so. i don’t know, friends. no matter where you fall on the spectrum, there were a lot of feels last week. there still are, for many of us. i don’t want to get into a political discussion* here but i do want to acknowledge that last week was big. and scary, for many of us.
i don’t know the *correct* way to talk about everything that’s going on and i feel like this blog post is just one stumbling foot in front of the other but it’s coming from my heart and i’m trying. i hope that counts for something (while recognizing it’s not enough). here goes…
last week was a mash-up of tears and reaching out to friends. hitting refresh over and over and not going online hardly at all. of disbelief and of trying to understand. of listening to comforting music and to speeches that had to be paused while more tissues were secured. resolving to fight. getting curious. resolving to educate myself.
amidst all of this though, it was also about trying to take care of myself and the people around me. lacing up my running shoes to venture out into a world that feels acutely different. showing up. listening. trying to get enough sleep so that i could remain functional. and (you knew it was coming), making sure i’m eating on at least a semi-regular schedule (and ideally maybe even something other than exclusively sugar…).
many of the sense-making conversations i had this past week were over food. to back up for a second, one of the many thoughts flying around in my constantly-vacillating-and-searching-for-meaning brain over the past week is that taking pictures of food is not exactly changing the world. and then i read deb’s latest post over at smitten kitchen, specifically the comments, and was struck by the number of people who posted to share which recipes of hers they had turned to last week to distract/comfort/fortify themselves. and i was reminded that everyone has their own contributions to make, in their own way.
AND, taking pictures of food doesn’t have to be my only contribution. i’m in the process of figuring out where i want to direct my talent and energy as a volunteer and a donor. the list of causes that i believe in that need help now is long and choosing how to direct my energy and talent feels daunting but it’s also a choice that i can make, an action i can take, and a way i can move forward. and right now, that, and a slice of leftover cauliflower and bacon pizza, sounds pretty good.
*ok, maybe just a little bit of political discussion. i’m starting my education with this reading list from the ny times and these individuals to check out (in #2) from an article i don’t totally agree with but still think has value. and, of course, here’s a long-but-not-exhaustive list of organizations doing the work who could use some cash/time/advocacy.
- pizza dough (or your favorite recipe/store bought dough)
- 1 medium head of cauliflower, cut into bite sized florets
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (if you have it)
- 3 slices of bacon
- 4 oz. (1 cup / 113 g.) sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely grated
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- prepare pizza dough. if you’re using the recipe linked above, it has to rise for 9+ hours. if you’re using something else, have it at room temperature and ready to go.
- preheat the oven to 425° F. if you have a pizza stone, set it in the oven now to heat up gradually to avoid cracking it by placing it in a hot oven later.
- pile the cauliflower up on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle the olive oil and sprinkle the smoked paprika over it. use your hands to toss it all around until the florets are covered evenly in oil and paprika.
- at one end of the baking sheet, put down a piece of aluminum foil large enough to lay the bacon strips out on and then arrange the bacon in a single layer on the foil. spread the cauliflower out in an even layer across the rest of the baking sheet. roast the cauliflower and bacon for about 15 minutes, turning the florets and slices over halfway through the roasting time. keep an eye on the bacon after the 10 minute mark, especially if your slices aren’t very thick and/or you don’t like crispy bacon. once the bacon is cooked, remove it to a double thick layer of paper towel and blot the grease off. once it’s cool, crumble and set aside.
- increase the oven temperature to its maximum (usually 500° F or 550° F). on a piece of parchment paper, press or roll the pizza dough out. once the oven is preheated, prebake the dough on the parchment paper for 4 minutes before you put any toppings on it.
- pull the dough out of the oven (an upside down baking sheet is helpful to move the dough around) and give the dough a gentle shake to make sure it’s not stuck to the parchment paper. spread the toppings out on the pizza. i usually put the cheese on last to hold the other toppings in place but you do you. transfer the dough directly onto the pizza stone (without the parchment this time – the dough should no longer be sticky). bake for 7 – 8 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and light golden brown. remove from the oven (baking sheet transfer for the win, again!) and let it cool for 1 minute before cutting it and diving in.
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