Tag Archives: food

lasagna love.

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The Nonprofit Spreading Kindness One Lasagna at a Time: “We Have the Power to Shift Communities” 

Food is more than a simple snack or meal: It symbolizes comfort, connection, and care, and we’ve been using it to nurture social relationships since at least the Bronze Age. So when Rhiannon Menn found herself yearning to make an impact as the COVID-19 pandemic caused layoffs, school closures, and illnesses, she started cooking.

“I just thought, well, what do I love to do? And what do I know how to do? And for me, that’s cooking; it’s my happy place,” the mother of three told Nice News. In March of 2020, Menn began making extra pans of lasagna, then got on Facebook, found a few “mom groups” in the San Diego area, and offered to drop them off to anyone in need. She delivered seven meals her first week and quickly began getting messages from other people inspired to help. “All of a sudden I found myself managing this network of amazing volunteers who all wanted to feed people in their community,” Menn said.

Just over two years later, Lasagna Love has become a registered nonprofit with over 35,000 volunteers — or “Lasagna Chefs” as they are called — in all 50 states, as well as Canada and Australia. Altogether, they’ve delivered more than 250,000 lasagnas, feeding over one million people in total. The organization has been featured on Good Morning America and The Kelly Clarkson Show. And Menn believes it’s all a testament to how many people are looking for an outlet to show kindness and help others.

Lasagna chefs are matched with families based on distance and dietary restrictions. Once a match is made, all communication occurs directly between those two people. “We do feed families, and that’s important, but really what we’re doing is spreading kindness and strengthening communities, and it’s through those one-on-one bonds that it moves the needle on connectedness,” said Menn.

And there are no eligibility requirements to request a meal or nominate a family. One of the nonprofit’s core values is zero judgment. “We can’t say what needing help looks like,” Menn said, “only you, as a recipient, know what it means to need help”

Virginia resident Jan Delucien, who experienced a traumatic brain injury that left her unable to work, requested a lasagna after hearing about the organization in a support group. For the 64-year-old, the smiling volunteer handing her a home-cooked dish at her door meant much more than just a free meal. “It really was a gift of love,” Delucien told the AP through tears.

According to Menn, when asked if they felt inspired to pay the act of kindness forward, 97% of Lasagna Love meal recipients said they did, and a quarter responded that they already had. “I deliver a lasagna to you, and then you’re inspired to go donate a bag of clothes, or maybe share the meal with somebody, or maybe volunteer at the local animal shelter. So, all of a sudden, those million people that were fed — how many acts does that actually result in? And that’s where we have the power to really shift communities,” she said.

The founder hopes that one day the world won’t need Lasagna Love anymore and that people will help each other entirely organically. But until then, Menn and her team will keep spreading kindness one lasagna at a time.

“no matter what you’re going through in life, eat first.”

-wordporn

 

credit: rebecca brandes

Neanche per idea! Neanche per sogno! (Not a chance! In your dreams!)

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Italy rejects Domino’s pizza, chain will close all its restaurants there.

 American pizza chain Domino’s will soon exit the motherland of pizza.

No, not New Jersey or New York.

Italy.

Domino’s is leaving pizza’s birthplace because of the poor reception from locals. The Ann Arbor-based company recently announced plans to close the last of its 29 locations in Italy according to Bloomberg.

The popular U.S. pizza chain debuted in Italy in 2015 through a franchising agreement with ePizza SpA.

Domino’s originally planned to open 880 locations in the country, but competition from local pizza shops curbed those plans. According to Bloomberg, one way traditional Italian pizzerias combated Domino’s presence was by ramping up deliveries and signing deals with third-party delivery services during the pandemic.

“We attribute the issue to the significantly increased level of competition in the food delivery market with both organized chains and ‘mom & pop’ restaurants delivering food, to service and restaurants reopening post pandemic and consumers out and about with revenge spending,” ePizza SpA said in a report to investors.

Quotes from locals in Italy:

“Who is Domino? Do you know him?

 Here? In Rome?

So they wanted to take pizza to where it was invented?!”

“No point in opening it,

American pizza for Italians? Doesn’t make sense. Maybe for tourists.

Like me going to England and making fish and chips.” 

“I submit to you…novantanove formaggio! The ninety-nine cheese pizza.”

Michelangelo, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

 

fyi – the term ‘pizza’ was first recorded in the 10th century in a latin manuscript from the southern italian town of gata in lazio, on the border of campania.

 

credits: christopher burch, n.j. com, domino’s pizza, bloomberg

thrills on canada day.

