April 2, 2011: Bake Sale for Japan

It seemed time for this post. On Flavorful World food and drink blog, I’ve been mum on recent tragic events from which our friends in Japan continue to recover. It hasn’t been failing empathy or lack of interest that has kept me from tossing my two pennies’ worth. In fact, it has been quite the opposite.

As someone with family members residing over there, much of my time over the past few weeks has been consumed with the gamut of emotions that one might suspect: concern for the people of Japan, fear for the safety of loved ones and strangers alike, hope that environmental conditions will be brought under control before they worsen, and so forth. For the first couple of days, we couldn’t reach them at all, and those hours spent wondering whether they were hurt or worse were some of the worst I’ve ever lived through.

The truth of the matter is that I’ve been quiet over it all because try as I might, I just didn’t know what the hell I could possibly say that would be of any significance. Finding words that should even scratch the surface of conveying or reacting to this situation’s gravity seemed too far beyond my capability. Any attempt to weigh in from the dry, perfectly-intact coziness of my home office, every creature comfort at my fingertips and my every immediate family member accounted for, felt more like an insult than an act of beneficence. Sitting here writing this, I’m certain that I still haven’t found any. The photos, the survivor accounts, the nonstop news broadcasts and updates from every major (and more than a few minor) new outlet on the globe have said it better than I ever could.

So instead of adding my voice to the stream of ad infinitum discussion and speculation, I will instead share the following news of the national Bake Sale for Japan hitting cities throughout the United States on April 2, 2011. All proceeds from the event will be donated to Peace Winds Japan , a non-governmental organization dedicated to helping of people in distress from natural disaster, poverty, violent conflict, and other trouble.

Participation is simple, and although it should go without saying, I’ll say it anyway: it’s for a good and worthy cause benefiting a nation that has long been our friend. You don’t have to be a professional baker, although a complete list of ingredients should accompany any cooked item you contribute.

If you don’t cook or bake, you can still help. Volunteer. The bake sale needs artists. It needs artisans and musicians. It needs donation of origami paper to make 1,000 paper cranes (the origami crane symbolizes hope and peace) to send to our Japanese friends. Click here for the full list of details.

Ganbatte, Nihon!