The Table of My Ancestors: Week 11 (Egypt)

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It’s been nearly three months of exploring my ancestry through food, and I am learning so very much. I’ll be honest — there have been a few recipes that fell flat because the kids’ palates aren’t as adventurous as mine. But even then, the joy that comes from sitting down to a common meal as a family is worth it all.

The table is central … Read the rest

Embodied faith

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“From the beginning of the Bible to the end, God is intrinsically connected to matter.”

My professor ended his weekly devotional video with those words, and I can’t stop thinking about them. I think it’s because there’s such a temptation in modern Christianity to make our religion all about the head, or the heart, or the soul, all at the expense of the body — the flesh and bone and marrow and muscle, the tangible, … Read the rest

The Table of My Ancestors: Week 10 (Egypt)

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Through my research, I have found that Egyptian food can be quite similar to Middle Eastern food, of which I ate quite a bit during my years overseas. However, this week, I came across a recipe I had never heard of before but sounded quite delicious. It was for something called umm ali, which is a national dish of Egypt. The legend is that it dates all the way back to Egypt’s Mamluk era … Read the rest

Church In The Margins

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About ten years ago, I walked away from church.

I didn’t lose my faith in Jesus, but I did say goodbye to worshipping in the same way with the same words and the same songs and in the same routine. Instead, I found a new way to do church. Because at the end of the day, church for me is finding the holy in unexpected spaces — spaces where I encounter Emmanuel, God with us … Read the rest

The Table of My Ancestors: Week 9 (Egypt)

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The percentage of my DNA that’s Egyptian is small, but I was thrilled to discover I had some. Egypt’s always fascinated me, and I really wanted to dive into researching this amazing country.

What I’ve discovered is that while the art, culture, mythology, and history captivates me, the food…did not. (Gulp.) Most recipes I came across didn’t appeal to me, and I knew that they’d … Read the rest

The Table of My Ancestors: Week 8 (North Africa – Tunisia)

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Tunisia is one country I admittedly don’t know much about, so I was a bit hesitant to try recipes from there without doing some research. I learned that harissa is very common in Tunisian cooking, and since we love spicy stuff in our family, I figured it would be a hit. I also was eager to learn more about Tunisia because I know that the … Read the rest

The Table of My Ancestors: Week 7 (North Africa – Morocco)

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Morocco has always been on my list of countries I’d love to visit, so it was a lot of fun learning more about it through cuisine this week! When I think of Moroccan food, the first thing that comes to mind is tajin (or tagine). Tajin is a rich stew consisting of meat, fish, or poultry, often including vegetables or fruit, such as apricots. The … Read the rest

The Table Of My Ancestors: Week 6 (North Africa – Libya)

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This week, I continued discovering my North African ancestry by focusing on Libya, the 4th largest country in all of Africa which is well-known for its beautiful Mediterranean coast (which houses about 90% of the country’s inhabitants) and, just a bit further south, a sparse grassland that gives way to the Sahara desert. I read that Libyan cuisine focuses heavily on olives (and olive oil), … Read the rest

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

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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