In September, just after the Katrina devastation, I felt futile, being a food blogger. This avocation of mine felt useless in the face of such suffering. Finally, I wrote this post, which at least posed some questions and helped me to quell the feeling of frivolity. And I’ve still been following that situation, doing what I can. Two of my students are flying to Mississippi this weekend, to spend their Christmas vacation in the wake of that hurricane, cleaning up rubble and helping people. We can all do something.
But today, I’m thrilled to be a food blogger, doing my part. Because, today, the ever-fascinating Ms. Pim is hosting the food bloggers’ Menu for Hope II. This consortium of food bloggers, from all around the world, are donating delicious gifts and enticing food books, all in the name of charity. Last year’s Menu for Hope raised money for the tsunami victims. And this year, we are doing our best to raise as much money as possible for the victims of the earthquake in the Kashmir region of Pakistan and India. They need our help. There are still thousands of people trapped in the mountains, and the bitter winds of winter are descending.
Each participating food blogger has donated a prize particular to his or her gifts. For example, Clotilde of Chocolate and Zucchini is offering the chance to sample Pierre Herme pastries and tea with her in Paris one afternoon. The incredible Heidi Swanson is offering a one-hour lesson on how to take food photographs (if you are near San Fransisco), or a signed copy of her marvelous cookbook. Have you seen her photographs? I hope I win that one. I’d take a trip to San Franciso just to learn from her. And, in perhaps the most fitting donation, Brett from In Praise of Sardines is offering a starter kit full of the ingredients necessary to cook a Kashmiri feast.
And there are dozens more, which you can read about by clicking here.
Well, of course, I had to donate something. I thought about a basket full of gluten-free goodies, to go with the theme of this website. But in the end, I love writing about great food, food that just happens to be gluten-free. Along with devotion to the joys of gustatory experiences, I’m thrilled to say I live in Seattle, where we always eat well. Wild blackberries, salmon, and Tom Douglas restaurants. Fran’s gray salt caramels. The best coffee in the world, some of it even organic. For me, the taste of food is also the taste of the place.
And so, for my donation, I’m offering a basket full of some of the best foods Seattle has to offer. A box of Fran’s gray salt caramels. A pound of organic Fiore coffee. Smoked copper river salmon (the richest salmon in the world, from Alaska, but we do love our Alaskan salmon here). And a copy of Tom Douglas’ fabulous cookbook. And, if it just so happens that the person who wins the raffle for my prize needs to eat gluten-free, well, then I’ll throw in some of those gluten-free goodies and recipes along with the rest of it.
If you’d like to donate, and win the chance for this Seattle basket of goodness, then click on this: the FirstGiving donation page for A Menu for Hope II. (First Giving is acting as a conduit for us to Unicef, the highly respected relief organization.)
°Donate as much money as you can afford.
°Specify the prize(s) you would like to win. Each $5 donation gives you a chance to win something.
°Tell your friends about this fabulous opportunity.
° Feel good that you have done something good for hope.
Donatations will be taken until December 23rd, and the winners will be announced after the New Year.
I’d love it if everyone who read this post donated at least $5. Let’s raise as much money as we can.
It’s so good to be a part of this community.
(Photo credit for Menu for Hope: the inimitable Heidi Swanson)