Meredith Williams

Meredith Williams will begin her final year at Georgetown University Law Center in the fall of 2011. Prior to law school, Meredith worked as a consultant for the PBS Foundation, where she supported their fundraising efforts with research and analysis, wrote grant proposals, and helped develop new donor relationships. Prior to that, she worked for seven years in human resources at the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), where she managed the performance management and compensation systems, managed the organization's diversity and outreach initiatives, and provided analytical and strategic support for organizational transitions. As a member of Georgetown Law’s Community Justice Project clinic in spring, 2011, Meredith and three other law students worked with Parma, an organization that provides support for and advocates for LGBT individuals and their partners. The project team helped Parma begin to better understand the challenges that Indian female-to-male transgender people face in their daily lives. The team also developed strategies to solve some of these problems within the existing legal framework and identified areas for future advocacy to affect policy change. Meredith will continue to work with Parma over the summer to further develop and execute some of the strategies identified during the spring.


29 Jun

At home in the US, I pride myself on being a fairly good cook and I generally enjoy doing it, from the grocery shopping to the prep work, to trying new vegetables, to re-imagining recipes based on my personal tastes, to sharing my cooking with friends and family. Not surprisingly, the cleanup is my least favorite part, but even that I don’t mind so much. However, I realized even before I came to India that I am really only comfortable cooking in my kitchen, where I have everything set up just the way I like it (provided my roommates haven’t moved things around on me).

When we visited in April, and since returning, I have been both intrigued and intimidated by cooking in India. The food that we eat here is amazing, especially the meals prepared by Maya, Indira, and their friends, and I would love to be able to replicate some of those recipes. But I am also intimidated by how labor intensive the cooking is and how much they seem to be able to accomplish with appliances and utensils that I need a lesson to use. For instance, we have a hot plate with gas burners in our kitchen, which is actually pretty standard in India, but when I tried to light a burner with the “igniter-thingie” (that’s a technical term) to make tea, I couldn’t seem to get it to work and had to have Indira show me the next day. Even now, a week later, it usually takes me 5-6 tries to get a burner lit, while Maya and Indira seem to do it effortlessly in one try.

Then there is the intimidation of the Indian produce. In the Indian equivalent to 7-11, Reliance Fresh, which is the closest grocery store to our office, I have probably heard of/used half of the produce there. The other half, while usually coming from similar food families (such as squash) is still completely new. Meanwhile, I’ve watched Indira buy a sack of produce from the vegetable lolly man near her house, open it, and instantly know how to prep and cook everything inside. It’ll take me more than a summer to be that comfortable. Without Indira by my side during the shopping and cooking, I’m sure pick the wrong vegetable for the dish or prep it incorrectly, but I’ve always been an experimenter when it comes to cooking.

This past Monday, Sam and I decided to face our fears head-on and give cooking a try. While the food that Maya and Indira serve us for lunch and most evenings is amazing, we feel badly for always relying on them for our sustenance. So, we queried Indira on how to prepare some Indian vegetables that we had eaten, gathered our courage, and headed to Reliance Fresh. What happened next is best summed up by this little video on YouTube, with photo credits going to Sam.

YouTube DirektAdventures in Indian Cooking, Episode 1

Posted By Meredith Williams

Posted Jun 29th, 2011

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