Note from Moms

Our greatest inspiration does not come from others, it's found in a deep well within, when we are living our authentic best. And there is no other time when we are at our best than childhood. 

My little girl was a picky eater, and every new flavor or texture was met with resistance. Our kitchen became a laboratory, with experiments designed to entice and influence her young taste buds. Somehow, in this cauldron of evolving tastes that is the brain of a five year old, I must have activated a neuronal switch. She developed a love for cooking and baking. Combining spices, whipping up sauces and using mathematical fractions to solve baking mysteries were like conjuring to her. As a neuro scientist, I was witnessing magic! 

 

Ria’s elementary school graduation project was called "Vision of the Future". The children were asked to envision their future professions, and their teacher, Mrs. Keeton, encouraged them to include a philanthropic goal. Ria’s presentation was about becoming a chef and her philanthropic mission was to end world hunger. Over the next year, I came to realize that to Ria, this wasn't just a class project, but something she meant to start working on right away! The  idea for Rainy Day Chefs was born out of that impatient determination. 

 

It does indeed take a village to bring an idea to fruition. My friend, Anu Tirupathi, offered to be a part of this project and help with the technical aspects, including webpage design. Anu’s two girls were excited to be a part of this journey. Neha, 13, her creatively brilliant older daughter, took on the role of Editor in Chief for the blog. Nitya, 10, became the organizer and sous chef, and her bubbly enthusiasm added the perfect "spice" to the culinary trio. I’m ever grateful to Anu and her two girls for their crucial role in getting this project up and running! 

 

Ria, Neha and Nitya, prepare gourmet meals with organic, locally grown produce and spices from around the world, and donate them to Friends of Youth, a local shelter in Redmond, WA. Ria, who turns 11, today, uses recipes learned from friends and family or that she has picked up in her travels. The girls also took up the challenge of crafting new recipes, and this blog will chronicle their fun experiments with food! 

 

We hope this blog will inspire you all to find your inner chef, to whip up your own wildly creative recipes, and to become part of our mission to " heal with a meal". - Vrushali, Ria's mom.

 

Is it possible for kids to be charitable and grateful while pursing their grand dreams?

 
We teach our kids to share, love and respect others and assume that the kids understand the pure essence of these values. After a few charitable experiences with our daughters Neha and Nitya during our vacation we realized the empathy and happiness the girls experienced while giving. Neha being our creative child expressed it in her words in her journal and Nitya being our organized child expressed her interests with structured executable future ideas for similar experiences. 

Being a family of foodies, our family spends significant time in the kitchen. We make fresh food every single day and love variety in our food. We try new recipes to meet our ever craving taste buds with cuisines from all parts of the world. Neha and Nitya have always been an integral part of our kitchen. They help prepare our meals. There have been tiring days when we parents chose to order food while the girls insisted on making something fresh at home. “Restaurant food does not taste as fresh as home made food” says Nitya! The girls look up recipes and try them out. Some dishes taste “interesting” while some are a success!! The girls have made tons of videos trying out new recipes and I hope the girls give me permission to share those fun videos with the world some day!  

Then came Ria and Vrushali into our lives (Thanks to Dash and Rio, our yellow labs!). The passion Ria brought to cooking instantly resonated with Neha and Nitya. These girls always had food in their discussions. During one of these discussions we realized the potential to pursue the girls interest and combine it with community service and thus RainyDayChefs came about.

Yes, it is possible to be charitable while pursuing your dreams. All you need is an open mind and willingness to try!

Anu, Mom of Neha and Nitya