We Interrupt This Program


Thank you to everyone who noticed that Dinner: A Love Story was down all day Friday. It was frustrating, but the sheer number of “I can’t log on!” messages I received through social media channels warmed my heart. (They read me! They really do!) In addition to the nightmarishly long phone conversations I had to have with my web host, I was forced to scrap my weekly round-up (“the reading & eating” series) even though it was all ready to go. I would just run that round-up today, but given the events of the weekend, I think you probably know that I can’t bring myself to head straight into cheese graters and Super Bowl menus. Like many of you, I’m disgusted by the Muslim Ban, an executive order that has diminished this country and all we stand for with the stroke of a pen. The outpouring of action — spontaneous rallies, heroic judges and volunteer lawyers, boycotts, marches, postcard-writing mania — has been inspiring, but I fear we have a long road ahead of us. So before I get back to regularly scheduled programming, I’d like to follow the lead of two of my favorite food writers, Luisa Weiss and Julia Turshen by giving away free books* to the first ten people who donate $100 or more to the ACLU. (Forward your receipt to jenny AT dinneralovestory DOT com and tell me which book you’d like. *You can choose not just mine, but Luisa’sJulia’s or the book of any other author or blogger who would like to join forces with us.)

I’ll post the weekly round-up in the next few days, but please take a minute to read this story ”A Clarifying Moment in American History,” written by a prominent conservative, paying careful attention to the line about educating our children.

UPDATE: You guys are amazing. The ten books (fourteen actually, it was too close to call) are spoken for. But please continue to donate and forward me your ACLU receipts, if only so my faith in the goodness of this country stays strong. Thank you Katharine, Rachael, Rebecca O, Jay, Victoria, Margaret, Suzette, Jennifer, Rebecca C., Erica, Marian, Elise, Kim, and Tiffany.

NOTE

I want to acknowledge the readers who have told me in no uncertain terms that they come to this blog for recipes and dinner strategies and resent the fact that from time to time I use Dinner: A Love Story as a political platform. I hear you on that, and I understand the frustration. But I’d like to point out that if you click on the “About” section on the top of my home page, it’s been clear from the beginning that I envisioned this space as not only a forum to discuss what’s for dinner, but also as a place to discuss what’s happening around the dinner table. In the past seven years, I’ve posted too many chicken recipes to count, but I’ve also written about how to have meaningful conversations over a shared meal; how to raise compassionate kids; how to raise girls with healthy body images; how technology affects our childrens’ development; how to teach them about empathy and gratitude; where we are traveling; what music we are listening to; and close to a hundred posts about what books we are loving — fiction, nonfiction, kids, YA, adult — which, you might be surprised to hear, are perennially the most popular/most shared/most visited posts on DALS. (More popular than even Pork Ragu!) Do politics fit in with this list? You might not think so. A year ago, I wouldn’t have thought so. But I hope you understand, given the extraordinary circumstances of this administration, that it has started to feel disingenuous, almost irresponsible to write only about pork chops and apple pies without acknowledging a conversation that started 18 months ago at our dinner table (overlapping with many of the topics I hit on above) and shows no sign of stopping.

Lastly, I hope I’m not naive in believing that we are in a unique position on this blog. I think it’s fair to assume every person reading Dinner: A Love Story wants what is best for their families and their childrens’ futures. Let’s remember that we have more in common than we don’t, and try to prove my tagline correct as we head into the next few tumultuous years: It all begins at the family table.

Reminder: I welcome reactions from every side here, but the same rule applies as always: If you strongly disagree with me, know that I strongly respect your right to disagree, but you must pretend you are at my dinner table sitting across from me when you post your comment. This corner of the Internet is not the Wild West. I will not approve comments that are flagrantly mean-spirited or that do not advance the conversation in a constructive way.

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209 Comments

Kati LeTourneau

I really appreciate this post. Politics and discourse are frequently part of our family table. A primer on how to define “patriarchy” for a seven-year-old while she peels sweet potatoes and rubs butter into the chicken before roasting would also be welcome.

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maggie

LOL! i don’t even have kids yet, but i’ll be waiting with bated breath for a response to this!

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Stephanie

Thank you for your honesty, always. We (at least, I) keep coming back to the blog because it feels like getting an update from a friend, and in this time in this country it would be utterly disingenuous for you to avoid any reference to the swirl of emotions and unrest in our news and around our tables. You are clear about your position, but always respectful, which is exactly what we need MORE, not less, of in this time. Thanks!!

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Pooja

Thank you for this post. Having these conversations around the dinner table, our schools, our places of worship is the only way we will get through all of this. And these family dinners become even more important now than ever before! <3

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Gwen

Thank you, for the years of posts about dinner that make me feel like your family are friends of my family. I agree with you, this is no time to be silent about what we believe. We try to make sense of the world around our dinner tables, and the conversations we’ve had around ours have certainly changed over the last year, too.

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Ashley Sawyer

Hear, hear, Jenny!! Everyone has a right to his or her opinion, but I love and respect that you have the courage to own yours! It’s authentic and inspiring!

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Elizabeth

I commend you both on your willingness to present a valid, honest opinion of the current state of affairs and your ‘articulateness’ in doing so. As a Canadian, it has been as difficult to watch, knowing we can change nothing south of our border. This pales in comparison to yesterday’s events in Quebec City and the absolute inability we have to breathe now due to shock and horror. Please continue your efforts. This is spiralling out of control across many borders.

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Vicki

Thank you for this post, and sharing this message. This is a conversation at my dinner table every day now, and I appreciate your candor and genuine approach to the issue. I agree that while I love the other blogs I read too, it feels odd to ignore such a huge elephant in the room. Love to you and DALS!

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Nicole

you rock!!!! I appreciate you using your space for something this important even if it’s not-expected. this is just too important. agree with the commenter who said “your table, your rules”

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Susan

Way to bring it!

