These days, I'm trying to remember gratitude. Life is hard enough on its own. Partly because shit happens, and mostly because the systems that we live and participate in are racist and patriarchal and paternalistic and violent and unjust and every kind of phobic. I've been known to say this on a daily basis:
Some days, I get overwhelmed with how fucked everything seems, how my every day seems so inextricably woven with oppression and injustice, even though I'm fighting every second to dismantle it.
It is those days, when I feel so backed into a corner and so overwhelmed, that I need to remember gratitude. I need to remember joy in every small thing, wherever I can get it.
I've been home from traveling for almost two weeks now. I'm finally (finally!) over my jetlag and getting back into my meal planning routine. Which sounds riveting, yes, but honestly -- meal planning/cooking are sometimes the only things I do for myself in the course of a week. When I'm choosing recipes, I'm choosing shit that looks delicious and worth working for at the end of a long workday. I'll write more in-depth about meal planning another time (maybe? I'm kind of excited about doing it?), but today, I just want to take account of the good shit, and talk about some of my favorite things, culinary-wise.
1. Getting a goodie bag full of fresh produce from a friend's garden. I thought we were getting hooked up with basil and jalepenos. (Okay, but seriously, how do I get some tilda action up in here?! Help me!) Instead, we got this cornucopia of goodness.
Yes, that's a motherfucking homegrown cantelope you see. Our near-future is full of stuffed peppers, jalapeno pineapple upside-down cakes, boozy cantelope drinks, chowder with roasted peppers. So thankful for these friends of mine who grow food with such care.
2. Heirloom tomatoes are one of my all-time favorite summer foods. If I see heirloom tomatoes on any menu in any form, you can bet I'm ordering it and I'm loving it. One of my favorite summer snacks is eating heirloom cherry tomatoes raw and being brought to my knees by all the different flavors and all the beautiful colors.
These heirlooms are no exception. I ate ONE, and almost fell on the floor with their deliciousness.
3. Roasting chiles is one of the most satisfying activities ever. Even though it gets to be 500 degrees in my kitchen if I'm roasting chiles in the summer, I love broiling and charring them, throwing them into a paper bag for a few minutes, and then peeling that skin off. There's something so satisfying about the whole process. I don't know what it is. It's so easy? It smells so good? ????
Unfortunately, I had too much fun roasting all my peppers and didn't get any pictures of them. So, don't take my word for it. Roast some of your own.
4. Slicing corn off the cob. It's a pain in the ass, kind of, but it's satisfying to just slice through all those kernels. The result is delicious, fresh corn kernels ready for roasting or throwing into a summer chowder or just throwing into a regular old summer corn salad. (Did you know you can eat raw fresh corn and it's delicious af?! YES.)
Again, I had far too much fun slicing my corn off the cob this week and roasting those suckers, so no pictures for this either. Try it out yourself.
That's what I've got so far.
Even when it's hard to start my gratitude list, I find that once I start, I keep going. And suddenly, I am filled with all the little things that bring me joy.
And that's how I'm getting through this week.
And because Reading Rainbow kept coming up in my head as I wrote this post, I'll end with this: