Kwanzaa Culinarians

Recipes and Food Stories from the African Diaspora

Ujima: Naomi’s Community Work with her Church

After I received my assigned principle about Kwanzaa, I tried to narrow down what specific recipe I could write about. My principle is Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility), which means to build and maintain our community together and make our brothers and sisters’ problems our problems and to solve them together. When I read this, I instantly thought of my work at church.

I have been the President of the Kitchen Committee at Galilee Baptist Church for many years. I’m responsible for the purchase, coordination and serving of food in our church for various annual functions and special events. The church has been instrumental in working with community organizations that serve food to the hungry and poor. When a person has nothing left and they feel they have no one to turn to, God is always there. The church is a safe haven for people to go to for comfort, guidance and support. God has blessed me with the talent of cooking and serving food.

I love what I do and even though it’s tiring and back breaking work, there’s nothing else I would rather do. I believe that food can bring people together and what I do in the kitchen on Sundays at my church can keep the community together. Not only that, but many times when people want to discuss an issue, they meet over food and drinks. Many times after people have eaten their food, they’re still sitting around the table talking, laughing and having a good time. Food has that effect on people. The one recipe that I’ve made for church that was well received was Smoked Turkey and Cabbage.

Smoked Turkey and Cabbage

2 smoked turkey drumsticks
1 large head of cabbage, chopped
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. In a large stockpot, place the drumsticks and pour enough water in the pot to cover them.
3. Reduce the heat to medium or until the liquid is a rolling boil. Let the drumsticks cook for 90 min. or until the meat falls off the bone.
4. Uncover and add the onion, cabbage and garlic. Let cook for 25-30 minutes or until the cabbage becomes soft and still has some crunch.
5. Add your seasonings and serve.

Visit Naomi’s blog, and follow her on Twitter @NaomisDish.

About shelleychapman1

Do you think the green beans on your plate have anything to do with the intimacy your willing to explore in your relationship? Shelley Chapman, The Food Relationship Coach™ does. "Your approach to food is your approach to life". That’s Shelley's philosophy and she teaches how people and food collaborate and conspire to either uplift or take power away from each other. Having once been a compulsive over eater and emotional eater, Shelley learned the hard way that it's now what we eat, but how we eat that affects how we show up in life. By using her innovative coaching program: Belly Breakthroughs, speaking and facilitating workshops, Shelley has helped transform the bodies and lives of women. One client wrote, "She is the perfect blend of your favorite homegirl and the wise sage woman. My work with Shelley has opened me up to the celebration of my body and sensuality". Her latest work, Tantric Tastes: Dessert for Lovers explores the relationship between sensuality and food and is an Amazon Best Seller.


This entry was posted on December 28, 2011 by in 2011, Personal Story, Ujima and tagged , , , , .

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Learn more about Kwanzaa

The word "Kwanzaa" comes from the phrase, "matunda ya kwanza" which means "first-fruits." Kwanzaa's extra "a" evolved as a result of a particular history of the Organization Us. It was clone as an expression of African values in order to inspire the creativity of our children. In the early days of Us, there were seven children who each wanted to represent a letter of Kwanzaa. Since kwanza (first) has only six letters, we added an extra "a" to make it seven, thus creating "Kwanzaa." To learn more about Kwanzaa, visit the Official Kwanzaa Website.

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