I won’t be sending a receipt because we are sending money to both the ACLU and Planned Parenthood. They’re both getting $50 this week. These were the primary issues on my signs at the Women’s March in Chicago. I heard so many times that we should wait until Trump took some action before we marched. This is what we were marching against. Why did they think he wouldn’t act on what he spoke of in his campaign?

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Sonya Terjanian

Yes, yes and yes. I’m glad you’re not “shutting up” as Bannon would have us do…

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Lane @ With Two Spoons

Beautifully stated Jenny! Thank you for using your voice in such a kind and respectful manner! We are with you all of the way!

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Jessica

Thank you so much for this. Every person needs to speak out against what is happening right now. Silence is also a political act – one of complicity. Now is not the time to bury our heads in the sand. I love all your posts, but especially the vegetarian ones.

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Ann

Thank you so much for not pretending it is business as usual these days. These conversations are so important and standing up for what we believe in, what we value, and who we want to be as a country are even more so.

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Anne

Thank you for this post. It’s so important to do anything we can right now and though I was already a fan, this makes me love this space even more.

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Jennifer Mikhail

Thank you. I truly appreciate the way you described it. My two kids grew up discussing politics with the family. My husband and family immigrated to this country from Egypt. Issues like immigration and racism are pretty close to home for us. It truly helped shape them into the young adults they are today. I say keep it up – fight the good fight. These are strange and perilous times.

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Susan

Nothing to say beyond, “Thank you.”
And yes, we read you. We may not comment all the time or get to the posts day-of, but indeed…we read you.

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Laura J

I love the mix of things you write about and I really like to hear what you are thinking and some of your views. I have this great thing I do when a blogger I read starts to not be what I am looking for anymore-I stop reading them! I can’t imagine telling a blogger what to write about and if you came to my job and tried to tell me what to do, I would have suggestions for you! Keep going, write what you want to write about, that is my only expectation.

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Katie Noah Gibson

Thank you, Jenny. I come here for the recipes, yes, but also for the thoughtful conversation on so many topics, and I also increasingly believe politics is a part of that. I appreciate your brave, compassionate voice.

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Becca

Always grateful for your recipes, filled with enormous gratitude for this post. Thank you.

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Anna

Thank you for this civilized contribution to the national conversation. I love that this space is not just recipes. Food is interwoven with culture at every level. Thanks for acknowledging that.

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One Little Bat

Yes, I came for the recipes, but I stay because your content shows a slice of who you are! Everyone has the right to an opinion and if people don’t agree with yours then that’s their right too, but if they are angered by your opinion or even by the simple act of expressing an opinion then they know how to close the browser tab and move on. In the UK a couple of years back there was a TV ad in which a character said “No, I don’t DO politics.” and the ad pointed out that politics has a part in everything in the world around us from immigration of people to import of the ingredients you use and write about on this site.

Very well said and thank you for taking the time to post this.

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Ashley

YES! Good vibes and blessings to you and your family. You’ve long been an inspiration to my husband and I (who do not have kids yet but still cook every night) and this further solidifies my love for you and Andy. Thank goodness for people willing to speak up in these trying times. I set up my recurring donation to the ACLU and PP this morning. Cheers!!

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Nia Bowling

Thank you, thank you, thank you for this. I will certainly be coming back for both recipes and dinner time discussion. I appreciate all that you do in this space.

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Sasha

You are a queen Jenny!! I have loved your site for YEARS, and use it and all of your books for dinner references regularly. I just am compelled to comment for the first time with a hell yes! These are incredibly tumultuous times, and I applaud you for speaking your truth! And PS, you are such a great writer, I truly adore your blog and this post gave me chills.

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Torrey Robinson

Good for you Jenny. I’m sure you’ll get lots of messsages of support for this post but I wanted to add my thanks too. I read you religiously when you were getting started and now pop by occasionally forideas. You have a powerful platform and I’m glad to see you’re using it. Oh, and thanks for the reminder of that pork Ragu. I haven’t made that one for awhile!

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Liza McArdle

I like you even more for this! FYI: my friend and I are always talking about “Jenny and Andy” recipes, tips, etc. having both followed your blog/books for years now. And guess what…we don’t even have kids!

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Katrina

I’m a long-time reader, never commenter, but just wanted to say thank you for talking about what’s happening in our country. We are certainly going to need to talk about the things that feed and nourish us – body & spirit – in the next four years, but we cannot stop talking about the difficult and dangerous and unacceptable things happening. All of those “happening around the dinner table” things you mentioned are deeply impacted by what is being done by our administration at the moment, and it is truly disingenuous to pretend like one thing is not affected by the other. I’ve had a hard time continuing to read those of my favorite not-explicitly political blogs that haven’t mentioned current events in recent days and weeks because to not mention the total upheaval feels like denying such an enormous part of what is central in my mind and heart at the moment. Thank you for not shying away from this.

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Tina

Thank you for your post Jenny! Completely appreciate your voice, bravery, authenticity, & the tie to your dinner table. I’m having a hard time reading my normal blogs when they do not address the political environment in some way. It just makes me like yours more.

Donation made.

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Katie Scullion

As a long-time reader, happy that you use your platform to express your views. More importantly, agree about the power of the dinner table as a place to hash out different views. Thank you!

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Abby Bowman

Thank you for everything. The comments, the recipes, the books, the conversations and the sharing of your personal life. I always enjoy reading.

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Sue A.

I appreciate your using your blog to communicate important issues that all of us should monitor. Please continue and know you are supported in making a connection between morality and the way we lead our lives everyone around the dinner table.

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Jen

Just a reminder for people who are donating. Many employers have a matching program for charitable donations, check to see if yours does.

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Melissa

Thank you, Jenny, for encouraging others to take action! I donated $100 to the ACLU yesterday morning after seeing the impacts of the Executive Order and the ACLU’s work to challenge it, and hope that others will do the same. Talking about things that matter is so important–around the dinner table, as well as (respectfully) in corners of the internet. This is only the beginning…

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susan

Thank you. We talk about it at our family dinner table and I love that you talk about it here. Keep doing what you do!

