I remember going to visit my best friend not long after her first child had been born. I’d been prepared to be awestruck and delighted by the new baby, but I wasn’t at all prepared for the rush of emotion I felt as I watched my oldest, dearest friend navigate early motherhood.
She was, as I think most new moms must be, overwhelmed, exhausted, and sometimes gripped with fear. But in spite of it, she was completely competent: decisive, tender, and patient in a way I couldn’t even imagine being. She rose to the challenge because she had to, and she did it with grace. I was so proud of her.
I’ve watched most of my friends become mothers in the last decade, and it has been really, really cool. I know that’s a funny word choice, but it’s the one that keeps coming to me. I’ve been by turns impressed, touched, fascinated, and inspired by the ways in which each of them have adapted to their new realities and expanded identities. Now I’m watching them hold their families together through quarantine, and once again, I feel proud.
I can’t help but think of them today, on Mother’s Day. I’m also thinking about the ways in which we’ve all done what I watched Chloe do three and a half years ago: we’re rising to meet a challenge because we have to. None of us were prepared for this, but we’re doing our best: taking care of ourselves, working to protect others, staying connected in new ways. It’s amazing what people are capable of.
For many folks, myself included, this day can bring up mixed emotions. I think the poignancy is heightened right now, with the world in a state of crisis and uncertainty. I’m greeting this Mother’s Day as an opportunity to celebrate nurturing and care-giving in the many forms that they take.
I’m saluting the many strong biological mothers that I know, but I’m also celebrating caregivers everywhere. And I’m including myself in the appreciation. I haven’t been ushering a family unit through this crisis, but I think I’ve taken pretty good care of my mom. I’ve taken good care of myself, too. I’ve been reminded of my own self-sufficiency and ability to self-care, which is a gift, just as caring for others is a gift.
At this moment in my life, the way I’m able to nurture outwardly is through creating food and recipes. I wouldn’t be able to do that without having people to share them with, and I can’t tell you how grateful I am to all of you for allowing me to do that. Thank you for letting me feed you, virtually. It feeds me, too.
Happy Sunday. Here are some recipes and reads.
The texture of these black bean veggie burgers is amazing!
Homemade bubble tea would be a fun, first-time project for me, and I totally trust Lisa to show me how it’s done.
I’m always happy to have a new way to prepare tempeh. Caitlin’s peanut tempeh looks so flavorful!
A comforting bowl of mushroom garlic farfalle.
Finally, I can’t stop staring at the top of Izy’s beautiful vegan sourdough brownies!
1. Many of us are doing a lot of Zoom and Facetime, but what about physical touch? Slate takes an interesting look at how certain technologies may be able to stand in for it.
2. A sobering, but informative consideration of how drug-drug interactions might hinder new COVID-19 treatments.
3. I’ve heard it said that, if you’re bored at this moment, you’re lucky. I get it, but for those of us who are quarantining solo, monotony and stillness can be challenging. I really enjoyed reading Mary Mann’s perspective on boredom.
4. I can’t really imagine what it’s like to fly right now, but I was very interested to read about how airlines are trying to protect those who need to do it—and how they might shift their protocols for the future.
5. Finally, two beautiful and inspiring video compilations. The first is from Ballet de l’Opéra in Paris, and the second is a fundraising effort from ABT. Art brings us together, even when we need to remain (physically) apart.
Love to all of you. More recipes on the way.
This past week, I came across Luke O’Neil’s reflections on his struggle with exercise bulimia in Esquire. The article made me grateful that more is being written about (a) exercise bulimia (I linked to a CNN article in which my friend Abby shared her story a couple weeks ago) and (b) the need for a more gender-neutral discourse about eating disorders in our society. O’Neil sums it up well: “[A]s much as our generations-long assumptions about how men are supposed to behave and feel…
Last Monday was the first day of my oncology rotation. The rotation is only two weeks long, and I requested specially (in spite of a very long commute) because I knew it would be my only opportunity to learn about working with cancer patients. I spent most of last weekend sick with another cold (I’ve stopped keeping track of them), but when I woke up on Monday morning, I was certain I was well enough to go in. I popped a decongestant, drank…
Happy Sunday! I hope everyone reading has had an enjoyable weekend, and if you’ve got a holiday tomorrow, I hope you’ll spend it restfully. Steven and I are about to embark on a long day of travel as we return home from a friend’s wedding, and the following recipes and articles have been keeping me company so far. To begin, I really love Lisa’s simple recipe for Burmese fried rice. It features ginger, scallion, and peas (all things I love), and I always…
I brought a lot of food writing with me to Prague, including Julia Child’s My Life in France, Molly Wizenburg’s A Homemade Life, and Laurie Colwin’s Home Cooking, which I’ve read plenty of times, but could probably revisit indefinitely. I also read Jenni Ferrari-Adler’s essay collection Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant, which is a compilation of reflections on cooking for oneself. I’d read excerpts from the book a long time ago, and I was excited to revisit it in the context…