September 16, 2020

Princeton’s Fifth Annual Welcoming Week Celebrates Community with Shared Recipes

By Donald Gilpin

It’s virtual this year and somewhat reduced in scope, but Princeton is celebrating its fifth annual Welcoming Week, sponsored by Princeton Human Services and the Princeton Public Library (PPL), with an invitation to all residents to share a favorite recipe.

“The overarching goal of Welcoming Week is to celebrate the contributions of all residents in our community and to promote community and inclusivity among all of those who live in Princeton,”  said Human Services Director Melissa Urias, and this year’s event, September 12-20, is featuring recipes that community members might prepare for visitors and the stories behind those recipes.

“If you were to make a dish to welcome someone into your home, or to welcome someone to the neighborhood, what would it be?” asks the website, headquarters for this year’s Welcoming Week events. “Is there a story around the recipe? What makes it special to you? Was it shared with you by a friend or family member  — or was it a favorite of someone you love?”

Welcoming Week organizers at the PPL are gathering the recipes and stories “looking forward to the time when we will be able to come together around a table, around nourishing food and building friendship and community.”

Recipes already collected include Marlaine Lockheed’s Beach Plum Jelly, Sundari Kishore’s Four Grain Pancakes, Ross Wishnick’s Challah Bread, Annis Stockton’s Peach Cream (shared by Morven Museum and Garden), Patricia Fernandez-Kelly’s Adafina (Cholent), Leigh Zink’s Corn Bread Pudding, Liz Lempert’s Blueberry Banana Pancakes, Joanne Parker’s Hot Vegetarian Baked Beans, Zoe McInally’s Traditional Aussie Pavlova, and many more.

“Welcoming Week has become an annual tradition where we come together as a community to celebrate our diversity and reaffirm our commitment to be a welcoming community,” said Princeton Mayor Lempert. “Unfortunately this year because of COVID we are not hosting in-person events, but the Library and Human Services have come up with a creative recipe sharing initiative.”

She continued, “Even though we aren’t able to physically come together, we can still achieve the main goal of Welcoming Week, which is to come together in a spirit of sharing and celebrating our collective heritages and redouble our efforts to ensure all of our neighbors feel a sense of belonging.”

Urias pointed out, “The events we’ve hosted for Welcoming Week are meant to be fun ways of creating community, but the idea should be achieved throughout the year, not simply for one week.”

Recipes can be shared on the website or emailed to