Our most vivid cooking memories center around our parents. With Mother’s and Father’s Day on the horizon, we wanted to share some of our current favorite cookbooks, cookbooks we come back to again and again, books we give away as gifts, and the ones with the tattered, food splattered pages. We have included links attached to each cookbook review for easy online viewing. To find a brick and mortar independent bookstore near you, visit Indie Bound. Our opinions are our own and we have received nothing from the publishers.
3 Families After Hurricane Matthew
High in the mountains above the Artibonite river, we pass through villages and clusters of houses that do not appear on maps, past destroyed houses that will never make it into official calculations of the damage fromHurricane Matthew in Haiti. We are miles from the nearest paved road, many hours from the nearest medical clinic, and nearly a full day's walk to the market where people normally sell their produce to purchase necessities like medicine, oil, and clothing. When I asked the local government official with us, why his region showed zero damage on the latest UN maps, he grew angry, "How would they even know? No one has come up to look. No one has even asked." Working with the local governments, community organizations, and a likeminded NGO, we are bringing the first relief supplies to people whose homes and livelihoods were destroyed by Hurricane Matthew in this area. Within 72 hours of the rains stopping, all our prepositioned aid (water treatment supplies, blankets, food, and hygiene kits) have been distributed to people in need. This is only the beginning for these families on the long path to rebuilding their lives and their communities.
If you've been watching the news on Haiti, you know of the devastation that Hurricane Matthew has wrought; the rapidly rising death toll, the destroyed homes and livelihoods, the statistics of suffering on a massive scale. But for us, and for our organization MCC, the story both begins and ends with the resilience and perseverance of the people and communities we serve. These are human stories better told through pictures of people, pictures of dignity and strength in the face of loss.
Here are the stories of three families after the storm.
Praying for Haiti -- Hurricane Irma
This evening, Hurricane Irma, a category 5 Hurricane and one of the largest on record, is churning westward towards Haiti. The most serious of its effects will likely reach Haiti Thursday evening. Across Haiti people are praying for a miracle. While the eye of the storm is unlikely to make landfall in Haiti, its winds and rains are expected to bring tremendous suffering. In river valleys across northern Haiti, families are bracing for floods. On windswept mountains, people are looking out to sea, praying for protection. New parents are holding their children tight, praying that their roofs will hold during the storm. The farmers we work with across the Artibonite and Central Plateau are anxiously watching their crops, hoping they will not be washed away. We pray tonight for the safety of our staff, for our partners across Haiti, for the tens of thousands of people in the storm's path without protection or a safety net. We pray that in the months ahead, Haiti and her people will have the strength for the slow and painful work of reckoning and rebuilding. Just eleven months after Hurricane Matthew, we pray Haiti has the resilience to struggle back to its feet, once again. Please pray with us.
We've received many emails from readers asking for cookbook recommendations. Just in time for the holiday season, we put together some of our current favorites: cookbooks we come back to again and again, books we give away as gifts, books we'd buy over again if our copy got ruined, and if you looked at our bookshelves, the books with well-worn dog-earned, food splattered pages. Our opinions are our own and we have received nothing from the publishers. Click on the book covers to read more.
Cooking as a Couple: 10 tips
Even for people who love to cook, cooking as a couple can be a uniquely unappealing proposition. Many couples find the kitchen too crowded, the opinions too many, the timing too tight, to share the reins with someone else. Becoming a well-oiled machine in the kitchen takes practice, patience, and strategy. We've found it well worth the effort. We've been been cooking and eating together for over 10 years now, and since we have just about a month left before we leave our galley kitchen in Pittsburgh for Haiti, we thought we'd share the top 10 things we've learned about cooking together as a couple [...]
Cashews: Journey to the Table
As people who love to cook, it's easy to focus on food's transformation in the kitchen. But living in Haiti, and working alongside farmers, reminds us that the vast majority of the risk, effort, and artistry that goes into food's journey happens long before it reaches us in the kitchen. Take cashews, a nut I've always found delicious. You can find a thousand recipes for what to 'do' with cashews in the kitchen, in fact we have a few on our blog, but today I want to focus instead on their journey to the kitchen -- from fragile seedlings in mountain-top nurseries, to the freshly roasted cashew nuts for sale in market stalls.