During the pandemic, Berkeley Middle College High School senior Georgia Harris found a positive outlet — she was inspired to write a healthy cookbook. Her book, “Georgia’s Lunchbox” was published last month.
During COVID lockdowns, Harris adjusted to online classes and began taking on household responsibilities.
“Putting food on the table became my most important contribution,” Harris said. “I remember the newly comforting rhythm in the chopping knife, hypnotizing aromatics and vibrant, bubbling colors reflecting off stainless steel. My solace became the kitchen.”
“When my parents arrived hours past sunset, we would gather as a family and relish the meal,” Harris added. “Lightheartedly explaining my dish became a savored routine. The food was beautiful, it was my art. I created an Instagram blog documenting my favorites called georgias_lunchbox. I was sharing my passion with others. I remember thinking — could I publish a cookbook?”
Dr. George Harris is a proud papa. “Seeing the way Georgia was able to turn her experiences into such a great work of art gives me hope for all the children of this COVID pandemic generation. I’m so proud of her.”
Harris’ cookbook emphasizes health through nutritious meals. “My recipes are unique and use a lot of exciting new ingredients. Ingredients that your body will thank you for. The focus of my book is to incorporate as many veggies into these recipes as possible while still not losing out on protein.”
Harris’ recipe for healthy eating started after volunteering at AMOR Healing Kitchen, a local nonprofit that cooks vegan meals for chronically ill clients. “I saw firsthand that nutritious meals were life-giving. I cooked for cancer patients who took this food as a kind of medicine for the soul.”
Harris also worked with Green Heart Project, a local urban farm in downtown Charleston. “I found that this healthy food was more than people’s wellness on the table, this food had the power to change lives.”
Harris’ experiences evolved into a cookbook. “I love nutritious cooking, it is truly my art. To me, my cookbook is like my artist portfolio.”
The 18-year-old says she started cooking before standing and credits her mom with instilling a love of cooking at an early age. “She always would include my older sister and me in the kitchen. I have fond memories of pulling up a kitchen chair to the stand mixer. My sister and I would dump in what my mom handed us and then we’d shake and dance to the beat of the mixer.”
Mom, Dawn Harris, said she learned from her mother and was eager to pass on the tradition. “Through the years our kitchen has been the place we gather to connect. I have been dabbling in healthier ingredients over the past 10 years and during COVID, Georgia brought it all to another level.”
The cookbook is already getting rave reviews. DI resident Elizabeth Moore is impressed by the originality of the meals. “I’m blown away by the creativity and wow factor of these recipes.” Hayden Lamar agrees, “The recipes are super easy to follow. The pictures are gorgeous… I’m so pleased.”
“Georgia’s Lunchbox” is available on Amazon along with her recently released children’s book, “Edwardo The Eggplant.” To learn more, check out her Instagram blog @georgias_lunchbox.