What have we be been doing in this year’s Slice? I’m going to answer my question because, I guess, I’m doing the talking right now. We are using our writing skills to strengthen our writing and reading muscles. We are building a small writing community that values feedback. We are listening to each other and have seen that we are able to forge connections across the miles, even stretching to other continents. The internet is amazing. How do we do it? We share ‘slices’ of our existence. We share words and many of us share books that we love and think others should read. We go to conferences and share the words of professionals that we admire and what they have to say about issues in education that we are concerned about. Many have also shared their culinary escapades and adventures in new recipes. I have just the perfect book for all of you. Shauna Niequist is a person that believes in fellowship, community and showing love through opening up our homes to friends and family with, food. This is a cookbook like no other. Shauna weaves ‘slices’ of her life throughout the entire book. It is complete with full recipes and tips to encourage the wary cook…well like me! The recipes are from chefs, her favorite cookbook writers, various restaurants and various people in her life. She includes and credits everyone, even though she obviously loves to experiment and adapt recipes to make them her own. Many of my favorites lean towards ‘endings’…the desserts of course. Some of my favorites included Blueberry Crisp, Dark Chocolate Sea Salted Toffee and Gaia Cookies.
But what I love more about this book than the recipes is hearing Shauna’s voice throughout. I know her voice because I’ve heard her speak and I’ve read her first two books Cold Tangerines and Bittersweet. I’ve used chapters of both of these books when I’ve worked with teachers at my school and with the teachers that are in the class I teach at a local university. Her writing is very personal and resonates deeply. In this incredible book she has cooked up a unique format for a book. She weaves her life along the edges, around her recipes. A person is left feeling satisfied, well fed. Here are some of her words from one of my favorite chapters in the book.
“And when I talk to them, I tell them the story of my mom. I tell them there’s still so much time and still so much to be done. I tell them it doesn’t have to be fulltime, or all-or-nothing, or all-at-once. I tell them what my mom tells me- that you just have to take one step and that when you do, the next one will appear. I tell them the path doesn’t have to be a straight line, and that often only makes sense when you look back at it. I tell them that when my mom was my age, she was a stay-at-home mom. She wasn’t yet an oil painter or a potter or an AIDS activist or an expert on peacekeeping. There’s still time, I tell them and I tell myself. There’s still time. (In this passage she is talking to all women, but especially to the 30 something crowd) My mom makes sixty look good and she reminds me every day that honest prayers transform us…”
I know that all ‘slicers’ will love all Bread and Wine, a love letter to life around the table with recipes!
Shauna’s blog is also amazing, visit her at: http://www.shaunaniequist.com/