Monday Morning Reads

Monday Morning Reads | In Jennie's Kitchen

Do you find yourself with a million tabs open on your browser throughout the day with articles you intend to read? Me, too. Truth is I usually don’t get to them until the wee hours of the next day, and more often than not they pile up, leaving me with lots of reading to catch up with come the weekend. So many times it’s an article relevant to the way I cook/eat/source my food, and whisper to myself “must remember to share this on the blog”. And yet, I never get around to actually doing it. Let’s change that, okay? 

I’d also love to know if you come across any articles, sites, ingredients, hunger-related charities, homeschooling news, fun new apps—you get the idea, that you think our community here would enjoy knowing more about. Please feel free to send them me at

We are a community, you know…that just occurred to me, crazy as it sounds. Some of you have been on this journey with me since I wrote my first post in January 2009, many have joined along the way, and some might even be brand new readers with this post. Some of you visit for the food, others for the stories.

There are the folks who are struggling with their own loss, or trying to better understand someone else’s loss—we’re a good mix of everything here, a community of people who care about what we eat, how we source it, how to best mother/friend/version of ourselves possible, but the thread that I think connects us all is what does it means to be a good fellow human being? So, with that thought, here’s what been on my reading plate the last few weeks.

  • Fed 40 I learned about this via Cool Mom Eats last week. I’m curious to hear more thoughts about it. While Fed40 bills itself as a mobile food pantry (using an app), it thinks outside the model we think of as a food pantry. In a way, it goes beyond the stop-gap necessity that food pantries fulfill. The lengthy questions participants are required to answer, as well as the fact that the food is delivered in a bundle of 40 meals, assumes the recipients are somewhat on their feet, at least that is how I perceived it reading through their application process. They also require an address to send the care package, which as we know might not be possible for homeless families. I don’t say any of this as a criticism of the program, just sharing some questions & thoughts that came to mind while reading through their website.
  • The truth about charter schools. By now, it’s obvious I have strong opinions about the state of education, both public and private. I’m eternally thankful for the small, nurturing progress school my daughters are both back in this year. The ability to homeschool them last year, and now send them to a private school that aligns with my philosophies is a privilege, and it shouldn’t be. Educating our children ranks up there with universal healthcare—it shouldn’t be for profit, and that’s the point of this article regarding the state of education, along with the influx & failure of charter schools in Michigan.
  • Waste of Thyme  I can offer lots of ideas of what to do with all those extra herbs you get stuck with, when really you just need a few leaves or sprigs, but this was still an interesting read. It can extend beyond fresh herbs, too. How many times do you buy a bunch of celery for just a few stalks? In Paris, many grocers let you buy only what you need.
  • Liget  If I had to choose a favorite podcast, this last season of Invisibilia might win top honor. This episode was especially moving. Warning: it talks about headhunters, but if you can get past the instinctual “WTF” reaction to the notion of it all, it’s quite revealing about the kind of emotional pain we experience with the loss of someone we care about deeply. “He tried to gain a deeper understanding, but defining liget was like trying to describe the color blue without ever seeing it.”
  • Obama Foundation Fellow  True confession time? I’d love to apply for this to work towards my deep belief that we can combat hunger in numerous ways: education, food recovery programs, and accessibility of high quality ingredients at reasonable costs for everyone, especially in food deserts. Why am I afraid to take the leap, and apply?

That’s it for today! I actually had a few more links to share, but will save them for next week, as I think there’s enough food for thought here at the moment.


  • Margaret Reece

    I’m always so grateful to read your posts. I’ve been following you for a long time, I enjoy your books, your recipes and I have suffered a tragic blow in my life so you’re writing has always touched a chord for me. I’m really disappointed today though – as a charter school operator for almost 18 years now, I can say there are a lot of successful and great charter schools out there – and posting that article is hurtful to those of us whose passion is changing the educational culture of our country. Yep, there are examples of charter school failures and at the same time, the public school system has also had many failures. A rich environment of choice is very important, as both charter schools and public schools have also been very, very successful. It’s kind of a bummer to read something so biased. I understand it’s your blog and your posts, I just hope you reconsider. Normally, I don’t post and I hate wading into politics on someone else’s site, but I felt like I had to say something. Thanks.

  • Jennie

    I’m glad you felt you could voice your opinion here, Margaret. Doing so in a polite manner is always welcome. Yes, of course there are failing public schools, too, but using public funds for privately run schools is not the answer to shoring up, and strengthening the public education system where there is no accountability for how those public funds are being used. This is not a bias based on politics; it’s my opinion based on years of reading about the effect of charter schools in the very crowded metropolis I grew up in, and lived for most of my life. I’ve seen public school classes denied space in their own buildings to make room for charter schools that do not serve the needs of all level students. The letters to the editor in this NYT piece (, share the same sentiment on my feelings about charter schools, and those letters were mostly written by people are present & past educators.
    I’m glad you’ve found comfort in some of my writing and recipes in the past. I hope you choose to stay connected to them, and can appreciate I’m an independent thinker allowed to form, and write about, my own opinions on what is a personal website.

  • Dumela

    Please, please apply for the Obama fellowship. Fresh perspectives from people who really understand food and the soul of eating is needed! Michelle Obama made great headway with Congress and the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 *and* a White House garden and all. Folks need access to healthy foods so that they can make good choices!