By Tamisha Tyler

There are three things that I really enjoy about life: good food, good friends, and good causes. I consider myself an aspiring foodie and a social introvert, so if you give me a chance to enjoy food and company, then I’m your gal. Throw in a good cause and you have a perfect storm. This is why I find the cookbook, Hungry for Life, so valuable.

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I learned about the publishers, Homeboy Industries, through a friend, and after hearing their founder, Father Greg, speak in a chapel service at Fuller Seminary, I was completely amazed by the work that he and his company are doing, “helping former gang members redirect their lives and become contributing members of their families and communities” through seven business enterprises. This cookbook was great in not only sharing food, but also sharing stories of the amazing talents, skill and dedication of the homeboys and homegirls whose lives have been changed by Homeboy Industries. For these young men and women, Homeboy Industries is a way to enter into a love for food, and a love of life.

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So, in honoring the dedication of Homeboy Industries to community, I decided to use this book to engage in community as well. I invited a few friends over, some of whom I haven’t seen in a while, to partake in a meal. But, what should I make? So many great recipes! Since we were gathering in the late evening, I decided to make dessert: pound cake with roasted fruit and a cheese sauce.

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First off, I had to roast the summer fruit. I decided to use plums from my farmer’s market box since one of my friends was allergic to peaches. So, slicing several plums, we placed them into a pan, sprinkled some sugar on top, and for an extra flair added a few pieces of lavender before putting them in the oven. Now it was time to start on the cake. As a college student, I didn’t actually have mixing bowls but big pots work just as well right? Yes they do! So after mixing up all of the cakey goodness, we placed it into the loaf pan and the oven. Only 35 minutes until we were able to partake, or so I thought. A loaf pan filled to the top and an oven that distributed heat unevenly makes for extended time and a lot of cake overflow. Not to worry though, it made for a great time and conversation with friends! When the cake was done, all that was needed was to top it with roasted fruit and the cream cheese frosting. (The recipe called for a Latin American cheese called requeson, produced in Portugal and Brazil. Sadly I did not have the time to hunt this cheese down, and so I had to settle for a cream cheese frosting.) It was amazing! And the perfect way to wish my friend Clare a happy birthday.

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I look forward to sharing more moments with friends using this cookbook. It gives me a chance to tell those who don’t know about Homeboy Industries about this great work that is happening in Los Angeles. Good food, good friends, and good causes; what more could anyone ask for!

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Tamisha Tyler is a graduate student at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, and president-elect for Fuller’s 2013-2014 All Seminary Council.

Fieldnotes Magazine is a publication of the Max De Pree Center for Leadership at Fuller Theological Seminary. We would love to hear from you about people, businesses, or other organizations we can interview or feature. Please email The Editor at Fieldnotes Magazine.


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