Cookin' up the fabric of life

We were over at the Statons house Saturday night for some of Meredith's "Fo Shizzle Gumbo" (my nomenclature). Meredith is really amazing when it comes to cooking. For example, when I had to give up dairy last year, Meredith made me the most amazing vegan chocolate cake for my birthday. Seriously. Amazing. You can see us basking in its glory in the attached photo.

So, after dinner on Saturday I commented that I needed to learn how to cook. Meredith was surprised. She insists that all her best recipes come from me (not the Fo Shizzle Gumbo, though). I tried to explain that I'm not talking about cooking as a collection of recipes or a set of skills. I can slice, saute, glaze and even blanch. What I really mean is that I need to learn to cook as a habit.

Once again, I think of Mo. This woman has serious skills. But more than that, she has a commitment. Last year, as I watched her whip up Thanksgiving dinner (in a country that does not celebrate Thanksgiving) it suddenly hit me that traditions don't just happen. It's up to us, as the "grown ups," to make traditions and things real. And so much of tradition and culture-- the fabric of life-- happens around food. I'm not just thinking about holidays, either. Everyday meals are just as important. Are they even more important? I think about Sarah's commitment to local food. Her cooking habit and consumer choices impact our local culture as well as her family's culture in significant ways.

So where does that leave me? There's a part of me that has resisted meal-planning-and-cooking role. And I would continue to have a problem with it if it were forced on me. But it's not. Jonathan would be totally cool with splitting the food associated chores 50/50. But here's the thing... I actually do enjoy it. I like the challenge and the creativity. I like that hour in the afternoon when Jonathan takes Julian and I have time to myself to craft something. I also like the challenge of strategizing shopping lists and meal planning. But most of all, I realize this is another step on the path of evaluating my habits to bring them in line with the vision of what I want for my life. It's like realizing that part of what I want for my life is a relatively clean house. So if I'm going to (1) continue to live with Samson and Chelsea (which I am. God has granted them eternal life with us) and also (2) have a relatively clean house, then I have to sweep and vacuum every day. That's it. So, if I'm really committed to this ethics of food business, then it's time to get habitual.

Bubbit and me: the election day tour

One of my favorite people in the world is pictured here with me. Sullivan is the person who convinced me I wanted to be a parent, so I'm kind of partial to him. I asked the boy if he wanted to go with me to vote, and I was really happy that he said yes. I told Suzanne that I have had to practice more intelligent conversation and diplomacy in my recent political conversations with Sullivan than in all my public speaking engagements put together! He is one smart kid. His doctor recently described him as a genious Huck Finn. And he adores Julian, which is a good thing.

At the polling location all of the poll workers really engaged Sullivan and he got a "future voter" sticker. Whilst I was sorting out my situation the manager walked him over to one of the voting machines and showed him how the process works. It was really great! I was giddy like a school-kid. Election day is a lot like exam day. I love it because everything is said and done, just one final hurdle and we can move on to the next step. I think it's really cool that Bubbit was with me and I hope he'll remember this day for the rest of his life. After we finally got everything sorted-- I had to vote provisional because my registration didn't get into the computer in time... then I was interviewed by a poll watcher-- we made a quick tour of places we had heard were giving out election day freebies. Of course this was before we heard this was illegal! We got a free donut at Krispy Kreme(God bless America), then hit Starbucks (bleed the beast) for an election day coffee.
Sullivan is mesmerized by the Krispy Kreme machinery.
So much fat and sugar and... bliss.

Am I eyeing my Georgia Voter sticker or that piece of heaven in my hand? Note: we are in the Starbucks drive-thru at this point.

Of course it's more than a little disconcerting that American democracy is so entwined with consumerism. Ah, Henry Giroux would be proud. But we had a fun time around town. Days like today make it good to be home.