Share Your Sweets

I found the solution to world peace and creating One Love.  We must come together and share our sweets and taste each other’s different versions and interpretations and show up at our communal table.

People across religions and continents bake sweets and cookies and cakes to celebrate life, whether it be a birth, an anniversary, a celebratory dinner or holiday.  We love the smells and creating something good to give and share with our friends and family.  We enjoy our grandmothers’ recipes and repeating what was once good.  Celebrations revolve around sharing food and traditions and creating memories.

Think about it. We share sweets and break bread together and we create intimacy and joy.  We create memories as we practice our traditions and invite others in.  Will you be making Christmas sugar cookies this year?

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How about the traditional Jewish chocolate covered Matzo?

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Sharing sweets is like a sacred sacrament.

Two stories of humanity caught my attention this week and I want to share them with you, if you haven’t read them already. Both touched me, because fear caused discomfort and yet sharing baklava and mamool brought people together and helped them to smile and see one another.

Image source: http://images.mediaallrecipes.com/userphotos/720×405/21460.jpg

Maher Kahlil is an American citizen who was speaking Arabic at an airport and was profiled and detained and treated as a terrorist. He was questioned and embarrassed, however once he was allowed on the plane and people asked him what was in his white box, he opened it up and shared his baklava.

Image source: https://louanneskitchen.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/c2adc-baklava.jpg

Hopefully by sharing sweets, passengers could see he was just like them.  Here are the details from his story:

Maher Khalil Story

Another story is about a woman who understood Arabic and was able to help a troubled, hysterical, older Palestinian woman who didn’t understand English when their flight was delayed: Naomi Shihab Nye Story . The American woman reached out and not only communicated and comforted the Palestinian woman, but also kept her company and helped her to communicate with her family, sharing her phone while they waited and making calls to other friends who shared the same language. As they waited, the Palestenian woman opened her bag and shared her powdered sugar covered mamool cookies. Every woman she offered them to, took one and thus she created a connection between strangers. It was as if she was apologizing for her tears and offering peace to those around her. And everyone chose to share communion in that sacred space.

The world is good. There are good people all around us. Let’s share our sweets and create this one sweet love. One love. No Fear.

If you like these stories of humanity, Frank Somerville KTVU is a great person to follow on Facebook. He is a local news reporter and chooses to share stories like these all the time. I absolutely love his perspective and love reading the comments and reactions from around the world even more.

He’s a lot like Brandon, from Humans of New York that you can also follow on Facebook or on his website:  Humans Of New York. He shares real stories of our humanity by showcasing strangers and sharing their stories, to which we can always relate. Again, reading the stories and seeing the pictures are powerful and reading the comments from his 8 million followers makes the world feel a lot smaller.

So what’s for dessert?  I like chocolate whatever. 😉

Life is Sweet.

nAMaste

 

 

Favorite Time of the Day

What is your favorite time of the day?

When do you feel most alive and happy?

My favorite time is the beginning and the end.

I love waking up in the morning and most days I don’t care what time I’m awake. I typically wake up before my alarm, anticipating and feeling excited about enjoying my first cup of coffee. I think what I love most about it is the ritual, the shared experience and the warmth that comes from drinking it with my husband. He is the one who typically makes us coffee every day and I truly appreciate him doing this for me. Seriously, I am happy with the little things like someone making me coffee.

My second favorite part of my day is when I climb into bed at night. I love the feeling of the comfort that all is well and settled and I am done. I get to be still and quiet and reflect on my day before I write, which I truly enjoy. I love that I have someone to snuggle up next to and rest with until I get to repeat my favorite parts again the next day.

I love that my day begins and ends with my husband. I guess both parts are similar – anticipation, ritual, shared experience and warmth – just in different forms. These are a few of my favorite things.

Your turn. What do you love about your days? I hope your days are filled with love. Namaste.

New Tamales Tradition

I’ve never made homemade tamales before today and I hope to make them again because it was a great experience.

My friend Adriana invited several families to her home to learn how to make the labor intensive and time consuming Mexican treats. We were so lucky because it really was fun to be working side by side with moms, kids, and a couple of dads.

Some were making the seasoned masa while others were busy spreading the masa in a thin layer over the softened corn husks.

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Adriana made homemade red and green sauces, as well as shredded chicken and pork to use as fillings before we arrived. There were bowls of shredded cheese and a vegetarian mixture of corn and beans and salsa as well.  

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We had two assembly tables and 4 huge pots with steamers ready to go.

Adriana gave us lessons how to spread the masa in a thin layer, how to not overfill them, and how to fold them and place them in the container for steaming.  

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We were all eager to learn and to get started, as we wanted to make 100s!

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Once the tamales were assembled, they had to steam for 2 hours to cook the masa.

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Everyone patiently waited and enjoyed time together while the tamales did their thing.  We monitored the pots and added more water as the steam evaporated.  

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The dog had fun licking up the fallen scraps and looking for more.

I loved every part of the process, even being part of the kitchen crew clean up team. I loved watching everyone work together and creating something good together. There were lots of smiles in the kitchen.

We all were hungry and enjoyed them when they were ready and then we bagged them by the dozen for each family to take home.

I love this new tradition and hope we do it again next year. Gracias Amiga!!

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Sunday – A Day of Rest

Today was actually a day of rest and for this I am thankful especially after such a busy few weeks.

Our week days and week ends are so full, that it was really nice to be home today with time to relax and play and watch the World Series!!  We had space and blocks of open time. Of course, we still had events, but only having 2 or 3 is better than 10 at different places that overlap. Today was peaceful and shared with family and friends.

I made a family style dinner of spiral ham, mashed potatoes and green beans, and April and the girls came over to join us.  I love the tradition of a slow cooked, Sunday dinner and now I want to be home every Sunday. This has been my goal since the beginning of the school year, but keeping to that goal is not always easy.  I love cooking and I love having families join us for a meal.  I am going to try to keep this time more sacred and create this family tradition that we all hopefully will look forward to sharing.

What are your Sunday family traditions?

Hope you have a great week!  xo