Jacci Down the Street

Jacci Down the Street

Sometimes I encounter things in life that are wonderful, but as they happen I don’t realize the full magnitude of how special they are until I take a moment to step back and examine exactly what is happening.

Some of those things for me have been: marrying Patrick Conti, becoming a mother, fundraising for our move to South Africa in 6 months, the details of finding each of our homes, the people in my life… I could go on probably all day. 

Recently i realized one of the absolute hidden treasures in this season of life.

It is Jacci down the street.

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My Whole30 Experience

My Whole30 Experience

There are constantly trend words surrounding food, diets + how we can all be better versions of ourselves. Its really just a luxury to have so many options of what to feed ourselves that we can to decided, eliminate and need to control the amount we eat. I think living in the communities we did in South Africa and Tanzania, my perspective shifted greatly on “healthy eating” and fad diets and the like. I saw the utter privilege of choice we are offered in the western world and the indulgence in the amount of food we are constantly able to consume. “Portion control” is not an issue all over the world. Because you work hard to get enough food and you eat just enough so tomorrow you will have enough as well. The fact that we have to work at limiting how much we eat is really wild when you think about it. Then there is the options of WHAT to eat.


OKAY, so all of that to say I don’t believe in diets. 

But I have done the Whole30 twice. That is because I do believe in fasting + resets, and want to share a little of my experience with you, if youre interested!

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The Roundabout Way.

The Roundabout Way.

We have been back in America for a whole year now. And it just feels as if a piece of me is slipping away, further into a memory of who I used to be. It doesn’t feel like a milestone to be cheered but a loss of the life I longed for to be mourned in some way. This year back “home” has felt like a desert season. It seems as though we are wandering, appearing to be a little lost. Before we came back, I felt sure that the vision of Juniper Table was our “Promised Land”. I was unsure of the path to get there, but knew where we were heading. 

I have always liked the book of Joshua because it is about Israel entering into the Promised Land. Finally achieving their goal after 40 years of WANDERING. As I am studying Exodus, I am loving this book more and more. There is a richness in the messy discomfort and failings of the wilderness that I am finally embracing. Real talk is I have always blamed the Israelites for spending so long wandering  and not just cutting to the chase and getting their tails to the Promised Land. I think now I realized the wilderness wasn’t all because they were “bad” and disobedient, but it was a process of PREPERATION for the Promise. With that perspective and because of the desert I find myself in, I see myself right there among the Israelites- in the wilderness.

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Welcome to the Kitchen

Well, hello. Fancy seeing you here. Welcome to my Kitchen.

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This space is something I have dreamed and wondered about for quite some time, and seems like a natural step for the different passions bubbling in my head and heart to intersect and find a voice.
A place to share with you about food that nourishes- both body and mind. A place where family is built, stories are shared and life is done- around a table. 
Food is powerful. Its important. 
Preparing food is a holy act to me. The opportunity to create something that will bring life to someone else’s very being or breathe joy into their day.
The nutrients in a hearty bowl of a spicy curry or the sheer joy that comes from a warm chocolate chip cookie are gifts I can share with those I love.
And I want to share that ability and experience with you.

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This space will serve as a place to share the recipes I love to nourish both body and soul. Sometimes that will be super health-focused, nutrient rich food that is delicious and with each bite our bodies will thank us. And other days we will share something that is probably made with dark chocolate and will sprinkle a little joy like confetti over our palettes. 
Balance truly is the key.

After three years overseas the kitchen has become my consistency. No matter which country you are in and which language they speak, if you can find flour, eggs, and milk- you can make pancakes. No matter how uncertain other things are, its possible to make foods that are known. And that is comforting.
I’ve always loved baking, but moving to Africa taught me how to fall in love with cooking as well. Being forced outside my comfort zone and into the kitchen made me brave. I realized I can cook from scratch or make complicated recipes. That I am capable of doing hard things. I learned how ingredients interact and what flavors go well together. 
The kitchen became my happy place, the place where the other cultural stressors couldn’t find me. It became the place where I recharged. My favorite was a rainy Sunday afternoon where I would escape into the kitchen to brew a french press of coffee. Once my cup was poured, I’d reach for my apron, tie up my hair, cue a new podcast in the line-up and let my bare feet dance across the kitchen floor while I tried something new. That has become my sacred space. And its something I want to share with you.

So go ahead and throw on an apron, pour a cup of coffee, find your favorite podcast + lets make something tasty.