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Awads

We are all bearing witness to this administration and its dastardly deeds. We are fotunate that those who do have a platform are NOT afraid to use it. Preach on, Jenny! The world wide web is watching. I’ve marched for two weekends in a row and don’t plan to stop. I”m making donations to NAACP, Planned Parenthood, ACLU, and everywhere else i see a need. I don’t need another cookbook, but i want you to know that a lot of us are in the fight with you. #resist

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Kristen

Thank you, Jenny- for your posts over the years and also for your thoughtful comments on current events these past few months. I will certainly keep reading!

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Bea

Thank you for this post. This is the most sincere, thoughtful piece of writing I have read today. I love how you eloquently reminded everyone that we all want what is best for our families and we have more in common than we don’t. It is so very true. I just wish more people would attempt to understand this. Why can’t we all just respect our differences and get along?

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MMM

Thank you! Your blog is about food and your community and I don’t want to live in a community where people don’t show compassion and courage by speaking out against social injustice. This is not about politics, it is about people.

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Allison Bradsher

Amazing post! Thank you for staying true to what you desire for this blog! It’s yours and no one else should ever shame you into silence about what matters. So many of us are with you!!

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Emily Bourassa

Thank you lovely Jenny for doing what you do and speaking up so thoughtfully. I am so with you. Much love from California.

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Heather G

Thank you! I believe we need more discussion and less isolation- even if your recipes are fantastic! I may have come for the recipes, but I stay for the conversation.

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Hattie

I enjoy reading all your posts! Why not discuss political topics? Politics affect ALL of us.

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Casey Bernard

THANK YOU for that final paragraph. Every post on social media that is a light-hearted recipe or funny video seems disingenuous right now. These are times when we can’t idly stand by and people who want to say they came here to avoid politics are sticking their heads in the sand. Thank you for standing up for what is right.

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Bethany P.

I’m so glad you’re not ignoring the current political climate in your blog posts. I’ve found it very unsettling that so many of the blogs I follow have ignored it completely–not even an acknowledgement that these are, at a minimum, interesting times. Thanks for speaking from your heart and mind!

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Anna

I’ve loved your blog (and books) for years, and I have to tell you that that love just SKYROCKETED after reading this post. Thank you, thank you, for not ignoring the world and for being brave enough to talk about politics here — I never would have imagined the need either, but it’s nothing short of crucial. After all, it all ties in to building happy, good families, and strong, capable children who will make the world better. Bravo!

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Alex Prinstein

You are my favorite, Jenny. You feel like a part of my family and we have never met. Even my children, ages 4 and 8, are distraught by what is happening in our political universe and more than ever, I want to make our family dinner table a place of comfort, conversation, and mind-opening for them. Thank you for addressing all three of those through your posts and recipes.

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Jasmine

Your ‘note’ and ‘reminder’ are absolutely the best part of this post. I’m also a mom of two girls and finding myself completely distracted with all that is ‘unprecedented’ in the past weeks. I’m always thankful for your blog, thank you for defending your content today and always.

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Melissa

From here in Australia (where we too have an approach to immigration that brings me great shame and sadness) we are worried about close friends living in California – him an American-born Jewish man whose family escaped Russian pogroms, and she an Iranian born woman who grew up in sydney. They are expecting a baby in a few weeks and now can’t have her mother come to meet their child, or bring their baby here to meet family without worrying about being let back home. Needless to say, we and they are heartbroken.

Thank you for speaking out, Jenny.

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Liv

Thank you Jenny! Your blog has always been and will continue to be such an inspiring uplifting corner of the Internet. Future leaders are raised at the family dinner table. I tried to donate to the ACLU on Saturday afternoon and received the “due to unusually high traffic” error message on the donation page and had to wait until yesterday to complete it!

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Melissa Zabor

At the dinner table, in our homes, connecting over food and wine, surrounded by our family and friends…that is where we have conversations about courage and strength, about love and empathy, about right and wrong.

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Handmade Parenting

I find the expectation that we compartmentalize parts of our lives (“stick to recipes!”) unrealistic given the current state of affairs; thank you for using your platform to speak out for what is good and right.

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Julia

I am not usually a commenter (every! anywhere!) but break my rule now to say: thank you. I DO come to your blog for recipes and dinner strategies. But I also admire the grace and humanity with which you tackle dinner table topics, and I agree that this is not a moment for silence. Bravo.

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Katie

Thank you Jenny! This space is important to me and my family, and these past 18 months have moved the needle for me as well. Thanks for all you’ve said and done to point back to the importance of family dinner and how we talk to our kids (over ragu or chicken parm meatballs or salmon and brussels, our favorites).

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Libby

You go! I especially love your directive to express opinions like you are sitting across from me at the dinner table. Your chicken recipes rock too!

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deb

Love the blog and your books. Thank you for not being silent. Our voices matter! Already on an automatic monthly donation to the ACLU :)

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Nicole

I get really frustrated when people say actors, bloggers, athletes or anyone else in the “entertainment” (is that the right word? no offense if not) world should keep their mouths shut – as if their opinions matter less than the doctors, lawyers and business people of the world because of their profession. I don’t understand why people like you, Meryl Streep or anyone with a line to the masses shouldn’t use the platforms they’ve been given to address what is important in this world and open the discussion. This trend towards “shut your mouth” is terrifying and a step back to a very dark place. Thank you for using your platform to address what you believe is important and recognizing that its hard to engage in the every day when our world is being turned upside down. I will appreciate your wonderful cookbooks even more now, knowing you are more than an inspiration at the dinner table but also a person who takes action for what she believes. Thanks Jenny!

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Kate

Thank you for your courage to stand up and speak out. As a small business owner, I fully understand the risks of doing so and I admire your example. I am finding my own voice getting stronger and louder and growing more firm in my belief (by the hour) that we absolutely cannot keep quiet. To remain silent is to be a bystander. Thank you!

