The Bread and Salt Between Us
Working with refugees can bring you lots of joy and this new cookbook, The Bread and Salt Between Us, is one example. It's by Mayada Anjari, the extremely capable young matriarch of a Syrian family co-sponsored by Rutgers Presbyterian Church in New York City. Mayada, her family and the whole Rutgers crew--who behind their mild-mannered facade are a bunch of wild and crazy Presbyterians (click here to see my quote about them in the New York Times)--are just a few of the amazing people you'll meet in my book.
Meanwhile, please do check out her book and order it. It's more than recipes (although they are great!). It's about food, family and friendship. I'm a huge Brené Brown fan. One of the principles of her book, Braving the Wilderness, calls on people to move closer to each other, "because people are hard to hate close up."
Getting close up is what refugee resettlement is all about. Hate is not in Rutgers' vocabulary. They counter it with love--and food. Love is what motivates of all the congregations chronicled in my book. But the relationships they've built with all of those who came as strangers shows just how right Brené Brown is to call on us to ditch our bunkers and get out into the wilderness of the unfamiliar. Because it so enriches all of our lives.
And doing that outreach over food is even better.