I made the first poppyseed babka of the season, today. It's to share at work tomorrow. I make the filling and it is so good.
Here's a bit of perspective. I asked someone at work if they were doing thanksgiving, and they looked amused and gave me a forthright 'no.' I live and work in a city where people from many cultures don't do this holiday. Who can blame them? The company has to be fantastic for me to enjoy turkey. (Roast a chicken, and I'm all yours.) It's a day that finishes with pie and a big pile of dishes. That could be a Thursday at my place.
I can get with the idea of an agrarian holiday — the harvest. And I need to avoid gross nostalgia. Because getting goods from farms to markets and tables is difficult from a labour perspective. There are abuses.
Any story involving the celebration of white settlers is disturbing. What we stole from First Nations is devastating to consider in fullness. I can't even imagine what that last word means. Many people can't look yet. And it needs immediate repair in a way that will challenge us. First Nations are clear about the debt. What we owe. Will this be an age of reparations? I hope so.
This is some of what I'm grateful for right now:
This image of cultural and political leadership from the other day.
The kids are alright. Here's a group of elementary school students playing Led Zeppelin's Kashmir on xylophones. I want to hug their music teacher.
I'm working with a good kitchen team. They're making me a better cook and human. A small group of women and men lead in a way I respect and admire. Thirty or more years separate most of us in age. But I'm still teachable. That's attractive. If this is my last kitchen stop, I'm leaving the industry the same way I came in, as an apprentice.
Allan Jenkins posts fabulous minestrone photos. I've been faithful about following Marcella Hazan's Minestrone di Romagna recipe because of the pleasure of sitting in front of a bowl. She was careful — a scientist. I like her lead. But Jenkin's minestrone has an independent spirit — a classic vegetable soup made by a free and mature cook. I would expect nothing less, given minestrone is an expression of the garden at that moment. It’s hard to codify. He's helped me consider the way I make mine.
My mom eats two Thanksgiving dinners. One is from her friend Janet on Saturday. The second is from Elaine on Monday. It comforts me to know she's cared for. Feeding others is the spirit of hospitality. It’s a good human practice.
It should be clear by now I'm a night person. But the colour of the eastern morning sky is a wonder. I'm no convert, though. The middle of the night is too fine.
I got a haircut yesterday that needs more work. The shape is good, but it needs finessing. Online, I shared dismay at the cost and results. I don't feel all that way today because the foundation is good. At any rate, a young woman I know sent me this DM: "I'm sorry you don't like your hair, but I'm sure you're just as vibrant as ever." Exactly what I needed to hear. Good medicine.
I live in safety. Many people around the globe this weekend don't because of war, famine, and persecution.
I hope your knees are under a dinner table at home or in a restaurant with the people you love. That might include family.
This song reminds me of the Aretha Franklin song I shared a few weeks back. It's a modern spiritual. I can't stop listening to it. I briefly heard a podcaster talk about Cleo Sol and went looking for her new album. It is good.
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