The Kids are Alright

Roast Sweet Potatoes Stuffed with Spiced Couscous and Yogurt by Sanura Weathers of "My Life Runs On Food."

Among my circles of friends, I straddle two styles of communication between older and younger adults. The difference in their communication approach is their perception of social media. My older friends avoid it, but they use it for networking purposes to benefit their careers. My younger friends over expose their personal lives on social media. And, when both groups discuss social issues, the divergence of opinions are apparent, but they all agree the Civil Rights Movement is evolving.

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Parade Magazine’s Community Table: Celebrate Kwanzaa with Senegalese Chicken Thighs with Red Palm and Coconut Rice by Pierre Thiam

Chicken Thighs with Red Palm and Coconut Rice from "Senegal: Modern Senegalese Recipes from the Source to the Bow"l by Pierre Thiam with Jennifer Sit

Chicken Thighs with Red Palm and Coconut Rice from “Senegal: Modern Senegalese Recipes from the Source to the Bowl” by Pierre Thiam with Jennifer Sit. Photo Credit: © Evan Sung.

I first learned of Kwanzaa after graduating from college, when a Nigerian-American friend invited me over to her family’s dinner to celebrate the occasion. Years later, I would celebrate Kwanzaa in my home and use it as an opportunity to explore cuisines from the African diaspora: Caribbean, South American and Southeast Asian while contemplating on one of the daily principles. This year, our Kwanzaa could be influenced by Senegal because of the beauty of Pierre Thiam’s cookbook, From Senegal: Modern Senegalese Recipes from the Source to the Bowl.

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A Sweeter Holiday Cheer

Hot Chocolate

Our Christmas joy is simpler than most households. Gifts are immediately purchased from online businesses that take forever to deliver, and now a third of my gift list is done. The rest of the list will finish in another week. Maybe, I’ll bring homemade goodies to my job and as gifts to others. We won’t buy a gigantic holiday tree. A trip to the florist for a few pine branches to place in a vase and decorate with ornaments is festive enough and easier to clean in January.

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Parade Magazine’s Community Table: Holiday Entertaining Made Easy with JeanMarie Brownson’s Chorizo and Seafood Stew

Jean Marie Brownson's Chorizo and Seafood Stew (Photo © Bill Hogan, courtesy of the Chicago Tribune and Agate Publishing.)

Jean Marie Brownson’s Chorizo and Seafood Stew (Photo © Bill Hogan, courtesy of the Chicago Tribune and Agate Publishing.)

Between all the exciting holiday parties is the option to entertain yourself at home. Open a bottle of wine. Read a book that has been collecting dust since it was gifted last year. And, make a fancy or simple dinner. The inspiration? JeanMarie Brownson’s Dinner at Home cookbook.

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