Friday Favorites #83
June 5, 2020
A Pause that Matters

Friday Favorites is different this week. With everything going on in the world, it was clear that “business as usual” was not the best way to go. Instead, we have been taking a pause with our nocrumbsleft content this week to amplify tips, ideas, thoughts, and resources to help create change around racial justice and inclusion, and I hope you had a chance to see some of those Instagram Stories. The time I would have spent assembling Friday Favorites this week, I spent reading, learning, listening, and doing my own self-examination. A catch phrase for me has been, “Get comfortable with the idea of being uncomfortable.” Self-examination and change is about moving through that discomfort and into a new place. Thanks for joining me on the journey. 

"If you really want to make a friend, go to someone's house and eat with him...the people who give you their food give you their heart." 
— Cesar Chavez
Teri in her cabin
I can't remember a time in my 50-something years that has been more challenging, not only for me but for everyone around me. At the same time, there is excitement in the air about the potential for change. I’ve been thinking about how I am drawn to cook for my loved ones when they are in need. To me, cooking is a healing art. When someone needs comfort, what I want to do is nourish them with beautiful food. I want them to eat the food I’ve offered, and I want it to be food of love—I feel it is the most supreme form of love I have to offer. 
What I make is so completely individual depending on each person. When my friend Rachel needs comforting, I know she inherently wants very healthful food. I know a beautiful fish cake with my lovely Tarragon Tartar Sauce and seasonal vegetables perfectly cooked with a little cashew butter will lift her spirit. I know my friend Laurice loves the naughtiness of a chicken finger (with a lovely dip—no mustard—and a green salad), which she would never make for herself. I also know she loves my Greek chicken with the crispy potatoes. When my neighbors’ beloved dog died recently, I wanted to make them something magical. I wanted it to be the very best of what they love to eat, so I asked a lot of questions, and narrowed it down to seafood soup or seafood pasta. Then I created a seafood soup based specifically on what they love…never to be repeated.
For me, cooking is such a deep expression of love and caring. When my kids weren't feeling well, I’d serve them a simple homemade chicken broth with rice and peas and a shaving of Parmesan on top. These days, when I spend time with my son, Patrick, who is a serious vegan, I make him homemade vegetable broths and blended soups and seasonal vegetables with a lovely cashew butter, and Patrick’s Vegan Delight from the cookbook. When I cooked for my father, who’s been gone for seven years, the old school favorites like my chicken noodle soup or chicken and dumplings speak to his humble beginnings. My mom always loved my tuna salad, or eggplant Parmesan. When a friend has had a baby, I love to bring a Roasted Grapefruit Chicken with mashed potatoes, a little au jus, a roasted vegetable, and an additional dish for the next day, like a tuna salad or my chicken and rice soup. Roy makes me a delicious Seafood Pasta, like Celebration Seafood Pasta from the book (which you can buy here from Chicago's only black woman-owned bookstore Semicolon), or this one from the blog, for a special occasion or when I need comforting. He is absolutely the pasta aficionado. More than just about anything, a really spectacular gluten-free chocolate cake will lift my spirits.
The lives that have been lost and the current chaos are truly unsettling for me, yet I know we are at a tipping point and that the system is ripe for change. Being part of the change starts with showing up. Sometimes, it can be as simple as bringing food, which communicates that you see people in their pain and want to be there for them. I also know that we are the ones who have to be the change in the world, that each one of us can be part of the greater whole that will help us collectively get to where we need to be. It’s not just about lip service--we have to actually do the work. I hope you will see this time as an opportunity to get involved and learn more about new ways of being in the world. Mireille Cassandra Harper posted a few ideas that I found inspiring:
  1. Understanding what optical allyship is
  2. Check in on your black friends, family, partners, loved ones, and colleagues
  3. Be prepared to do the work
  4. Read up on antiracist works
  5. Avoid sharing traumatic content 
  6. Donate to funds and support initiatives
  7. Don’t center this narrative around yourself
  8. Keep supporting after the outrage
  9. Stop supporting organizations that promote hate
  10. Start your long-term strategy
More information about each of these suggestions is available in her “allyship” highlight on Instagram HERE
Mireille Cassandra Harper
Assistant Editor, Square Peg Books
Mirelle Cassandra Harper
To inspire you to show your love through cooking, this week I have included a recipe for a favorite dish to comfort all our souls. Consider making enough to share with someone who could use some encouragement during this challenging time.

Teri Turner, founder, nocrumbsleft
Author:  No Crumbs Left, Recipes for Everyday Food Made Marvelous
Podcaster:  nocrumbsleft Table Talks
Pottery Shop:
Cook with Love
Roy's Shiitake, Salami, and Cheddar Cheese
Baked Rice
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