Tomorrow, at our table, we’ll have sockeye salmon instead of turkey. There will be salad and vegetables and lit candles, too. We’ll facetime family and go for a hike when the rain clears. But most of all, the food that will nourish us, caused me no stress or fear to serve. I don’t check the bank before I swipe my card. And to be frank, I don’t budget for it either. While listening to The Daily today, I could hear the held-back weeping from Nikita Stewart, a social service reporter for The New York Times. Her emotional examination of hunger was familiar. The ebbs and flow of sometimes being more okay and then at times, needing to split a burrito for dinner. Nikita, and the stories of the many who stood in line on one single day at the Council of Peoples Food Pantry were cloaked in shame, confusion, frustration, and even joy. The complexity of what it means to go hungry while not experiencing homelessness is a hard position to explain. One, that I know well.
Towards the end of the episode, Nikita goes on to say that waiting is the worst. To wait, whether it is for a check for work, a wire transfer to make it through the week from family, the government to pass a relief belief, or even, waiting (for hours) on line for food. That shouldn’t be so difficult to come by in this country.
This year has been no doubt hard enough. But as life would have it, I have found it difficult to move forward with guides that aren’t grounded in that swell of my neighbors near and far. If there’s ever been a lesson I have hoped to drive home over the last decade of this space, it is that two things can exist at once. They must. In the audio, you can hear the cheers from the people standing in line when an organic dairy truck finally pulls up some 40 minutes late. And in my house, even as we grieve, give and speak, I’ll gather with my tiny family present in gratitude for just being here and well right now.
This year, each guide will be centered around the rooms in our home and will be majority women and Black-owned. This is for many reasons, along with the obvious.
Here’s a guide for Care In The Kitchen:
A ceramic mug, for coffee and for art for your sister. They’re made by a very small team, founded by Lalese Stamps. The mugs are hard to keep on her shelf, and if you want them to make it to your sister’s shelf… buy a giftcard instead.
The most deliciously scented Oil for a mother who has to keep up with everyday tasks with her hands, which include washing dishes again and again (between zoom, of course).
A local meal out or in for your partner. Because shopping and dining locally can make or break a community staple. On my list: nutrient dense food rooted in African culinary traditions from Teranga.
A gift set of vegan jams for your mother. They can be used in cocktails, salad dressings, BBQ sauces, marinades, pan sauces & more from chef, Ashley Marie Rouse.
A green market grocery stand for your toddler, for patient shopping and tasting of their very own.
A Sunny Side up puzzle for a friend, as a reminder of the beauty in slowing down and taking care from Whiled.
The kitchen is where I gathered my friends and family. It is where all of my parties floated and where I cooked (and burned) many meals. While we can’t donate time, we can donate money. Today we donated to Council Of Peoples Organization (the pantry from The Daily’s episode). If you have the means, you can gift a donation in a family member’s honor right here.
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