Last week I posted on Facebook: “It’s legit. I am a writer. Got my first paid contract as writer for EdmontonEats.yeg, and my first publication. Penning the words of my next life chapter. Thank you.” Below is my first story for EdmontonEats.
Safely distanced, masked and gloved, we gathered on a beautiful spring day in Bannerman community to assemble the latest offering from EdmontonEats. The “Sweet Treats Box” – a colourful combination of cookies, cakes, nuts, and dates traditionally prepared for Eid Al-Fitr, the Islamic feast celebrating the end of Ramadan’s month of holy fasting – was chosen by the Cultural Hosts to be a perfect gift to celebrate Mother’s Day.
Standing in a circle, introductions made, and duties assigned by founder Maureen Murphy-Black, this small group of mothers and daughters folded boxes, carefully placed the assortment of goodies – each made with an equal portion of love and care by Cultural Hosts and Chef Cindy Lazarenko – topped them with a menu card, tied up with ribbon, bow and a Mother’s Day card handmade by local artist, Lucie Vadaro.
With Afaf Bayoud’s presence, one of three bakers for this event, we learned about the treats and what went into making them. The first fifty boxes finished, we broke for coffee, sitting in the sunshine and sampling from the tasty broken bits, feeling most fortunate for this preview of goodness!
The next fifty boxes went like clockwork, each of us settled into our role, working seamlessly. Circling up for goodbyes, we remarked how much we enjoyed our time together, and recalled times when women traditionally worked together – in quilting and sewing bees, cooking and canning – to share the labour and our stories, and make community.
In those few hours, we experienced why EdmontonEats exists – connecting people through the celebration of food, culture and community while providing economic and social capital opportunities for Edmonton’s immigrant and refugee communities – and it tasted sweet.
I appreciate the time you take to read (and-or in some cases, listen via my podcast) to my posts. Your comments – both public and private – help me become a better writer. Thank you.
Much love and kindest regards, dear friends.