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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Amuse Bouche

According to Wikipedia, "aamuse-bouche [aˌmyzˈbuʃ] is a single, bite-sized hors d’œuvre.[1] Amuse-bouches are different from appetizers in that they are not ordered from a menu by patrons, but, when served, are done so free and according to the chef's selection alone. These, often accompanied by a complementing wine, are served both to prepare the guest for the meal and to offer a glimpse into the chef's approach to the art of cuisine."

If you are reading this, then welcome to the amuse-bouche of my first “blog,” Food for Thought...Nourishing Ideas for Nonprofit Leaders.  While I have no complementary wine to offer at present, I hope this blog will provide a nourishing "meal" of ideas for people who are passionate about making a difference.

I call the blog “Food for Thought” for a couple of reasons.

Most people who know me know that I am not shy about sharing my opinions and I usually have something to say about almost anything.   I collect facts, ideas and experiences like a magpie. Also, I love to cook and eat. In fact when someone tells me about a trip they have taken my first question after “where did you go?” is “what did you eat?”

These two home truths came together in a most unusual way when I served as a Salvation Army first responder in the wake of Hurricane Rita. Stationed in Lake Charles, LA, I cooked 1200 meals a day on a two burner propane stove. It was exhausting (no one would use a photo of me at the end of the day as a recruitment poster) and a significant life changer.  I have spoken and written about this experience many times to spread the word about the Salvation Army as well as about service.  It brought me closer to what we do as volunteers, consultants  and professionals in the nonprofit community and why we do it.

This blog is a way to merge my passions in a manner that lets me share with you while inviting you to share with me.

Nonprofit consulting and cooking actually have several things in common:

    They involve taking a variety of ingredients and creating something that is more than the sum of its parts;
    They make you aware of others needs and tastes;
    They allow you to give of yourself;
    They may surprise you with the results.

Recognizing how important it is to feed our minds, bodies and souls, I’ve launched Food for Thought with the goal of helping to nourish all three. I’ll be sharing information about ways to better serve your nonprofit mission and fuel the passion for your work and hope you'll share your challenges, experiences and insights, as well.  And we'll serve it up with some tasty recipes and kitchen tips and a dash of southern wit to keep things fun.

So please check in regularly- I’ll be faithful in posting and encourage you to bookmark the website and use and share the resources.  Just let others know where you found all this good information and advice, please.

Right now I am especially excited about our Fall Workshops and the new CSA and Farmer’s markets flourishing this summer and fall. Our first workshop on September 17 is called Inspire Me! and it is all about creating compelling communications. Information about the workshops can be found on the website's workshop page, 

Our area has an abundance of both farmer's markets and CSAs- Community Supported Agriculture sites.  Both are a fantastic source for local seasonal produce.  Right now corn, tomatoes and peaches are at their peak. Freshly husked corn is ready 6 minutes after you pop it on the grill or drop it into boiling water.  Slice up a couple of tomatoes and some peaches.  Can you imagine an easier or more delicious meal? 

Send me the name and location of your favorite farmer's market or CSA.  Or check out the 2013 listing of Delaware Farmer’s Markets and Buy Local Chester County, PA Guide. 

Thanks for reading and let’s talk.