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Sharing Food cookbook a legacy of love

Zaida Bastos gathers with farmers in Burundi.

January 25, 2021

By Christine Hills

“One who eats alone, cannot discuss the taste of the food with others.”

So begins Sharing Food, a new cookbook by former Director of PWRDF’s Development Partnership Program, Zaida Bastos. For 22 years, Bastos visited PWRDF partners all over the world, learning about their communities and how PWRDF could best support their sustainable development goals. Many times she met partners and members of the community over a plate of food.

“Sharing food with partners made me feel that I tasted a slice of their lives,” she says.

Time and again, Bastos returned to the PWRDF office full of stories about the progress of partners and projects. These stories inevitably included the seeds that were being planted and grown in small kitchen gardens, on small farms and in community compounds, and the wonderful food that was the result. No matter where she travelled, gathering around a dinner table to share food, stories and getting to know the people and their communities was a highlight.

Bastos made a promise to herself that before she retired she would share this bounty with others. While on sabbatical in late 2019, and knowing her retirement was planned for December 2020, Bastos collected recipes, reminiscences and photos from her travels and assembled them into a cookbook.

From the Philippines to Burundi, Tanzania to Cuba, partners shared their tables with Bastos. Now readers are invited into their culinary stories. Stir up some Isombe from the Democratic Republic of Congo, a dish of Cuban Black Beans, or a bowl Colombian Mondongo Soup, just a few of the delicious recipes in this cookbook. The accompanying stories accentuate the meaning of working in partnership and the joy of sharing a simple meal.

“It all starts with food” was the anchoring message of PWRDF’s food security campaign Fred Says, named for former Primate, Archbishop Fred Hiltz. These words underscore the importance of food for health, for community and for life. Now for Bastos, her legacy to PWRDF ends with a cookbook.

Sharing Food: Recipes From Partners Around the World is now available with a suggested minimum donation of $25. Order your copy today.