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’s, Julia’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.
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.