Inspiration for the Community Ties: Recipes for Rebuilding cookbooks came from the realization that I had forgotten my family recipes during the Waldo Canyon Fire evacuation. If I felt this loss, how many others might have forgotten theirs? My family's recipes provide a sense of comfort to me. Creating a cookbook, was a way that I could help others, as they rebuild the places that provide comfort to them.
I moved to Colorado Springs in summer of 2007. I've taught at Holmes Middle School ever since. During the summer of 2012, the community tragically lost 346 homes to the Waldo Canyon Fire and two people. In 2013, Black Forest residents also experienced a devastating wildfire where 502 homes burned and one person perished in the fire. I forgot my treasured family recipes while evacuating. If I forgot my treasured recipes, how many others might have forgotten their family's recipes and not been able to return to their homes? This project became a way of helping the families and the greater community renew from the inside out while they recover and rebuild from the losses.