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Tina

I agree 100% with you. You do a fantastic job of stating why politics are relevant to this blog. You have a strong platform that you built and it is your right to use this platform to spread some good. Keep it up! (Pork Ragu for president? 2020?)

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Elizabeth

So well written! I agree, this IS a topic to discuss with family. If you can’t discuss with family, then where else can you? And imagine that you once started this blog for you and some friends – it is still your personal blog. Write what you want. I like it. :)

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Maggie

I really enjoy these posts! (Frankly, I think there should be a lot more!) I think it’s especially important that people hear the concern of other people with whom they have relationships, who can’t just be written of as “out-of-touch elites” or “uneducated folks from fly-over country.” I would love to donate $100+ to the ACLU but am unable to at this time, instead I signed up as a volunteer with a local immigrant and refugee resettlement charity.

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Shivoa

Thank you so much for your wise, gracious words and spirit. So many times I have turned to your website not only for a dinner idea, but also for flashes of inspiration on how to raise my kids and embody my own beliefs, as you say: starting at the family table. In these troubled times this is even more true, and family dinner isn’t just about what’s on the menu tonight but about how to talk with our kids about what’s going on in the world. It’s a chance to help them understand (at their own level) what all this means to us, in terms of real people, in terms of right and wrong… Thank you for this post, and all the others, you can’t imagine how much they matter.

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JenniferL

Thank you, Jenny. We have a responsibility to speak up. I appreciate you using your slice of the internet to do so.

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CarrieH

Love this post. Thank you sharing your thoughts. We all need to be brave and say (politely) what we think –our opinions and actions do matter!

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Linda Schneider

What better place to talk politics (and ethics and morality and other intermingled subjects) than around the table? So go for it–talk about what’s important, there’s no other way in times like these.

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Dana

Sorry, I’m not here to thank you. I am a long time reader and well-educated person that follows politics earnestly on a daily basis (before everyone starts lecturing me about what’s going on in America). I also fully recognize that this is your blog and you can post whatever you like. I also want what is best for my family and children, but I do not agree with your opinions. At all. Unfortunately for me, I was using this blog as a respite from constant political information, but no more. I envision that you are going to continue these posts every chance you get. I won’t be buying any more of your books, nor am I ever coming back to this site. Good luck to you.

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Ivy

Well, I’ll just have to buy two of your books then, one for me and one for Dana (I’ll donate hers to a food-focused charity, since she won’t want it).

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Jenny

Thanks for your comment, Dana — I appreciate how respectfully written it was. I wish you would not write this blog off completely, as I crave informed people at this table who have a different opinion than mine. Also would like to reiterate that yes, I will be weighing on the headlines, but not “every chance I get,” as you suggest. In addition to being a place to discuss important issues, the dinner table needs to be a respite from the day’s stress. And there’s a lot of stress these days. Good luck to you.

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Ingrid

That’s part of what’s the matter with the world today. If we don’t agree, we don’t want to hear it. Why do you think the way you do? If you would share that, maybe we could all learn something, even if we don’t agree. If you just watch Fox News and read Brietbart (is that how it’s spelled?), you won’t hear the other side. If we only read and listen to those who agree with us, we don’t see the big picture. We used to be able to hear others’ opinions and not get angry. What happened to that? But now that you won’t read from this site, we’ll never learn from each other.

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Erin Freedman

I love your blog and books but have never commented. Just want to take this moment to say you do great work. These are in fact the conversations we are having around our dinner table. I may have made one of your recipes, but we are talking about the struggles, conflicts and hatred we see in the world. We are imagining the struggles of others and trying to figure out what we can do about them as we sit at our warm table, eating our own delicious meal. Right now I’m teaching my kids how to make meaningful change in their world even though I’m not really sure how to go about that myself. You are right, “it all begins at the family table.” Keep up the good work and fight the good fight. Our children are watching us!

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Sunshine Flagg

I think we might be soul sisters. At the very least we’d be great neighbors. Thank you for having the conversations that any conscionable person needs to in these extreme times. My supper club is similarly structured. Instead of family we gather as chosen family and new friends. We sit together and share food and stories. We talk about the cultures connected with the food we are sharing. Family-style. The concept is something we can all relate to and hopefully connect to others through as well.
Your blog is heaven. Thanks for it.

Cheers!
Sunshine

I found your blog through the German food blog, The Wednesday Chef.

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Anne

Thank you for welcoming us to your table – I keep coming back to this blog for all of it – the recipes, menus, book ideas and book reviews, parenting woes and tips, politics and more. Thank you for caring about us.

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Adrianne

Thank you. This hangs in our house: “Under the shelter of others, the people survive.” We have to take care of each other.

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Liz

Thank you, Jenny! I always come to DALS for comfort (even if I’m not aware of it in the moment) and this post was especially heartening. xo

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Bernadette

I’m with you Jenny ~ and all of the other ‘hers’ and good men that were at the women’s marches in person or in spirit. We will keep the love alive starting in the kitchen and spiraling out from there…

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Katherine

I am a regular – have been for years. A large portion of what I cook on a regular basis comes from your website. I visit your site daily and I rely on you to help drive my family meals. But I would be disheartened if you DID NOT take the time to reflect about what is happening in our country and in this world. It is not business as usual. It can’t be. It is too important that we all pay attention to what is happening and do our part to raise awareness, questions, and to shout from the rooftops to express our horror and to protest these atrocities. Thank you for using your platform.

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Erin Hofer-Shall

Thank you, just plain thank you. I’m an avid reader of your blog and I own your cookbooks and try to cook from them regularly. I appreciate you not hiding your head in the sand publicly. I have to say that I find it very disconcerting to visit my favorite blogs and see just another regular “aren’t these pretty” posts. It just seems wrong. Again, thank you!

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Annie

Thank you for your beautiful, powerful words. I am a travel editor and it has been hard (impossible?) to get back to posting about fancy hotels and luxury trips. It all begins at the dinner table. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU.

