Welcome back to the Project, Pantry, Purpose series, everyone. I hope you all had a safe, enlightening week. My family attended a local protest (above) this past Sunday which reinforced all the lessons I’ve been learning over the last few weeks, and, to be clear, learning way too late. The big takeaways for me, though, as it relates to what I do on this blog and in my food writing in general, is this: I am accountable. It’s not enough to attend one rally, or two or ten. As one speaker said, “You have a responsibility in your circle in your environment in your community to have these conversations.” For me, that community is here, and even though everything feels performative and never 100% correct, you all have my word that I will make it as inclusive as possible, especially when it comes to including BIPOC. I can do so much better and I will do so much better. I will promote and support more Black food writers and cookbook authors; I will make sure a recipe’s history is not whitewashed; I will raise money however I can to support organizations doing the hard work on the front lines. Thank you for listening. Here are a few things to re-launch the PPP series…
Pantry: Burrata, Beans, Maque Choux
Burrata is the new chicken in my (almost) vegetarian house. When I’m trying to figure out dinner, I use it as an anchor, placing it on a platter then thinking about what I can surround it with. Last night that was a pot of white beans (more beans!) sautéed with onion, garlic, chili flakes, and a spoonful of tomato paste. (I added a little of the bean’s simmering liquid to loosen it up a bit; you can add water or vegetable broth if you are using canned beans.) I had storebought pesto, so that was next. Then I made the maque choux (Creole fried corn and peppers) from Toni Tipton-Martin’s Jubilee. The corn “milk” mixes with the cream — “It’s like what cole slaw would be if corn took over,” said Abby — and I had to stop her from eating the whole bowl. (The recipe for that is in my post for Cup of Jo today.) I added some toasted buttered bread, and decided this was the kind of summer dinner where you sit in patio chairs and eat with plates in your laps.
Project: Pinwheel Cookies
What do you do when the thermometer hits 89 degrees? In our house, my daughter cranks up the oven and bakes pinwheel cookies. I forgave her as soon as I ate one. (Or two or ten.)
Purpose: For the Culture
Klancy Miller, author of Cooking Solo, is launching a food magazine dedicated to Black women in food and wine. She told Edible: “This project is important to me because I got my first food job when I was 15 and went to culinary school in my early 20s and in all my time reading my favorite food magazines I never saw many women who look like me.” Miller has reached her initial fundraising goal and is working on her first issue. Please follow her progress on instagram at @fortheculturefoodmag.
The goal of the Project, Pantry, Purpose series to keep us sane, distracted, connected, and USEFUL. It began in March 2020. Please continue to comment below with suggestions for recipes, projects (for kids and adults), good deeds, donation ideas, stories, movies, games, puzzles. Or just tell me how you’re doing, what your daily routine is, and especially how DALS can help you or people in your community. You can also email me directly at email@example.com.
Thank you for saying you will do better. I have loved this site for years and gotten so many great recipes from it. But at the same time, I’ve been really disappointed by the way it presents a world that is almost entirely white and privileged. This website has a lot of power and frequently uses it to lift up chefs, writers and others — yet almost without exception, everyone you have lifted up has been white. I emailed you about this issue a long time ago and never received a response. I understand that it’s difficult and complicated and partly a function of who you know. But I also believe that white people with power must be more intentional. I look forward to seeing how the perspective here shifts. Thank you for hearing and honestly addressing these concerns.
Thank you for your thoughtful comment. You’re right on every point and I hope you will continue to hold me accountable.
So glad you’re back, so excited to see how you lift others up on this platform. Your daily posts have been the highlight of my quarantine days and – while I MISSED THEM! – I 100% appreciated the pause and 100% appreciate the effort to continue the momentum from here to lift up BIPOC. I hope you do that while keeping your voice and spirit in your posts – such a challenge to change and stay the same at once.
Side note: literally every meal you post about makes my mouth water. Can’t wait for your new book.
I agree with every word from Jana. Thank you Jenny!
I’ll try to make the maque choux tonight!
As a francophone I was curious about the history of the name maque choux was and this article ( https://www.nytimes.com/1984/08/19/opinion/l-in-praise-of-authentic-maque-choux-141301.html ) says it could have meant “imitation cabbage”. Love it! It pairs perfectly as a summer parallel to your delicious cabbage recipes from a few months ago.
I know you’ve mentioned/featured Adam Rapoport on your site in the past. Do you have a response to his recent resignation and related issues at Bon Appetit?
It’s really upsetting and shocking to read about what’s been happening at BA — Adam’s resignation was 100% the right thing to do, and I’m moved by the people on staff who came forward and risked their jobs to demand it and demand change from Conde Nast.
Your sentiments (I can do better and I will do better) are mine exactly, too! (And I’m sure it applies to almost all people, too. We are all a work in progress.) Thank you for all that you do. Wishing you love and peace! 🙂
Thank you for addressing race and trying to make your site inclusive for BIPOC folks. It means a lot to me, a person of color.