Building your life around food (not for survival but pleasure) at times feels petty and frivolous. This past fall, my double life on twitter mirrored an internal conflict: as @sweetsnbitters I tweeted about Thanksgiving pie recipes all day long, while as @hannahrkirshner I obsessively followed news from Ferguson and cried about stories shared on #blacktwitter. What compels me to learn more and more about food is the opportunity to connect—to taste a culture, to explore a history, to express care and friendship—but it's easy to slip into treating food as just pop-entertainment.
Is there a meaningful way to address social issues using cooking (and not just the ones that have to do with farming)? A dinner party that raises money for charity is nice, but the connection is superficial at best. I celebrated Thanksgiving joyfully even as concurrent events in Fergusson and around the country weighed on my heart; togetherness and pleasure are important, and we can't just live our lives being sad about the worlds' atrocities. But the challenge of making work with meaning feels pressing.
Next weekend is Valentine's Day, and the Brooklyn book release party for The Case for...Read More