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Moving Forward

After months of lockdown and stay at home orders, it looks like summer might just begin and without masks. Our new normal will dictate the rules but many of us will finally venture out and gather together in ways we haven’t in some time.

We have come through months and monthsof sickness, economic strife, racial fury and general chaos in our society. It has been tough to concentrate amid these wrenching days as we battle back from disease and an abiding sadness. We will work for change hoping to ensure that everyone has the same opportunities and access to a good life.

Our emotions have been all over the place.

2020 and half of 2021 have been far from kind or gentle for any of us. Now we will see who we are as we emerge from the rubble to hopefully create a more aware and compassionate world for each and every one of us. We will be motivated to change our society. We will be kinder to the planet and all her creatures. We will love fiercely.

Now is not the time to leave the kitchen behind. The act of preparing food to be shared around the table is deliberate and caring. Even the simplest of foods, like a bowl of soup with scallions delicately sprinkled over the surface is an intentional act of kindness at a time when what we need most is collective tender loving care. And now, when we can gather again, we can share our beautifully made foods with those we love best.

In response to these trying past months, I have taken to frequently turning off all my screens, the news and the noise and grabbing a favorite cookbook. I read the recipes, assigning them to people I love and how much they might please them. I imagine us all around a table each savoring each bite of lovingly prepared food.

And so I cook...and I imagine no more. I gather my people and cherish each moment.

I don’t use recipes much and there’s no rule saying you must either. I am often surprised that the cooking muse arrives unbidden at my shoulder as I wonder what to cook. I love leafing through my cookbooks and feeling the inspiration fill me. I love cooking from the hip, no recipes, no thought. I often find myself smiling at the aromas that perfume the air as the magic that is cooking takes over my consciousness, allowing me to leave the harsh realities of the world behind for just a little while as I create for and comfort those I love…and me.

As summer heats up, don’t abandon the kitchen, but let the table become a place where once again, we share our lives, listen, teach social justice; commune, indulge dreams of the future and most of all, love with abandon. Happy Maskless Summer, kids!

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