Food is central to my stories. The bakery in Cedarbrook and the kitchens in the Balfour home and Saint Catherine’s Monastery are the centers of heartfelt conversations. Food does more than sustain us. It is the center of life.

An extension of the Eucharistic meal, the source of eternal life, shared meals and their preparation are acts of love. Clare, her family, and the sisters share their lives around chef’s islands, worktables, and countertops. It’s more than a connection. It’s a heartbeat.

The kitchen binds us together with a hidden strand as a fiber in a coil of rope. Alone, a single fiber can easily be broken, but a woven cord is unbreakable.

This brings me to bread. Bread is the ultimate strand that binds us together. The combination of grain, water, yeast, and heat have the power to draw us around a table. When that happens, the mystery begins. We talk, laugh, imagine, and share. Stories come to life and we become one body.

Today is the Feast of Saint Agatha, virgin and martyr. Catania and Palermo, Sicily celebrate centuries-old traditions of cakes and breads in her honor. What a wonderful way to celebrate. 

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