Tag Archives: Community

Gooey Cheesy Community

cheesygooeyenchiladas Yesterday I emerged, relatively unscathed, from the fruit and vegetable desert! The trek was long, the terrain difficult, but the journey has at long last come to an end. To celebrate this momentous occasion, my good friend who was in the desert with me, threw a grand party, featuring her culinary acuity in the form of delicious gooey cheesy chicken enchiladas! And oh my word they were quite possibly the best gooey cheesy chicken enchiladas I’ve ever had in my 30 years of existence! They were exquisite! GoodPeople1But in the process of celebrating the departure of my dietary restrictions, I also found myself celebrating and greatly appreciating the community that I’ve come to be a part of. Because, as you may know, the quality of our lives is not determined by the possessions we acquire, the delicacies we consume, or the wealth we accumulate, but by the friends we pick up along the way and the life we experience by their side. Without people to share all the treasures and pleasures of life with, it all can quickly become empty or hallow. GoodPeople2

As I looked around the room and saw friends gathered, if for no other reason than to share a meal together and help three of their friends mark the end of a season of self-imposed difficulty, it hit me afresh: my friendships, the people I love, admire and respect are so incredibly important to me! There have been many times in my past, some more recent than others, where I’ve felt like I was on the outside of community looking in. It’s those times that help me to appreciate what I have here and now.  I’m part of a community that cares for one another, encourages one another.  We celebrate together, laugh together, and even cry together.  It’s a beautiful thing.

Life is meant to be shared. There’s no getting around that. We were all, all of us, created to be in community. When we’re not doing that, we’re leaving behind and neglecting a vital part of who we are, letting an important piece of what it means to be human atrophy. The best part of being alive is being alive with other people, and the best part of eating great food, is sharing it with the people you love.

GoodPeople3So I’d like to drop a few names. Keisha, Ben, Kenee, Catherine, Katie, Vickie, Livie, even though I don’t see some of you as much as I might like, you are all excellent people and I am filled with gratitude that you number me among your friends. Even though the enchiladas were of the highest calibre I’ve tasted, it was the company that made the evening such a great gathering.

So you, whoever you are reading this right now, I sincerely hope that you know the blessings of community and friendship. Because without it, even something as enjoyable as great food can lose it’s worth. Food without the life around it is merely sustenance. In order to truly enjoy great food, you need great people to enjoy it with. It’s Life. Plus food!

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Monday Night Quinoa

Every Monday night, my friend and I host a weekly dinner and discussion group. We meet at her house, and most of the time I cook dinner for everyone. It’s a fun time. We all gather around the kitchen and talk about life while I cook dinner, and then we get to enjoy a lovely meal together. There are a few of us that are there fairly consistently, and when you share a meal like that every week, you begin to know each other like family. I love it!

It’s one thing to walk through this veggie desert by myself, but when I’m cooking for other people as well, I feel a particular pressure to make something that everyone will enjoy, even if they’re not eating a vegatarian diet. So I did what I always do when I need to cook something that needs to be tasty and fun. I cooked something I’ve never cooked before. Not only that, I cooked with ingredients that I’ve never used before. It’s a risk, I suppose, but over the years I’ve become confident in my culinary gifting.

QuinoaLettuceWrapTonight, I cooked up some lettuce wraps, using quinoa as a base. Quinoa is a grain, similar to rice. But when it’s cooked, it has a texture similar to couscous. I’ve never cooked quinoa until tonight, and I’ve only eaten it a couple times. I don’t have a whole lot of experience with it. Fortunately, like rice, it’s pretty easy to work with. To be fair though, I didn’t actually prepare the quinoa. My friend, at whose house we host this dinner discussion group, prepared it in her steamer. So I can’t take all the credit.

Anyway, this is what I ended up with. It turned out very nicely.

It’s a quinoa lettuce wrap with tomatoes, carrots, fresh green chillies, red bell pepper, sweet red onions, black beans, peaches, lime and cilantro with fresh avocado. It was quite a cacophony of flavors. Oh, and it was topped with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. The vinegar mingling with the peaches, oh what flavor! Top it with some avocado and a slice of lime… Delicious! Plus, if you try you can make it look very pretty. Pretty is always a plus when it comes to food.

If this is something you’d like to try for yourself – I recommend it – you can find the recipe over on the recipe’s section of the blog. It was pretty simple to prepare.

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