I'm thankful to my brother Curtis who continues the tradition of making aspic salad at our family holidays. If you're not familiar, this is basically Jello made with tomato juice, or "Clamato" juice ("for extra umami" so my brother says?!). Our traditional recipe suspends green peas in the opaque gelatinous dome, and is served with a nice helping of mayonnaise. Yep. Mayonnaise. This is one of those dishes that my dad would always make, no one else would touch, and we'd make gross-out noises while he delighted in it, generally by himself or with a brave (or terrified?) dinner guest. This year, my dad is gone. This year, I went ahead and had some, complete with the mayo dollop. It was sweet and savory, a bit like a jelly-gazpacho. As my brother so eloquently said, "try it. It's really not as bad as it looks." In fact, don't tell, but I thought it was, as my dad would say, "lovely."
My name is Ila Asplund. My vision is to increase the impact of organizations advancing gender equity and social justice. I do this through creating in-person and digital engagement experiences, storytelling, and thoughtful communications strategies for my clients. In previous years, I also provided international journeys to give travelers the opportunity to meet and engage with global leaders who are improving life for women.
Since 2020, I have joined the digital marketing team at Mercy Corps — an international aid organization working in 40+ countries to help people survive crises and thrive in the longterm. From time to time, I write web articles and other digital pieces, in addition to my main duties managing the email outreach program. My work keeps me plenty busy, but sometimes I find a moment to draw or write or create and share that on Instagram or here on this website. You can reach me at email@example.com.