2/9/15

Praising and Braising by JuJu Harris

I am staying with my friend Monique while I am down here in Jackson.  Sunday morning in this household means worship at the local Catholic church.  Now, as a heathen, I usually ask my Christian friends to send me a list of what they are giving up for Lent, and I will be sure and indulge in that particular form of debauchery during the 40 days of sacrifice.  But, I am down here on my Southern Kale Salad Show Tour, and I am trying to immerse myself in the culture as much as possible. So, there I was today, sitting in the third row listening to the homily, and I started feeling Spirit stirring within me.  I'm not going to call it God, but it was something. In my heathen mind, I interpreted today's message from the perspective of my commitment to social justice and service.  From Corinthians:  "An obligation has been imposed on me, and woe to me if I do not preach it."  Pastor, wearing jeans and sandals beneath his celebratory garb, said "everyone has a vocation called by God.  Proclaim your faith and bring the good news."  He invoked the common people and heroes of the Civil Rights Movement, "People were compelled to do what they did by inner forces;  They must do what the Creator tells them to do."  I thought, "Yes.  That's why I do what I do."  Years ago I had Cook Days at my home to teach my girlfriends new recipes.  I'd send out an email with the recipe and the ingredient list and my friends would bring their children over and we'd cook all day.  The kids would play outside, the mamas would cook and take home a dish for dinner.  That way, the husbands couldn't say "you spent all day with your girlfriends, and there's nothing to eat."  I introduced them to cilantro as flavoring, to breakfast for supper, to how to tweak meals using different spices. One day I said "I wish I knew something about politics or education.  Then, I could do something positive in the community."  They said "JuJu, you know food!  You know how to teach people to make a feast using simple ingredients."  So I started doing cooking demonstrations around DC, spreading what I call my "gospel of eating well." My philosophy, my "good news,"is that healthy eating needn't be expensive, difficult or time consuming. At one point, we had 9 people in our household.  I spent $400 a month to feed us well.  "Well" meant pots of soup, huge loaves of homemade bread, and dishes of braised cheap cuts of meat and vegetables.  I've had great success teaching in DC, and now I am down here, headed for Alabama and Georgia.  As I head to Mobile tomorrow, the words of the gospel of Mark go with me: "let us go to the nearby village that I may preach there also."  Stay tuned for more from the Southern Kale Salad Show Tour.

7 comments:

  1. We're so excited about having you on Night Watch Expressions, WRFG Atlanta tonight. Our listeners are gonna love hearing about your Southern Kale Salad Show Tour!

    ReplyDelete
  2. SPREAD that Good News, Juju ministering to the folk. Word.
    We love it! stay Blessed. Ama

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  4. You are such a natural teacher that it's hard to imagine you even needed to be shown the path! Now THAT's what friends are for :-)

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