Most of my life, cooking has been my escape from the problems of the real world. I originally went to college to study Journalism, but I became so disillusioned with not only the state of the industry, but the state of the world, that writing became more upsetting than liberating. I had just recently started cooking, and loved how much it quieted my busy and anxious mind, and I fell in love.
The rest, they say, is history.
Right now, however, history is being made right in front of me. I’m born and raised in New York City, and chose to make it my home in adulthood. I’ve seen what the pandemic has done to my industry, and I’ve seen what the police have been doing to the people in my neighborhoods, my communities. The spotlight to injustices in the system has been turned on, and its bright.
I can’t ignore it. Not only because I’m black, not only because this is a slower summer than I’m used to, not only because it’s what’s on everyone’s lips. It’s something in me, deep down, that can’t help but stand up for whats wrong, and try to make it right.
I feel like I haven’t done enough up to now, and, I’m sure I could always do more. That guilt of not becoming a journalist hangs on me like wet clothes; maybe I could have written something to change our situation ages ago. Or maybe not. I could wax poetic about the “what–ifs” for ages, but I had chosen to go with my heart; isn’t that what we all should do anyways?
This blog wasn’t set up to be a platform for any kind of social rhetoric, it’s supposed to be about food. Simple, glorious food. This time, I have more to say.
The unnecessary killing of our black brothers and sisters has gone on for too long. When I think of what black and brown people have been facing for years, I feel a lump in my throat start to form. Its like staring down the edge of a gun, leaving my people trapped in the system. My family always wanted me to break free of the system, but that’s not to say the system didn’t push back. It’s hard even now to process, from growing up as the only child of color in an entirely white upper–class school to working in fine dining, an industry where I could work for years at a restaurant and never see another person that looked like me. I’ve almost never had the pleasure of working with another girl of color.
I have for too long thought that this was the norm, and there was no changing it. If I spoke up, then I was being “sensitive” and “overreacting.” For years I let people normalize hate around me because I was afraid to rock the boat. It’s hard to have hope for change when you understand our history. But seeing what is happening to my city, my country, and the world as a result of these protests gives me hope, and I hope they give hope to others as well. There is a bond forming in this city that I’ve never experienced before, and its a beautiful thing. I hope it will be long–lasting, and that changes will come. I hope people of color wont have to struggle as much as we have before, just to be heard, just to get the same amount of consideration as a white person would.
I’m not going to start listing statistics, that is something for an upcoming post. I will say, however, if there is any doubt in your mind that something isn’t right with the way we treat people of color, please educate yourself. I’ll leave this, this, and this here.
That being said, I’m doing what I can to help, and I encourage anyone else to do so as well, if it calls to you (and I hope it does, we are one human race after all). Get out there, donate time, money, energy, and love. There are people down at City Hall who have been there for over a week, holding strong, holding our government accountable. Too often does society turn a blind eye on the oppressed, and the government takes advantage. I’m proud to share a city with people that want to end that. When people fight together towards a positive goal, its a beautiful thing. It spreads love.
One of the best ways I know how to spread love? Well, its …food. Hope you’ve been paying attention.
I dropped off these muffins the other day at City Hall, and hung out and chatted up some people for a bit. I wanted to share this recipe, because its super yummy but also because it’s something beautiful and delicious to make for your tribe, which is hopefully as big as mine.
There will be more posts about this. More about others who inspire me, and things I’ve learned along the way. This is the first step of many, but soon, we’ll be running.
I will also be posting more of what I’m making for protesters, so these recipes will be in larger batches. I hope I see more of these muffins popping up at protests, even if just one other person makes them and donates them it will be worth my while.
Cinnamon Sugar Protest Muffins
Makes 50-60 Muffins
6 1/2 C Ap Flour
2 T Baking powder
1 T Salt
1 T Cinnamon
3 sticks butter, at room temp
3 C whole milk
1-2 stick butter, melted
2 C sugar
2 T cinnamon
Preheat oven to 375
Whisk together the dry ingredients; salt, flour, baking powder and cinnamon. Hold on the side.
Whip butter and sugar with a hand mixer until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, and incorporate fully until adding another. Then add the dry ingredients and milk, splitting the additions into parts. Add the a third of the flour, then half the milk, and repeat until everything is used, beginning and ending the process with the flour mixture.
Beat dough on low speed to incorporate. it will be fluffy, not as runny as traditional muffin batter.
Scoop about 2 T into each compartment of a muffin tin. Batter can be held in the fridge in between batches.
Bake for 30 minutes, then let cool.
To top, mix the cinnamon and the sugar together, then dip the tops of each muffin into the butter, then sugar mix.
These muffins are awesome with coffee and ending systemic oppression.