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Canada has given the United States a lot of fantastic things through the years. Some are easier to embrace than others, like this soap-tasting gum. It’s called Thrills, and it’s actually gum that’s flavored with rose water, but the result seems to taste like soap to a lot of people. Thrills got so much feedback on the taste that instead of changing the formula, they decided to run with it. Now they proudly say, “It still tastes like soap!” on the front of every pack of gum. While it likely turns a lot of people away, it must be a selling point for some since it’s been around since the 1950s.

Thanks, Canada and Happy Canada Day!

“the age of your children is a key factor in how quickly you are served in a restaurant.

we once had a waiter in canada who said, ‘could I get you your check?’ and we answered,

‘how about the menu first?’”

-erma bombeck

 

 

 tourism windsor

crumble.

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and for yet another time

i’ve had food delivered to me

that i hadn’t ordered

some have had addresses, some have not

and i was very tempted….

called the delivery service on the bag

they conference-called us both

 hungry guy and his girlfriend came over

told them i almost ate them

they were thankful and told me i should have

not sure why i keep getting people’s food

all at different addresses

 from different sources

i’ve decided to embrace it

as a unique way to get to know my neighbors.

“the pleasure lies not in the cookies, but in the pattern the crumbs make when the cookies crumble.”

-michael korda

snacks.

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one thing different about having snacks during summer break
is that i don’t have to share them with any creature
who might suddenly appear
including a baby t-rex.
“i like vending machines, because snacks are better when they fall.
if i buy a candy bar at the store,
oftentimes i will drop it so that is achieves its maximum flavor potential.”
-mitch hedberg

do-nut know how i missed it!

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yesterday was national donut day and somehow i missed it

but i’ll be sure to make up for it today!

Keeping it highly academic on the day after National Donut Day. The photo above is from the Sally L. Steinberg Collection of Doughnut Ephemera (that’s its real name) in the Smithsonian National Museum of American HIstory’s Archives Center.

Steinberg describes herself as the “doughnut princess”— her grandfather Adolph Levitt was America’s original “doughnut king.” He developed the automatic doughnut-making machine, opened the first retail doughnut chain in the country and founded the modern American doughnut industry.

She gathered this collection while researching a 1987 book on the history of the doughnut, (not surprisingly  called:”The Donut Book.”)

Why, you ask after looking at the decreasing size of the hole trend in the photo, is the hole not totally gone? Somewhere in the 80’s, the trend of the hole shrinking stopped and the outer rim began collapsing inwards, getting sweeter as it diminished. This became known as the “supernova” era of donuts and continues today.

 

Sources: Smithsonian Museums, Sally Levitt Steinberg, The Donut Book , Storey Publishing

midnight diner.

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it’s not really a weekend at the lake house

with a group of friends

until someone

finds whatever they can

late at night

to saw through the plastic

and chop off a chunk of something in the kitchen.

 

“midnight happiness is eating at 2am”

-paridhi sinha

happy accidental birthday, bumpy cake.

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A Beloved Treat, Born from a Happy Accident

German confectioner Fred Sanders Schmidt first opened up his confectionary in Chicago, but that venture was short-lived, as it was a casualty of the Great Fire in 1871. Sanders and his wife, Rosa landed in Detroit, where he reopened for business in 1875. Sanders Confectionery has been a Detroit institution ever since.

For its first few decades in business, the store was simply a good old-fashioned chocolate and candy shop, with most of the products handcrafted by Fred and Rosa. In 1912, Fred decided to begin selling baked goods to honor the passing of his father, who had been a prominent baker and business owner in Illinois. One of those items was a rich chocolate cake, first frosted with vanilla buttercream and finished with a glossy chocolate fudge ganache, a nod to Fred’s candy-making skills. During one recipe test, Fred began to run out of vanilla buttercream, and instead of frosting the cake in a thick layer as planned, he playfully piped the white frosting in several rails across the top of the cake, which created a bumpy surface under the fudge icing and made for an attractive cross-section. After recognizing that most Sanders customers always asked for “the cake with the bumps,” the name was changed from “Devil’s Food Buttercream Cake” to “Chocolate Bumpy Cake” and a dessert icon was born on April 27, 1913. 

side note: this is one of my favorite cakes and also the nickname given to me by the waiters i worked with years ago, who suggested that i should use the name ‘bumpy teacakes’ should i ever become a dancer, and the entire restaurant crew knew me by this name forever after.

“nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” 

-ralph waldo emerson

 

 

 

credits: sandersbakery.com

Like many happy culinary accidents, the newly fashioned cake with its unique look took off with customers. Initially called “Devil’s Food Buttercream Cake,” so many people simply asked for “the cake with the bumps” that Sanders changed the name to “Chocolate Bumpy Cake.”

Like many happy culinary accidents, the newly fashioned cake with its unique look took off with customers. Initially called “Devil’s Food Buttercream Cake,” so many people simply asked for “the cake with the bumps” that Sanders changed the name to “Chocolate Bumpy Cake.”