With unemployment soaring in the United States, with famine spreading in East Africa, with earthquakes killing in Asia and the Pacific Islands, with drugs, fear and poverty ruining communities in Central America, how we find gratitude in our hearts this Thanksgiving, and generosity in our souls this Christmas?

LOVE.

Wait…. Really?

I mean, that seems like the right answer – it’s the core of the gospel and all, but some days the people I love are the people to whom I show the least gratitude and generosity. They are the people I take for granted and show my weakest, crabbiest, neediest self to. And if we can’t love people well in our most intimate relationships, how will we ever love well the people down the street or around the world?

We’re facing a fierce crisis: the population has officially topped 7 billion, and resources are distributed as unequally as ever. Global Women’s Project seeks to redistribute wealth as Jesus – and our consciences – demand. Our work is a drop in the bucket – only $9,000 or so passes through GWP each year – but our partner projects know how to do a lot with their $1500 annual grants. They can do a lot with this money because they are working side-by-side, hand-in-hand, with their friends and family. I bet they get grouchy with the people they love, too, and still the vision of empowered women, strong families and sustainable communities calls them to live out of the best of themselves.

The inspiration of sweet love has beckoned us out of our fear and greed for millenia. Watch “Meals Ready” for a dose of inspiration for your day. It’s a bit slow at first, but since my mom (one of the people I love the most) sent the link to me, I stuck with it and was glad I did.

In honor of Tamil Nadu, the home of “Meals Ready,” we offer you a Hindu prayer and a classic Indian recipe (below).

As you enter the holiday season, we also encourage you to check out our cards – just print them out and give the gift of GWP and women’s empowerment to the people you love. We have blank cards and cards for specific holidays, all of which share a picture and message from a partner project.

In love – Anna Lisa Gross, for GWP (November E-Links)

 

May the Supreme Lord of the Universe nourish the body so that I may have only auspicious words, that I may see only good things, that I may see the divinity in all things and everywhere experience the many forms of the One Supreme God; that all people on earth may be blessed. Yaju Veda

 

Saag Paneer (Serves 6)

• 4tbsgheeor2tbsmustardoil+2 tbs vegetable oil (optional)

• green chilies (or cayenne)

• 1 onion, grated or finely chopped

• 1 tsp fenugreek seeds

• 2 x 3-inch stick cinnamon

• 5 cardamom pods

• 5 whole cloves

• 4 cloves garlic, minced

• 1 1⁄2 tbs grated ginger

cooking time, the greens should be tender and most of the liquid should be evaporated. Turn off the heat, cover the pot and allow it to sit for about 15 minutes (or for a day or two). Check spices and add salt.

Whether you let it sit for 15 minutes or overnight, use food processor or stick blender to get the “perfect” consistency. Be sure to remove the cinnamon stick and cardamom pods (if you can find them) before blending! If you’re planning on freezing, now’s the time to put some aside.

Before serving, fry the paneer in a little bit of oil (or ghee) until browned on all sides.

• 1 tsp ground cumin

Add to the saag and mix gently.

• 1 tsp ground coriander

• 1 tbs tomato paste

• 3 bunches of spinach

• 1 bunch kale or mustard greens, de- stalked and chopped

• 1/3 cup heavy cream (or extra ghee)

• 1 portion paneer, cubed

• salt to taste

In a Dutch oven heat ghee over medium heat. When hot add the chilies, onion, fenugreek, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves. Sautee until the onion begins to brown slightly. Adjust the heat if necessary to prevent burning. Add the garlic and ginger and continue to cook for about 1 minute. There should be a nice fragrance coming from the pot. Add the dry spices and mix to thoroughly combine. Add the tomato paste and greens. Mix well. Add about 1 to 2 cups water (the amount will depend on how big your pot is) to give about 1⁄2 inch of liquid above the greens. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to allow the greens to simmer, partially covered, for about 30 to 45 minutes (longer is better). Stir it occasionally. When the water evaporates, add either the cream or a little more water. By the end of the Serve with basmati rice or Indian bread of your choice.

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