It is nice to finally be healed enough from my most recent surgery that I have the energy to cook and entertain again. Whoo hoo! Just having the energy to cook again and create healthy low fat, low carb meals for my wife and I is such a blessing. Last night, I was chatting with a friend who was having one of those days where she just needed to know she was loved. I suggested she come join us for a very simplistic dinner. It was a chicken stir-fry with brown rice for her and Zoe. She wanted to know what she could bring and I said just come. It was those last two words – just come, that really spoke to her heart and soul.Read more
I wanted to do something a little different this week. The theme for this month is Compassion and so I thought I would start by talking about how people have used food to express compassion. In the process of doing my research, I stumbled upon this story about one of my favorite chefs, Ming Tsai. May this story inspire each of us to share a meal with someone we know who is struggling.
In 2010, Shauna McLaughlin faced a mother's worst nightmare. Her then 19-month-old daughter was diagnosed with leukemia. As a single parent, Ms. McLaughlin was solely responsible for her daughter's medical, emotional, and financial care. Ms McLaughlin recalls, "I left my job to take care of her because she needed me around the clock. I couldn't leave her alone at the hospital. She was critically ill, and at times on life support."Read more
Sometimes it does not take much to make someone feel loved. However, in my mind everyone is worthy of experiencing the unconditional love of others. A friend of mine has avoided coming over for dinner several times. Her excuse has been that she is a picky eater. The truth is that she is on a restrictive diet to help her live without severe migraine headaches. The other day, I asked her to send me a list of all the things she cannot eat. I asked her if she would consider coming over for dinner if I made a meal that honored her dietary needs.Read more
How do I love basil? Let me count the ways? I could talk about how I love it in a fresh pesto sauce with some extra virgin olive oil, toasted pine nuts, and parmesan cheese and tossed with pasta. I could talk about how I love basil when mixed with freshly sliced tomatoes and fresh mozzarella and then sprinkled with olive oil or a balsamic vinaigrette. The list of ways that I enjoy basil could be never ending, but outside of the more common Italian sweet basil and the spicier Thai basil, until recently I was not aware that there were over 60 different types of basil.
Basil has been highly regarded in a number of faith traditions throughout time. The Greek name for Basil means “King” While there is no direct mention of basil in Judeo-Christian writings, it has been reported that it is one of the plants that was found at the site of Christ’s crucifixion There are those who have argued it is also associated “with St Basil, whose feast day is celebrated in Greece on January 1 by having basil blessed at church.”Read more