Giving Tuesday

After Thanksgiving Thursday, Black Friday, Cyber Monday… It is Giving Tuesday. This is the first year I’ve noticed this 4 year old social media effort.

It’s an actual thing. I love it! If there can be doughnut day, why not giving day?

Unbeknownst to me, I was celebrating the occasion by taking my post thanksgiving binge, guilt-admitting shelter dinner to the Lafayette Urban Ministry. Next year, I promise myself to do something more intentional to celebrate the occasion. It was an easy pot of chili and two trays of corn bread (thanks to corn bread and biscuit maker extraordinaire, my mom-in-law Ms. Rachel Perrin).

The fact that the dinner for 32 cost less than $70 is evidence of how easy it is to make a difference. All those promotional television spots cajoling us to donate a $1 a day to feed, education or immunize a child, to buy a goat, to cure a disease, to alleviate all variations of human suffering, makes sense. All worthy causes. How does one choose? For me, as someone who loves to eat and cook, the reality of hunger in the world hits hard. I have packed backpacks, worked at food rescue/community kitchens, sorted cans at the food pantry, on a D.C. street offered my bag of left over hushpuppies (that elicited a look of fear and gracious acceptance).  Education would be a close second. I love to read and learn. I cannot imagine a world without books or the possibility of learning. The truth is,  I learn more about myself in service of others than in my many attempts at meditative introspection. I learn about what I couldn’t live without and what I wouldn’t wish on anyone else.

Giving Day to me would be a day to give of oneself. I eat and read, cook and write. That is what I have to give. Giving is so much more complex that charity, guilt or sanctimony. Figuring out what you have to give the world is incredibly empowering. So, Happy Giving Tuesday, my dear readers!

May you rediscover and share yourself,



Chili for 32 (Recipe Adapted from Betty Crocker Online)

6-7 lbs of Ground Beef

6 cups chopped onions

8 -28 oz cans of diced tomatoes, undrained

6  -19 0z cans of red kidney beans, drained (I didn’t add the liquid)

2 – 15 oz can tomato sauce

6 tbs chili powder

4 tbs sugar

2 tbs salt

All ingredients were just store label and roughly the same proportions. I didn’t find the canned goods in the exact amounts.

Saute the beef and onions together until brown. I added 2 tbs of soy sauce at this point to flavor and help brown the meat.

I forgot to drain the oil. Seems like a challenging process for such a big pot. Maybe just skim off as much as you can.

I added the spices at this point. I also added a tsp of apple pie spice. Let it fry with the browned meat.

Add all the liquids. Simmer for an hour. Add kidney beans simmer for another hour.

Ladle in containers and carry to your nearest shelter.

Cornbread 32 servings Homesteader Cornbread

3 cups cornmeal

5 cups milk

4 cups ap flour

2 tbs baking powder

2 tsp salt

1 cup sugar

4 eggs

1 cup vegetable oil

Combine dry.

Combine wet.


Bake in two 9×13 pans at 400 for 30 minutes.



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