Eating to Build Unity

I like to cook for people, but I love to cook for people in order to build community.  Here we are again, still navigating the challenges of what it means to, “Be together, and be safe.”  I want to serve great food, and I have a great responsibility to do this safely.  In a sense, I have to do this service.  It’s my livelihood.  But making these connections between food, safety, and service is also what I do in order to serve humankind. 

At Glen Brook, our work towards unity is built in our community.  Here’s an example from my kitchen: Jen, our Farm Manager, is planning and already starting seeds for spring and summer meals.  That work is happening now, in winter!  Jen is carefully monitoring each seed that may someday, fingers crossed, be something we all end up eating.  Jen and I coordinate to plan to bring people together around the table for meals I haven’t even cooked yet.  Thank you, Jen. 

When we are together, it’s typically for gatherings around food.  Think of how many people end up standing in your kitchen at holidays.  We can put our differences aside because of the food.  We hear laughter and “Mmmm’s” when the food is great, and instead of conflicts everyone is saying how this is the best Mac and cheese anyone has ever had, or the sound of knives and forks scraping the plate to get every last bite of mashed potatoes and gravy (“Is that sage in the gravy? Yum!”).

Everyone is relaxed. Everyone feels comfortable, at home, and a part of something bigger: community.  I love that community around the kitchen.  It is what brings us closer.  

The meals we make at Glen Brook are one of our most important ways to build unity.   It may take the form of a potluck, a scheduled meal for Glen Brook visitors, or families and friends that are here to share this land.  It really doesn’t matter what food is offered during those times.  The connection is filling enough for us all. No matter how large the group or how different they are, there is a connective presence around that table.  Food, chatter, laughter…no one is left out. It’s a great success to be able to bring that sense of connection, love, and community every day, to everyone.

In Service, 

Chef Robyn


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