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food What Life Looks Like From Here: Dinners for Long Days

My street in NYC has many smashed storefronts and as we went by I explained to my 10 year old that it's essential we're not more concerned about property that can be repaired than human lives that cannot.

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Monday, June 1, 2020

 Good morning!

Smitten Kitchen took a social media break this weekend -- given the devastating, enraging events of the last week, it was neither the time to talk about shortcakes nor were they near my thoughts. I almost never talk about “politics” on SK because I like cooking to be an escape and I've never had my mind changed about who I was going to vote for in the headnote of a sheet cake recipe. I also don't consider myself an authority figure, a teacher, a leader, on how other people should think -- nor do I wish to be. It would be a very uncomfortable position for me when I have so little figured out, and so much learning to do. I can only tell you what I usually do on Monday morning -- what life looks like from here.

My street in NYC has many smashed storefronts and as we went by them on Sunday, I explained to my son (he's 10; we use simpler language with the 4yo) that it's essential we're not more concerned about property that can be repaired than human lives that cannot be. I told him that when systems break down -- and a system is broken when having black skin makes people the target of excessive police force, or is used to deny a presumption of guilt before innocence, as happened in the killing of George Floyd -- people will and should exercise their legal, protected right to protest, and while there will always be a tiny subset who use crowds as an excuse to be destructive (I saw it firsthand from my balcony the last two nights), we cannot let this distract us from the important message of the other 99%. And I told him about some of the causes we give to [like the ACLU and The Bail Project] because we consider these investments in a more just future, in the same way we hope talking to him about his place in, and responsibility to, the world around him will be something he takes with him.

And now I really want to cook again. We had a weekend of unmemorable takeout and it's left me famished for something real. Below, a few relatively quick, simple, early summer vegetarian favorites that I hope will restart us, plus two sweets we need right now, we just do.

Hope you're staying healthy and well-fed,


beach bean salad

New: I found my platonic ideal of a summer bean salad --one that keeps well, getting better as it marinates, and travels fantastically to anyplace your socially distanced summer might let you safely escape to -- in a new Southern cookbook that celebrates the stories behind the recipes it shares.

mediterranean baked feta with tomatoes…

This in a foil packet on the grill + some hearty olive oil-brushed bread, grilled and rubbed with a clove of garlic + a glass of rosé with a couple ice cubes clinking around in it = how we're going to do a weeknight around here.

strawberry brown butter bettys

In which I took a perfectly good apple betty and swapped in strawberries, dark brown sugar, browned butter, and made them individually sized. With Wonder Bread. I regret nothing.

ridiculously easy butterscotch sauce

Did you know that deadly good butterscotch, butterscotch so transcendent it might bring tears to your eyes, is ridiculously easy to make? Five ingredients + five minutes on the stove = we just can’t. You're going to have to for us.