Monday, June 1, 2020
Smitten Kitchen took a social media break this weekend -- given the devastating, enraging events of the last week, it was neither the time to talk about shortcakes nor were they near my thoughts. I almost never talk about “politics” on SK because I like cooking to be an escape and I've never had my mind changed about who I was going to vote for in the headnote of a sheet cake recipe. I also don't consider myself an authority figure, a teacher, a leader, on how other people should think -- nor do I wish to be. It would be a very uncomfortable position for me when I have so little figured out, and so much learning to do. I can only tell you what I usually do on Monday morning -- what life looks like from here.
My street in NYC has many smashed storefronts and as we went by them on Sunday, I explained to my son (he's 10; we use simpler language with the 4yo) that it's essential we're not more concerned about property that can be repaired than human lives that cannot be. I told him that when systems break down -- and a system is broken when having black skin makes people the target of excessive police force, or is used to deny a presumption of guilt before innocence, as happened in the killing of George Floyd -- people will and should exercise their legal, protected right to protest, and while there will always be a tiny subset who use crowds as an excuse to be destructive (I saw it firsthand from my balcony the last two nights), we cannot let this distract us from the important message of the other 99%. And I told him about some of the causes we give to [like the ACLU and The Bail Project] because we consider these investments in a more just future, in the same way we hope talking to him about his place in, and responsibility to, the world around him will be something he takes with him.
And now I really want to cook again. We had a weekend of unmemorable takeout and it's left me famished for something real. Below, a few relatively quick, simple, early summer vegetarian favorites that I hope will restart us, plus two sweets we need right now, we just do.
Hope you're staying healthy and well-fed,