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Alyssa Trobacher

I applaud your saying something on the subject. I have a really hard time reading blogs that gloss over the fact that so much is wrong right now. They seem complicit by not saying anything! I understand not wanting to get political, but it’s so much more then that now. It’s great to see, thank you.

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Angela

Can I adore you and your blog anymore than I already do? Thank you for all that you share and inspire in this space.
Activism is my rent for living on this planet – one of my new favorite quotes from Alice Walker

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Megan

Thank you for using this space to talk about these issues! We are at too crucial a spot not to. Have been reading for awhile, and my admiration just grows! Thank you.

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Allison

This is a great post and the Atlantic article was fantastic. You will be on the right side of history here. I love the commenter who said this is your table, your rules. We’re all guests here. Thanks for your perspective on this and all DALS related topics.

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Lilia

Thank you, so much, for this. These are times that demand courage — however small, and from all sources. Keep up the great work.

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Ashley

The current political climate has absolutely has a place at the dinner table. Thank you for being an inspiration to talk openly with family, friends and the people we meet over food about the things that really matter.

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Tara

THANK YOU Jenny for writing this post. Thank you for standing up for a just and generous society!

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Jenny

Thank you to every single person who took a minute to support the cause and comment on this post. It means so much to me. I also wanted to make sure everyone saw that the ACLU raised $24,164,691 this past weekend. They usually raise $4 million a year. #hope

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Amanda

Thank you! Its been really heartening to see bloggers I read stop and say this is too big not to acknowledge. Frankly you make me a more regular reader by saying I can’t just post about pork chops if I don’t post about what we’re talking about over the pork chops. The dinner table has had some really heady conversations lately!

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Libby

These are extraordinary times we’re living in–silence can’t be tolerated when there are lives on the line. I admire you so much for obeying the thing inside of you that said, “you have to say something.”

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Ellen

Jenny, thank you for your thoughtful post, and the lovely way you’ve approached this difficult subject. I think this is a time when we all need to stand up for the world we want for our children, and the maturity of the way you approach it is inspiring!

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Kate

Thank you. I am finding it harder and harder to read blogs that make no mention of what is going on in our country. Weekly roundups on Friday that didn’t mention any one of the horrors visited upon our democracy just felt completely out of step with our reality.

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Diane

Thank you for this wonderful post. I just donated made my second donation (in two weeks) to ACLU.

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Kristina

Thanks for speaking up and thanks for sharing that fantastic article.
~ A loyal reader who owns all your books :-)

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Elizabeth Rossetti

Thank you, Jenny, for everything you do….from strategies to rescue me when I am in a dinner rut, to ways to deal with picky kids (including husband) while trying to achieve the noble goal of a healthy family meal amongst hockey practices and piano lessons and homework battles…and for your level-headed commentary. I love that DALS is a warm and comforting place to visit in these crazy times…keep on keepin’ on!

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Sue

Jenny- As my 82 year old mother would say – thank you for being you. I appreciate that your blog and books and outlook are much more than recipes – you are talking about how we raise our children (and ourselves) and celebrate what we value.I don’t think we can separate what we serve from what we discuss at the family dinner table.

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Jessica Karlin

bravo to you, Jenny! thank you for sharing this post. like someone else said, your table, your rules. and thank you for the reminder – have been meaning to donate to ACLU for days and seeing your post pushed me to do it.

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Bvt

You rock. Total support, total love for this post. Been awhile since I’ve read DALS and I love you guys even more for speaking your hearts. Much love.

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Erin

I wanted to let you know that I have been reading your blog for several years now and love the recipes, and your weekly roundup. Your recent political posts make me like you more. Possibly because I agree with you but also I think because I don’t have children yet and have always been heart warmed at how well it seems you are raising 2 strong young ladies. I also think it’s important to use your platform for good, which you are. I don’t even see this issue as political; it’s simple human rights and decency. thank you for speaking out, and know that you are appreciated. I can’t imagine it’s easy to speak your mind on a public platform with varying beliefs.

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Dana

Thank you, thank you, thank you. As a secular muslim immigrant who chose to adopt this country, I have never felt in my 13 years in the US but pride, love and gratitude for this new land I now call home. It was not until this past week with the actions of this administration that I felt for the first time like an outsider, like someone does not want me to belong. And I refuse to feel so! When my 7 year old boy cried when Hillary lost, I told him DJT is now your President and we need to be open-minded and give him a chance to unite and lead. Well, i am so sorry that this has not been the case. I applaud you and others for your stance and position. On my side, I will continue to face hatred with love, bigotry with inclusion, ignorance with knowledge hoping that the arc of history quickly bends towards justice for all.

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Christine

Yes, yes, and yes. I can’t imagine pretending that none of this (gestures toward the White House) is happening. It’s certainly a topic around our table and I appreciate your voice. Thank you.

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Maria

Loved this! Thank you. Too many of my favorite blogs have been silent on what’s happening and it’s just frustrating. I just can’t pretend that everything is normal and not acknowledge the anxiety that so many of us are feeling. Thank you for not ignoring it.

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Linda F.

Jenny, I’ve loved your blog for years! Thank you for all you do and how you inspire us to keep at it in the kitchen day after day, year after year. And while I generally enjoy hearing your take on everything, and I too am very disappointed in our country’s choice of president (and I’m a Republican!), sometimes the political stuff is just hard, on every level…to talk about, to listen to, to think about. I’ve been trying for my whole adult life to understand the pro-choice position and it continues to break my heart and feel so wrong, so when I see you and your beautiful girls holding a march sign that heralds that choice, it hurts. Of course, I fully know that you are entitled to your beliefs, and your right to post them…but yet it hurts. Just like I know that all those who voted for Trump are totally within their rights to do so…but yet it hurts. I guess what I’m trying to say is that so many of these things are so raw for so many of us. Some of us cry for the innocent unborn, some of us cry for the plight of the immigrants, some of us cry for the criminals on death row. And it’s hard to know that someone we “visit” over and over again (you!) and we start to think of as a friend, could have views that we find so deeply disturbing.

