Empty Bowls

Children go to bed hungry in America. Hard to believe, right? But it’s true. And one way to help is to support your local Empty Bowls meal. The Empty Bowls movement is a loosely connected network of fundraisers that funnel the local money raised back into the local community to help the local hungry. Churches, schools and other groups typically sponsor the meals. You buy your ticket and go eat — usually it’s something simple such as soup, crackers and water — and then as a thank-you and a reminder of the empty bowls so many people face every day, you take home a handmade pottery bowl that volunteers have donated. In my town, the Salvation Army Auxiliary sponsors an Empty Bowls lunch every year, and it’s a must-go big deal. Restaurants and caterers bring their best soups for sampling and judging, there’s a Salvation Army fashion show where the models mingle with the crowd and try to get the most votes — in money — for their thrift-store outfits and there’s one of the best bake sales and silent auctions around. My family has gone to this for years and so far we’ve amassed quite an intriguing collection of bowls. But I think the ones we got this year are the best ever — and we lucked out because they all three coordinated. How cool is that? Learn more about Empty Bowls at http://www.emptybowls.net

Easter

Easter dessertsEaster is one of those easy family holidays that Easter treatsgives you lots of bang for your buck — if Christmas is the stress-inducing standard then Easter falls somewhere above Valentine’s Day but below birthdays. Well, that’s my opinion today anyway, when I’m a few years past midnight hours of frantically finishing Easter dresses for my two daughters and managing the Easter-morning chaos of baskets and eggs before church. At least the food is still easy, with Easter bake sales everywhere. I found these goodies at the Empty Bowl luncheon this past week sponsored by the Salvation Army Auxiliary in Florence, Alabama. From works-of-art cakes worthy of Easter dinner to peanut-butter fudge for munching as you did more shopping, there was something for everybody. Hope everyone has a stress-free and photo-op-filled Easter weekend, with chocolate bunnies for all!