Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Fishing For A Recipe for Peace In the Shadow of 9/11

Nearly everyone had something to say about the 10th anniversary of 9/11, that day that changed our lives forever. Whatever I had been planning to say has already been said. Like every other American, I’ll always remember where I was and what I was doing at that Moment. As with the assassinations of President Kennedy and Reverend Martin Luther King, sharing my personal experiences of that time with other Americans will always create an instant connection with everyone who experienced it.

Now that tragic day has passed. We have to look ahead to what kind of society we want America to be. We all have a role in shaping that society by our actions. Will we forever view anyone [especially Moslems and people from the Middle East] differently with suspicion or will we honor each other’s differences and treat each other with mutual respect?

Often it feels that there is little that we as individuals can do to influence national trends or politics. On a local level, however, we can often exert some influence in our own communities. We were privileged on 9/11/2011 to participate in a local event that promoted interpersonal understanding across the gulfs of racial, ethnic, and age differences. The Walk and Talk was spearheaded by Peaceable Cities (www.peaceablecitiesevanston.org) in Evanston, Illinois. Over 70 organizations both faith based and secular participated. We marched through Evanston for about three miles from the Dar el Suna Mosque to the Jewish Reconstructionist Synagogue (JRC). Every couple of  blocks, volunteers would hold up signs saying “Time for a Change” at which point we were instructed to change partners and dialogue with someone new.  I spoke with people from the Mosque, members of the Friends Meetinghouse, and a mom and her little girl who was being home schooled. We all gained from hearing each others’ stories. We arrived at JRC that much richer having met fellow marchers we would have been unlikely to spend time with otherwise. It was a beautiful day and I hope the first of many similar dialogues.

I usually share a recipe that fits a theme but alas, this week I needed to eat something soft. I hope this recipe that I got years ago also bridges the great divides. After the Walk and Talk, I made tilapia in saffron tomato sauce. Preparation time was 25 minutes.

                                                Tilapia in saffron tomato sauce

1/8 tsp saffron threads
3 T extra virgin olive oil
1 each onion chopped and small red bell pepper
1 ½  pounds ripe tomatoes chopped or one can diced tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste
1 ½ pounds tilapia fillets
3 T basil, oregano, and parsley

1.slightly crush the saffron and add to the oil. Let stand.
2.Put saffron and oil in a skillet and sauté. Add the onions and pepper and cook for about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, salt and pepper, other seasoning. Cook on medium heat stirring until in thickens for about 10 minutes.
3.Add the fish. Cook on low to medium heat until the fish flakes on a fork usually 5-8 minutes.



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