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Lauren

Linda, I appreciated your comment. I have felt similar despair, although I see the issue you care about very differently. I agree that it hurts not to be understood, and also to see that someone you know does not value something you find obvious and important. I do not understand how many other Americans do not see the threat we are currently facing with our president. My only thought is that the answer is in turning towards one another even when you might want to turn away, and making an effort to see where there are underlying areas of commonality. Sometimes it seems insurmountable, but it also seems like the only real possibility.

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Carrie

I already love you, your family, and this blog. This just cements it further. Keep on being you and posting whatever is on your heart, whether that’s food, raising children, or the craziness that is politics right now. I feel like it’s all-encompassing right now and not speaking to it would just be inauthentic. <3 <3 <3

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Laura

I love you, I love this site, and love that you take true ownership of your little piece of the Internet.

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Angela

Jenny, thank you so much for this. I’m a regular reader for the dinner inspiration, but also (especially!) for the beyond-dinner inspiration.

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Hilde

I appreciate your addressing this. I am actually unsubscribing from a few lifestyle blogs which are first-person voice that seem tone deaf on these issues and go cheerfully on without acknowledging the tremendous upheaval of the last 10 days. We need both: Food for the belly as well as food for the soul.

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Carolyn Page

Once again, Jenny – we follow you because you are so much more than ‘just another food blogger’. You help us clarify our own thoughts, as we watch you and your family make sense of what is happening in your country and beyond. It troubles me that this is referred to, by some of your readers, as a ‘platform’ – a term which makes this difficult and honest process seem cynical and calculated. It is surely a forum, rather than a platform – and I am glad that you are more confidently, and assertively, stepping into it as a public blogger, even if it costs you some readers.

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Shira

Thanks for speaking out! I love that so many bloggers that I follow are not normalizing what is going on. It affects families and it affects all of us.

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Rebecca Ingber

Hi Jenny. I love your website and your culinary creations – but I love more how you’re sticking to your guns and continuing to voice your fears and opposition to the administration’s terrible, racist choices. Chicken and politics are not mutually exclusive! We need every kind, smart, reasonable American we’ve got now, and as a semi-public figure you have a terrific platform to remind us of our democratic, inclusive roots whilst we slice and dice our suppers. Keep on keeping on! – Rebecca

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Wendy

Love DALS. I work as a therapist & my clients are all having a difficult time managing fears in response to this administration. These topics are everywhere, I am heartened that you don’t ignore them. #riseup

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Karen

Thanks for posting the link to Eliot A. Cohen’s eloquently written editorial. We need reminders of the big picture, the arc of history as we get mired in the details on the day to day flood of new developments and new information. Please keep doing what you are doing. Stay engaged!!

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Kristina

Your note nearly brought me to tears. These conversations are so important. It’s not just about nourishing our bodies, but our hearts and minds (CHEESE!) I so appreciate knowing that the people whose food and writing inspires me are feeling similar to how I’m feeling–which is to say very heartbroken. And still we march (or write, or call, or speak, or aid). Thank you.

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Colleen

Thank you for using your platform and voice. It is so needed, particularly for those, like you, who have the visibility to do so. Thank you!

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veena

One of the many, many reasons I keep returning to your site is BECAUSE you continue to raise these topics of discussion and share insights into how you handle these issues as a family. I, too, was lucky enough to grow up in a family who discussed – and continues to discuss – difficult topics over the dinner table, and I will forever be grateful for that space and the opportunity to ask questions and share my thoughts and feelings. I look forward to these posts as much as I do your recipes, and I am so happy to read that you will continue to share them. Thank you.

Veena

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Dianne

Thank you. And thank you to the dissenting voices show ere brave enough to explain why they will leave the readership and why they found your pro-choice signs difficult. We may disagree, but by talking to each other and trying to work together, I am confident we will get through this. You, as always, continue to help us stay nourished, nourish our loved ones, and know we are among informed citizens who want to keep talking and figuring it all out. Peace

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Clou

How do you talk to your daughters about those pink kitty cat hats without talking about politics? C’mon, what better place than at the dinner table!

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Lisl Sukachevin

Yes! Yes! There is no way to ignore what is happening in our country today. And frankly I think it would be irresponsible of bloggers today to not use their platform to speak up when they see wrong. Please keep it up!

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Sarah Young

You inspire me at the stove, the dinner table, and beyond! Thank you for acknowledging what many of us are feeling about this country right now.

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Emily

And this post so perfectly illustrates why I (and so many others!) love your blog. Thank you, and keep on keeping on!

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Sharron

This may not be the place to ask, so feel free to delete, but is there a place to go and read the actual orders that have been signed? With both sides so hyped, I’d like to know what it says for myself.

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Crystal

Jenny, it’s your blog. Write about whatever you want to. We all have our own freedom to stay or go. xo!

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Heidi

Thank you! Keep doing what you’re doing. If ever there was a time for politics at the dinner table, it’s now!

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Kimberly

I wholeheartedly embrace the views of others but have begun to feel that Democrats are willing to respect and value the beliefs of everyone but conservatives. It’s a scary time to be a Republican and I’d like to ask people to consider that the reasons that you did not vote for Trump are not necessarily the reasons that others did. Most Republicans that I know are being routinely disparaged and it’s disappointing that the love and tolerance that has been espoused by Democrats does not extend to everyone. I’d like to reach across the dining table and extend a hand and a commitment to be open to learning about why you stand where you do in exchange for sharing the same with you.
The embodiment of tolerance may not be the defense of beliefs of people around the world, but the defense of your next door Republican.

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Celia

Thank you Kimberly! Yours is a fair criticism. Please know that I at least am very interested in reaching a hand back.

