I'm taking a break from cooking for a few days because today is my 39th birthday and I'm at the beach this week with good friends enjoying the sunshine and ocean, fresh seafood and produce, and many, many games of cards, bags of Twizzlers and Turtle Chex Milk (diabetes, anyone?) and bottles of wine.
I didn't mention this in my previous post, but I do want you to know I'm about to reach the halfway point in The French Laundry at Home. On August 24, I will have completed 50 of the 100 dishes in the book; can you believe it?
In honor of this milestone, I'm kicking off a philanthropic endeavor that I hope you'll want to take part in. One of my favorite nonprofits is Share Our Strength. Here's what they're all about (from their web site):
Since 1984, Share Our Strength® has led the fight against hunger and poverty by inspiring and organizing individuals and businesses to share their strengths. We have raised over $200 million to fight hunger around the globe. We have invested critical funds in over 1,000 hunger-related organizations to help the most effective organizations sustain their efforts and maximize their capacity to deliver results. Today, our priority is to end childhood hunger in America ensuring that the nearly 12 million American children facing hunger have access to the nutritious food they need to learn, grow and thrive.
I don't know about you, but I was lucky enough to have a full-belly childhood, and to think that there are 12 million American kids who go hungry every year makes me angry and sad. I worked with Share Our Strength through one of my clients a few years ago, so I know these guys walk the walk. They are incredibly well respected and they're doing good work. Not only do they work with local nonprofits all across the country to provide food, they also offer nutrition education programs for those on limited budgets, and they do a lot of disaster relief work. Friends of mine worked with Share Our Strength in New Orleans and Biloxi in the weeks and months after Hurricane Katrina, and they were blown away by how much of an emotional impact a simple sandwich can have when you've lost everything.
So, here's the deal: click here to donate, and make sure that you list "French Laundry at Home" in the space where they ask for the name of the "honoree."
Then, at the end of the year, I'll check in with the Share Our Strength folks to see how much we've raised and I will match 10% of the total donations with a personal donation of my own. That's right -- 10%. If you guys collectively pony up the big bucks, then I will, too. I know I have some incredibly generous readers out there, so either donate now, or join me in making a matching gift.
This post won't be the last time you'll hear about this. Shortly, I'll have a donation link on the side nav of the site, and I'll post reminders from time to time. But if you're so inclined today, please think about helping out.
I feel incredibly lucky to be able to open my fridge and have so many options of what to eat on any given day. I'm doubly lucky because I have the resources to shop for and cook some of the most incredible food as part of this project. And, I'm infinitely lucky because through this project I've been able to tap into a vast network of people and places I'd only dreamed about. It's because of all these things that I want to do something for others. And, I think Share Our Strength is the right way to go.
So, thanks in advance for any amount you're able to donate. I'll keep you posted on how much we're raising and who this money will ultimately help.
Be back soon...