The Community Cookbook May 2020 is the first iteration of a community generated cookbook. Throughout the year, we will continue to make periodic calls for recipes and narratives and the cookbook will be updated.
At the beginning of quarantine, I found myself filled with nervous energy. Unease led me towards the kitchen. In every place I have called home, food has been a ritual of making and renewing connections.
After surveying my pantry, I stress baked blueberry muffins and placed them on my noni’s slightly chipped porcelain platter. My noni taught my mother, her daughter-in-law, all of her recipes. In doing so, she passed on her culture. My noni lives on every time I enter the kitchen, and she is really present when food is shared with others.
I am not the only one that has turned towards baking and cooking in recent months. Shortly after my muffins cooled, a knock came from the front door. As one does in the time of COVID19, I cautiously approached and opened the door. A bag had been left on the doorstep. Inside the bag was another bag containing an aluminum foil wrapped banana bread with a note from my neighbor.
There are beautiful moments of kindness in this world. Sharing food is one of them.
Sharing food, or at least recipes, is an actionable item I can take here at the St. Augustine Historical Society.
Food connects us to each other. It is a way of making community, of bearing witness to the past, and dreaming about the future. Cooking and baking are knowledges I have found solace in. I love to hear other people’s food stories, appreciate the way narrators smile as they recall a relative or friend.
To the contributors, I have appreciated the opportunity to “listen” to your stories. Thank you for sharing your recipes and helping me see ingredients anew. Hopefully, the community generated cookbook will afford readers the same opportunity.
Inspired to contribute a recipe/story? Send me an email [email protected].