Thursday, September 30, 2010

RCHP Sewing Circle today 12-2

September 30 is the RCHP sewing sale and demo.

The lovely ladies of the Reformed Church of Highland Park Sewing Circle will be on hand doing free sewing demonstrations. There will also be handmade items for sale.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

"Tree of Hope Award"

September 6, 2010—Elijah’s Promise was honored with the “Tree of Hope Award” by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence; the Tree of Hope Ceremony occurred outside of the Elijah’s Promise Culinary School on September 4. The Tree of Hope is planted annually to an organization that endorses recovery from addiction and is a sign of hope that healing is always possible. Elijah’s Promise was awarded for its work it does in Middlesex County to facilitate individuals to continue recovery and prevent relapse.

A Better World Café’s chef Leslie Nyambasora and Elijah’s Promise’s soup kitchen director Pam Johnson spoke at the ceremony, expressing the positive impacts that the organization has had on their lives. "I was tore up — I'm a recovering addict," said Pam, a graduate of Elijah’s Promise Culinary School, "But it really opened doors for me. Now I work for A Better World Café.” We congratulate and continue to support Elijah’s Promise, Pam, and Leslie for their phenomenal work!

Friday, September 24, 2010

A poem for the season

In January, a conference was held in New Orleans for all of the existing community cafes and those around the country planning to open to come together to exchange ideas and information.

Before lunch, this poem was read. It resonated with me then and I'm delighted to share it with you now.

A Pot of Red Lentils by Peter Pereira : The Poetry Foundation [poem] : Find Poems and Poets. Discover Poetry.

A Pot of Red Lentils

by Peter Pereira

simmers on the kitchen stove.
All afternoon dense kernels
surrender to the fertile
juices, their tender bellies
swelling with delight.

In the yard we plant
rhubarb, cauliflower, and artichokes,
cupping wet earth over tubers,
our labor the germ
of later sustenance and renewal.

Across the field the sound of a baby crying
as we carry in the last carrots,
whorls of butter lettuce,
a basket of red potatoes.

I want to remember us this way—
late September sun streaming through
the window, bread loaves and golden
bunches of grapes on the table,
spoonfuls of hot soup rising
to our lips, filling us
with what endures.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Event: Klezmer concert Thursday 9/24 1:30-2:30pm

Join us for a klezmer concert to celebrate the Jewish holiday, Sukkot on Thursday 9/24/10 from 1:30-2:30 pm.

Tsu Fil Duvids (Yiddish for "Too Many Daves") is a klezmer ensemble comprised of piano Dave Schlossberg, clarinet Dave Goldfarb, bass Dave Schiff, with Jeff (Dave) Baker on trombone, Rob (Dave) Lowe on violin, Asher (Dave) Siebert on trumpet, and Bill (Dave) Selden on accordion. The ensemble has been heard most recently at Limmud Philly Learningfest, Smokey Joe’s (Teaneck, NJ) , and the Rejoice Festival of Jewish Music (South Brunswick, NJ).

Klezmer (from Yiddish כּלי־זמיר) is a musical tradition of the Ashkenazic Jews of Eastern Europe. Played by professional musicians called klezmorim, the genre consists largely of dance tunes and instrumental display pieces for weddings and other celebrations. Although the genre has its origins in Eastern Europe, the particular form now known as klezmer developed in the United States in the milieu of Yiddish-speaking Jewish immigrants who arrived between 1880 and 1924.


Location: A Better World Cafe, located in the Reformed Church of Highland Park. 19 S. 2nd Ave, Highland Park NJ. In the social hall.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Welcome to A Better World Cafe's Blog

We've had a blog on the back burner here at A Better World for quite some time. Now we're happy to report with a little help from several friends, we're launching a blog that is another place to gather for the kind of community we offer in the dining room, wherever you may be.

This week, we find ourselves on the delicate tightrope balancing between seasons. On Monday, we're enjoying the fruits of summer and then BAM, the autumnal equinox visits and we fall happily into autumn like children joyously jumping into a pile of leaves.

Summer at A Better World was great. We had a season of tomatoes that were pure perfection (especially after last year's blight). Peaches made their way into chilled soups, grilled as salads, smothered in crisp topping as dessert. The watermelons were the sweetest in memory.

We had some very special volunteers over the summer. Manny and Natasha, two students bound for culinary school in September, spent every day with us for the majority of the summer. They both were valuable members of our team. We were so sad to see them go but we know they'll do great in culinary school.

Many young people joined us as volunteers this summer. It was so nice to get to know some of these students who were motivated to help. We also had fun doing a food demonstration for Who Is My Neighbor's Environmental Camps for kids and making watermelon ice pops as a menu special for the vacation bible school students.

Regan Koch, a PhD first-year PhD student in Geography at University College London joined us for research . The focus of his study is on public spaces and various ways they are being
re-imagined to make them better for the bodies that inhabit them. He's also quite interested in food and recently organized a food festival in London. Regan spent many days helping us in the cafe, asking a trillion questions and being a great help to us. We look forward to his next visit to the States and are honored to be part of his research.

The Sewing Circle graciously let us move our Thursday operation into the Quilt Room for the summer because the Social Hall is not air-conditioned. Now that the weather is cooling down , we are back in the social hall on Thursdays and the sewing circle is using the Quilt Room for their quilt making.

We are excited about a full calendar of events on Thursdays at the cafe this fall. Hopefully, there is something for everyone- music, crafts, food information, parenting tips and even a teensy party to celebrate our one year anniversary. Take a look at the list on the right side of the page. We'll have additional posts here on the blog with more information about each event. Some events will have cool door prizes. Stay tuned for more info.

Look for our fall event listing bookmarks in the dining room and feel free to tuck one into a book from our ever changing book swap box. The book swap has been so popular, we've added a monthly swap to our events. In September, we had a kitchen gadget and cookbook swap. In October, we'll have a yarn swap and Knit-In, November will host a sweater swap and in December a holiday ornament swap. Sustainability is very important to us at the cafe. Finding a loving owner for something you no longer need makes sense to us. Why throw things away when they can be reused? Plus, we sure love finding something new to us, too. Any leftovers from these swaps will be donated to the Reformed Church of Highland Park's thrift shop, the Clothesline in New Brunswick or another place we think will make the best use of the items.

As autumn produce comes in, the menu will begin to change just as the leaves will. For all of you butternut squash soup lovers out there, we're excited about bringing that favorite back on the menu as soon as we can. We've already been brainstorming with the pastry chefs and they are thinking about sweet treats like cardamon laced icing, smores bars, caramel apples, spicy gingerbread and pumpkin chocolate chip loaves. Yum!

We hope to see you soon at the cafe this fall. If you have friends that are new to the area or your school, please let them know they are welcome always to come in and dine with us and join our communal table.

Posted by: Rachel