The Table of My Ancestors: Week 5 (North Africa – Algeria)

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To read the post that started it all, click here!

I remember how shocked I was when I first got my DNA results back from 23andMe. My whole life, I’d grown up thinking I was half Scottish (from my mom’s side) and half Italian (from my dad’s.) My biological father left when I was just a baby, and I had no contact with him after that. I have heard that he passed on a few … Read the rest

The Table of My Ancestors: Weeks 3 and 4 (Scotland)

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For food in week 3, I chose to make what is perhaps the most well-known Scottish food: haggis. Now, I’ve eaten it before when I was growing up, and I didn’t like it one bit. But tastes change, and I’m trying to be adventurous during this whole journey, so I decided to give it another go. I found a recipe for haggis bon-bons (don’t worry, … Read the rest

The Table of My Ancestors: Week 2 (Scotland)

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I decided to be a bit more ambitious this week and prepare both a meal and a dessert. For dinner, I made a batch of Scotch sausage rolls, which were easy to prepare (thanks to packaged puffed pastry) and turned out crispier and more indulgent than I could have hoped for! My only regret is that we didn’t have any HP brown sauce for dipping, … Read the rest

The Table of My Ancestors: Week 1 (Scotland)

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To read the post that started it all, click here!

To kick off my month of all things Scotland, I decided to recreate one of my favorite Scottish meals: steak pie. My Papa, who had been a chef at one of the castles back in Edinburgh, used to make this one for me a lot. I thought about him as I coated stew meat in flour, as I sliced the onions, as I brushed the … Read the rest

The table of my ancestors

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I’ve been thinking a lot about families lately. I am a first-generation Canadian who is now an American. My mother, granddaughter of a Rominchal traveler, was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, immigrating with her family just a few years later. For centuries, my family on my mother’s side called Scotland home. Her parents, my Nana and Papa, and grandparents, known to me as Gramma and Da, were vital parts of my childhood, and I have always … Read the rest

Of Mother’s Day

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My mother was my first country, the first place I ever lived. — Nayyirah Waheed

I have written many, many times about the complexities of motherhood and how weekends like this one can bring up a lot of really complicated, really difficult feelings. Some of us have strained relationships with our own mothers. Some of us yearn to be mothers. Some of us have no desire to be mothers. Some of us have lost children, … Read the rest

A letter to my daughter’s mother on Birth Mother’s Day

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A child born to another woman calls me mom. The depth of the tragedy and the magnitude of the privilege are not lost on me. — Jody Landers

Tomorrow, the United States will celebrate Mother’s Day. Jumah has written me a card, helped pick out a bouquet of flowers. My heart is full knowing both of my children will celebrate with me, all of us under the same roof after a heart wrenching period of … Read the rest

Telling the truth about Easter

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Another Good Friday’s come. As Marcie Alvis Walker writes, “Here’s the story: Jesus died an unjust and corrupt death at the hands of the highest political and religious leaders because his fellow citizens took a vote on it and said, ‘Give us Jesus Barabbas. Crucify Jesus Christ!’ And Pilate, a Supreme Court of one, gave the people what they wanted.”

The State-sanctioned execution of an innocent man. What could possibly be good in a story Read the rest

A hundred days

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Musicians Abigail and Shaun Bengson — known as ‘The Bengsons’ — made waves last year with their smashing hit, The Keep Going Song. I have listened to that song more times than I can count, and their raw, lyrical prayers have quite literally kept me going more than once during this past year.

The Bengsons have been making music for years however, and one their best, in my humble opinion, is the song Hundred Days.Read the rest

A blessing for the body

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“Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
This Ash Wednesday, I’m thinking about that dust, formed to flesh, housing the Imago Dei within us. I’m thinking about the body, about the mystery of our breath and organs and the beating of our hearts. I’m thinking about the fragility of what it means to be human, what it means to bruise and bleed and break. & I’m blessing the bodies, all of … Read the rest