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Jenny

So glad you commented, Kimberly. I agree that Democrats can sometimes be hypocritically intolerant — though I’m wary of generalizing too much there — and I know that there are Republicans who voted for Trump because they believe he will bring back jobs, revive depressed factory-towns, improve the economy and not because they are OK with his racist, misogynist, xenophobic platform. But here’s the thing: Now is the time for those Republicans to say, hey, Congress, I voted for Trump because of x, y, and z, but he’s going to have to stop thinking he is above the law; stop threatening journalists who don’t say what he wants them to say; stop openly violating the emoluments clause of the constitution; stop supporting and praising a Russian dictator who, among many other things, undermined and intervened in our election process; stop perpetuating the myth that it’s only the media that cares about him releasing his tax returns so we can be sure he is behaving in the interests of America and not the Trump Organization; stop spouting flagrant lies to our country; stop having his press secretary release official flagrant lies to our country; stop belittling and discrediting the intelligence agencies in this country that keep us safe. None of these issues are ideological or partisan or political. I am talking about protecting the fundamental principles that keep a democracy stable and secure. (At least, that’s all I’m talking about for now.) Don’t these violations seem like something every American should be outraged about together? Thank you again for commenting.

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Kimberly

I completely agree with you. I’m a Libertarian at heart (social liberal/fiscal conservative) and dream of the day when a third party is truly viable. I am NOT a fan of Trump but voted for him because I believe that a strong economy ultimately rights a lot of ills- unemployment, education issues, etc and enables people to give to the social causes of their choice. I had (have?) hopes that the checks and balance system of our government would be enough to hold Trump in check. Thus far, I’ve been wrong but am working with Republican legislators at the State and Federal level to make my view heard.
Thank you all for creating a forum for respectful discourse. The exchange and consideration of ideas is to the betterment of all.

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Jenny

That is awesome, Kimberly. If you’re not totally exhausted by this conversation, I’d love to hear more about how you are working with Republican legislators. Thanks so much.

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Kimberly

Sorry for the delay in responding. It’s been a busy work week. Much of what I’ve done has been emailing state and federal legislators to express my point of view. Additionally, I have a number of relationships with lobbyists and have had several conversations, sharing perspectives and gaining insights from them. Frankly, many of them seem to be more plugged in than the elected officials. I’m also participating with The Republican Party of Texas in hopes of helping to reshape the party platform. Many, many Republicans are horrified at the way things are going and there are tremors of change beginning.

On a personal level, I’ve found it very helpful to read articles from a number of sources to gain a better grasp of what’s truly happening. I try to balance conservative sites with more liberal ones and always include an international source. That’s not something that I routinely did until this election and it’s been fascinating/disappointing to see how the same event is played out (or not even mentioned) by the different media sources. Finally, I’m intentionally throwing myself into conversations with many people with differing views (not difficult to do since I live in Austin). This has been the most frustrating thing that I have done. The majority of the people that I talk to are so angry that they’ve been unwilling to share what they stand for and are more focused on expressing their outrage. I think that has to change. It’s tough to get people to understand or adopt your view when all that you’re doing is telling them why their stance is wrong. Probably the succinct way to put it is “If you’re going to talk politics at the dinner table, be polite!” You’ve done a great job of accomplishing that here. It just needs to filter out to the rest of the country.

Sasha

We set up a monthly donation to ACLU this weekend, and went out to protest. In the snow. In Indiana. And there were lots of people there! So, I just want to let you know, that people in the Rust Belt, in the flyover part of the country are just as appalled as you.

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Celia

Thank you. I am as guilty as anyone of running away from the disagreements. I just can’t bring myself to listen to the other side – it’s so painful. Simply hearing some of the views expressed leaves me feeling nauseated, and I’d rather do anything else. And yet, I know that the only way forward is to listen to one another, so we can find common ground. So thank you for opening up your “dinner table” as a forum to help us get there. Let’s all be brave and show up for the hard discussions.

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Francie Lin

Thank you for posting this. I am a regular reader of DALS and other cooking sites, but since the new administration came in, I have actually been unable to read any of the ones that make no reference to events outside the kitchen. It’s wrong to act like nothing is happening, and I thank you for acknowledging it. Plus Superbowl sandwhiches!

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Katrina

Wonderful post, thank you for speaking out. It’s becoming jarring when my favourite blogs aren’t referencing the situation in the US, and if nothing else it would be totally weird if you just didn’t mention it. It’s going to be a long road – togetherness is more important than ever, and thats what you have always been about.

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Ceri Cortes Thomas

I completely agree with you. Thank you for the great work you do producing such a varied and interesting blog.

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Jennifer

I read your blog precisely because the recipes are spiced with real life. Thanks for this post on the Muslim ban. A fun thing for food bloggers to do in the next week (here’s a challenge) would be to feature some recipes from historically Muslim cultures. (You could contact me privately if you want a suggestion about a possible guest blogger, although of course you could also include your own recipe for turnip pickles or whatever.)

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Josh

Thank you for your post!! Its no longer about politics, its about standing up for who we are!! Thanks again for the post.

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Erin White

Yes! I’m still here, all these years later, because you speak up and speak out AND give us great recipes. Keep at it.

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Emily

I noticed your site was down on Friday, too! I recently found your play date chocolate chip recipe and after giving it to a friend who asked about it (after devouring some we made for a dinner party) on Thursday I was so bummed that I couldn’t instantly access it on Friday. Wah! Patience paid off- and we baked a batch on Saturday. We brought them to a friend’s birthday party and again- they were devoured! I have to share a secret that I think makes them extra irresistible for adults…mini chocolate chips! Oh my gosh—- so perfect. Anyway, this post was masterful. Thank you so much for writing it. Empathy and listening to one another will serve us all well in these tumultuous times.

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Megan

Another long time reader, first time commenter. Thank you for speaking up, and speaking up so eloquently (not to mention being my absolute #1 go-to resource for recipes). I have long read your blog for the conversation as much as anything else. As others have said, the current political landscape is so horrific that I find myself wondering about those bloggers who *aren’t* using their platform to speak out–I feel like I can’t in good conscience read the blogs of people who seem to be going blithely about as though it is business as usual.

