Show and Tell: Serendipitous Spoons

February 02, 2012
By Holly Jennings

At the moment of transition from one DCCC pick to the next, new exciting cookbook, I always want to linger a bit more with the old one. After several weeks of cooking and reading, I develop a relationship with the author, the book, and the recipes, and, in the case of 70 Traditional African Recipes, a newfound taste for the food. Each book becomes a familiar friend that I don’t want to say goodbye to.

Then I remembered a reason to stay a moment longer: my Christmas present from my sister-in-law (in spirit) Anne, a pair of Kenyan-made spoons. Which was the first serendipitous moment connected with the theme of African cooking, preceding the arrival of Thierno, a Guinean, whose semi had become stuck on our road in slippery snow and ice.

When Anne purchased the spoons, made of cow bone and decorated with black tea batik, she had no idea that the current theme of DCCC was African cooking. I fell in love with them immediately upon seeing them, and then discovered the small sheet of paper enclosed in the box that told the story of the women who handcrafted them.

Anne bought them from Denur Crafts, a membership-based business  founded by Leah Mitula that imports jewelry and other items handcrafted by Kenyan women, of which 60 percent of the profits go directly to the members and toward the cost of education for their children. Making them a recipe for the perfect Christmas present: beauty + serendipity + meaning.

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