The Global Kitchen

Propped up on a chair beside my great grandmother, my arms were covered with applesauce every fall. The kitchen was filled with four generations of the women of the house - my great grandmother, grandmother, mother, and me, all preparing for canning season. Each season brought about a new recipe and new memory. My grandmother's chocolate sauce celebrated the fall, her lemon cake captured the summer, my grandfather's penuche frosting, mom's coconut cake, fajita's, and famous chicken...I don't think the list has an end. Throughout my life, the dinner table has been the common denominator in bringing people together, and to these moments I can trace my great love for not only the enjoyment in sharing a meal but also the preparation. I think I was being prepared for this love my whole life.

Over the years, particularly during high school and then in my years of volunteer service, I was able to travel extensively, gathering new spices and an even greater appreciation for all that goes into preparing a meal and sharing a table. Sometimes the table was a river rock in Victoria, Kenya or a dung hut in Kitwe, Zambia, or even a straw mat on the ground overlooking the Himalayan Mountains in Nepal. I savored the deep yellow spicy curry sauce with fresh but tough buffalo meat during a summer spent in Nepal. Gigantic beautiful green avocados, vibrant sweet mangoes, and warm fresh empanadas were all new tastes from a journey in Latin America. But it was not just the flavors that created rich memories; it was the hospitality I received and the feast we created through our shared conversation. Each table I sat down to became a meeting place in which we shared our lives, though we were strangers at first. The conversations began, simmering slowly and tentatively, but the end of each meal found us leaning in closely, adding another ingredient, a part of our own story: ordinary day to day life stories, solemn stories told in reverent tones, irreverent stories told loudly with much guffawing. The conversations were as varied as the rich foods before us. With each bite, we were savoring not just the taste of the food but each other's stories.

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New Krista Colleagues often first meet Alicia Favreau in the kitchen of The Hearth at their initial gathering. An invaluable help in hosting Krista Foundation events, Alicia is an exceptional cook and baker and loves drawing Colleagues into helping prepare our festive meals. In her spare time Alicia is an Elementary Special Education teacher in Issaquah School District in Washington State. A recent graduate of Texas A&M University, she attended on a full-ride graduate scholarship and received a Master's in Educational Psychology, specializing in Low Incidence Disabilities. Alicia is a Krista Colleague Class of 2000, where she served with Peace Corps in Zambia and Americorps in Boston.