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Allison

Jenny, I am actually aligned with your political beliefs 100%, but I feel like your comment to Kimberly went a little bit overboard. We should thank her for her thoughts/comments without making a laundry list of all of her Presidential pick’s faults. No party even has standing as of yet to make an constitutional claim regarding the emoluments clause. I feel sometimes we as liberals cry Constitutional violation when we really just dislike Trump’s personal traits or his poor policy choices. A poor policy or poor practice does not always equal a violation of the Constitution.

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Lauren @ Lake Shore Lady

Thank you so so much for this post! I know I’m not the only one who has a hard time adjusting to this administration – and we’re not even two full weeks in. Staying informed has never been so infuriating and upsetting… and I’m already so sick of the name calling, animosity and the shift in the way people are speaking to each other. This post is so honest and respectful, while still standing up for what is right. Makes me love you and this blog even more!
xoxo,
Lauren
http://www.lakeshorelady.com/

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Jordan

THANK YOU for speaking up. I appreciate it. I’m struggling to continue following bloggers who do not acknowledge the insanity of the current political situation and speak up against the horrible things that are happening. Please continue speaking up.

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Naomi Pattison-Williams

This is just IT. Thank you for putting this into words so beautifully and clearly, Jenny.

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JessicaD

Jenny, just a note to let you know I strongly support ALL of your posts. Your blog is like an interesting dinner party … or picnic … or conversation at the bar with fun apps. Keep on keeping on. Jessica

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Sarahd

I appreciate your speaking up and out. It’s your blog, you should write about what YOU want to write about. It was extra nice of you to be extra respectful to all readers, of course:).

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CDW

Well done on speaking out. Always enjoy DALs especially the ‘life’ posts. Keep it up.

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Maggie

YES. as I’ve been telling all of my friends who, like me, have previously barred politics from the list of acceptable topics: we need to speak up! your voice is strong and it matters. Your honesty and transparency is inspiring and empowering and makes me love your recipes that much more. Please keep it up! (And thank goodness your daughters have a Mom like you.)

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sarah

Thank you for this post and for all that you do… These past few weeks have been so difficult, I used to love listening to the news and feeling hopeful as I cooked dinner, but now, not so much. Cooking for my family and trying new recipes is what is keeping me going these days, and your newest book has come at just the right time! It has become my most treasured cookbook. (that’s saying a lot, since my copy of DALS is completely falling apart from use : ) ) We celebrated being a part of the Women’s March/my mom’s 70th with your Mud Cake – it felt really special for such a hopeful day! We are already looking forward to making it again in a couple of weeks for my daughter’s 3rd birthday. She keeps asking when she’s gonna get her “lolly cake”.
So thanks so much for this post, for holding tight to your beliefs and not being afraid to share, for your recipes and stories, for providing my little family with new treats to celebrate with, and just for keeping on…. ! You are truly appreciated! *sarah

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Julie

I really appreciate this post and subscribe your political outlook, too. There are plenty of dinner/cooking/family bloggers that I don’t feel have a similar life or beliefs to mine, and I read them until I can’t anymore. Your blog is refreshing. By the way, I have your celebrate everything book and make the granola twice a week.

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Geri

I so appreciate this post and the fact that you are speaking up. It is far too important to be quiet. I hope and pray that things turn around and move in a positive direction, but having a leader who campaigned hate and belittled all who are different from him terrifies me. The fact that so many are supporting this platform terrifies me. I have read ‘How to Celebrate Everything’ cover to cover and am grateful to you for sharing your secrets for making memories and rituals with your kids. (We had a pancake cake for my 4 year old’s birthday last week – genius and delicious! my new favorite tradition!) Reading your book felt like someone giving me the most precious secrets for making the most of these years that are going too fast already. You have become a great inspiration to me – and I am sure many more – and by not sitting back and letting the fear of insulting others or losing readership is noble and selfless. Please keep doing what you’re doing!

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Kendra

I am a long time ready of DALS and I 100% agree with you. Every family and every person in this country is affected by what our government thinks and does and we should be discussing it regularly-no matter what side of an issue you are on-the conversation is important and essential to every person who resides in the USA.

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Anne

I admire you for sharing your point of view. To not do so in such times would be disingenuous…it is not business as usual, and it’s important to speak up.

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Kris

I’ve quit reading most of the other blogs I visit because right now I just can’t stomach posts talking about new lipstick colors, or the “must have outfit for spring”. This is a scary time and it makes me feel a little better to know that you are having the same worries that I have. Thank you for your honesty.

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Charity Haines

Thank you Jenny! I 100% support in talking about what you want to talk and what you talk about around your dinner party. Your blog = your conversation starter.

I have donated twice to the ACLU (and many other wonderful non profits) since November 8. Will continue my support and my fight too! Thank you!!! (I still think your In the Bank salad dressing is the best ever!)

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Shell

Agree and thank you! Love your food writing but in such a time as this we can’t always ignore what is swirling around us. This Fall and winter have been game changers for many of us. I marched, at 58 years old, in my first march, in San Francisco with my oldest son and his husband….because yes, we just have to put our foot down sometimes and say “Listen to us! We are here and we’re not going away!” That spurred some activism that continues and will at least through these painful next 4 years. We MUST stay VOCAL and strong and persistent! Please….keep it up.

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SC

Thank you. First time commentor. I have read your blog for years, bought your first book, and use your recipes first as a single person now as a young working mom. My family are immigrants and refugees from Asia and Latin America. I sometimes feel a bit alienated reading food and lifestyle blogs because they’re typically written by white women. Your recent posts about politics, the state of our nation and how you’re navigating it with your family resonate deeply with me. They feel so real and human. I feel more connected as a reader. You have a fan for life!

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Jenny

You rock. If only the whole internet…the whole world (gasp)…could agree to your dinner table rule. !

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Audrey

So many YESes to this!!! I’ve started unfollowing blogs/IG accounts/etc who have remained suspiciously silent. I’m so thrilled your blog isn’t one of them! This is definitely not a time for silence.

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Jo

I support President Trump, and I respect your right to speak your mind. It is, indeed, YOUR blog.

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