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February is for Friendship

 

Sitting in the car with containers full of food prepared with love, grace, and friendship, Kayma and I traveled to my apartment to end our evening of catching up. We connected after months of post-graduation life - highs and lows, job searching, and identity (re)development. For our meal, she offered to make African peanut butter stew (a culinary quest for my taste buds). I contributed cabbage and plantains with a cinnamon agave glaze (sounds good, but they were under ripe so ugh).

I loved the peanut butter stew so much that I recreated it in my kitchen- African peanut butter stew with grilled okra and candied butternut squash. When I followed the directions provided from my friend, I reflected on the power of friendship and food. February is for friendship (and Black History - stay tuned for a post : ). By this time of the year, we usually see retail stores stock their shelves with red and pink items hearts, teddy bears, and cheap candies to commemorate Valentine’s Day. While I don’t celebrate the holiday, I do recognize the importance of celebrating the ones we cherish. Some of the best memories I have involved sitting at a table covered with food and drink while enjoying unforgettable conversations.

As you prepare to spend time with friends and loved ones this month, consider my dish above. The warm and savory flavors of the dish will set the right tone for a girls night in or guys hanging out. My go-to seasonings are cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves/allspice, and ginger. Another tip is to practice mindfulness when chopping the chicken (or tofu!) to feel the therapeutic relief of slicing through any anxiety, worry, or stress! If you don’t like butternut squash, substitute it for American yams or orange carrots. Okra is definitely an acquired taste, so going for broccoli, zucchini, or green beans are great alternatives as well!

 

 

@chrycka_harper

#ryckaskitchen #cookingwellness #cooking4selflove

*I forgot to talk about the chart (oops).

"The Very Real Psychological Benefits of Cooking for Other People" June 2017”

Benefits to Mindfulness

Rycka's Kitchen Cooking Wellness Webinar

Flash back to April 2018 when I first launched this website to promote cooking wellness! I created a food justice internship with a therapy center to learn more about food, nutrition, and sustainable agriculture and how to connect the field to my Social Work curriculum. That was when I started Rycka’s Kitchen on the platform of engaging people to use cooking as mental wellness. The webinar below captured my vision (roughly lol) and became the launch pad to Rycka’s Kitchen. Even though #issarelaunch is moving in a different direction, I want to keep the webinar here for cherished memories… (or until it’s time to go ha ha)!