.  It was amazing.

I also was able to get, not one, TWO visits to Baby Barnaby’s! Baby Barnaby’s is a breakfast only place in the heart of the old Montrose neighborhood. It is also truly a home away from home for me.

My Mister took me Monday an I  serenaded him with early 80’s pop songs for his trouble.

On Wednesday I went again, this time with 3 friends I rarely get to spend time with and Baby Barnaby’s being the kind of place it is, we spent 25 minutes visiting with the out of towner in the next booth, making sure she knew all the best and unique museums and attractions in town.

After such a big week of celebrations, Thanksgiving was small and quiet.  Actually small and quiet was perfect, as the four of us who gathered all shared in the creation and enjoyment of the meal. At the end of the day I left Ranger’s house, full in belly, full in dog snuggles, and full in my spirit, and isn’t that what feasting and Community Appetite is all about?*

*OK, you might have a different opinion about the dog snuggles, but the other two, those are universal.

#Resound11: I create!

Looking back over the year, one nugget (or turning point, or leveling-up experience) stands out above all others.  This year I hatched a project of my own creation.

My older way of being was to leap onto someone else’s bandwagon, putting my energy into another’s project.  Nothing wrong with this approach, I’ve learned a lot by joining in. I’m thinking of capacity building in a refugee agency (you haven’t had Ethiopian food, until you’ve had home-cooked Ethiopian food). I’m thinking stepping up to be the Gal Friday for Central City Co-op, and being given space to evolve into Partner Development Director, then Operations Manager, then President of the Board of Directors. CCC was the brain-child of Pat Greer and her daughter Jennifer. I can’t express how transformative Pat’s trust and guidance have been in my life.

So this year, I looked at my life, and saw what was missing- an easy way to feed myself well regularly, save money on food and entertainment, and spend good quality time with my friends.  This time, instead of going to Slow Food, or Urban Harvest, or some other excellent group, and trying to graft my want onto one of their programs, this time I created a whole new thing.

It’s a real turning point,

and even better- my friends joined in. Not only did I build muscles that I have often neglected, but I have successfully created more fun, better food, and a deeper connection with people I care about- all the while honoring our economic circumstances. How cool is that?!?

What have you created in 2011? What might you create 2012? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

This post is part of the #Resound11 project. My reflections on the prompts will all be through the lens of food, joy, and community, because, seriously folks, that’s why we are here, to whet Our Community Appetite.

#Resound11: Savor & Enjoy

S is for Supersexy Superhero

photo credit karla k on flickr

What’s your 2011 superpower?

This is a tough one. I’ve only just begun this experiment, so what evidence do I have of SuperPower?

Right, I can simply claim it. Our Community Appetite: uncovering the secret fun and deliciousness of simple foods. Our version of Wonder Woman’s lasso of truth? Working together, and savoring the experience. This is not a space for busting out your foodie ninja moves.

We are interested in building up the larder of our friends, tending the ties of friendship through laughter, delight, and culinary disaster (it wouldn’t be an adventure if everything worked every time, now would it?), and coming to know ourselves as people who are competent  in the kitchen.

I hold that whole foods, prepared simply are good for my taste buds, my belly, and- keeping it real- my bank account- yours too. Come play with us & activate YOUR community super power. (or is that supper power?)

#Resound11: Growth

What good have you done in 2011? Where do you really shine? What have you done that makes you proud of yourself?

Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that but simply growth, We are happy when we are growing.
William Butler Yeats

This year I have really embraced growth. I started this blog this year and have taken on learning the technical aspects of blogging, writing, and sharing information over the web, especially since my end goal is actions out in the world, in our kitchens.

I stepped outside of my own comfortable circuit, and shared my heartfelt ideas, and hopes for our community with people, not just people but people who I want to think well of me. Being authentic and asking for participation- these simple acts took courage in 2011.

Going back to the beginning of 2011, I was once again being with someone I love while they transitioned, again from cancer. This time it was a peer, instead of my father. This time I had to maintain my business income and stay ‘in the world’ while I supported her, her family, and our mutual friends in their grief. The staying ‘in the world’ meant I also stayed responsible for my nourishment.  I had already fallen into the habit of foraging and running through the drive-thru. I had forgotten my kitchen skills. Cooking for Stelly and her family reminded me of how much I do know. Comparing myself to my foodie friends wasn’t empowering (Foodies: I love what you do! Please keep inviting me to dinner- I just needed to remember that your way is not THE WAY).

I actually know lots of ways to take a few inexpensive ingredients, combine them simply, and enjoy. You probably do too.  Now let’s get together and build each other up. Now let’s make a habit of it.

The strength of a man’s virtue should not be measured by his special exertions, but by his habitual acts.
Blaise Pascal