Getting By

Top row: Kale-potato-cheddar frittata; iced tea; frying potatoes
Middle row: Homemade pizza with capers (used a no-yeast dough!); vegetarian breakfast tacos; handmade tortillas (used a recipe from this book)
Bottom row: Kale & lentils rice bowl; cauliflower-white bean tacos with tomato-charred onion salsa; cardamom-cinnamon rolls

I've been curious about how other folks are coping with This New Reality/These Uncertain Times. For me, music and cooking have been my saving graces. And I should preface all of this by saying how grateful I am that I have a safe place to even be able to find ways to cope. A lot of folks in our communities don't have that.

So. I used to love to cook and bake when I was younger. But for the past couple of years, I lost all pleasure in it. However, since early March, when it was pretty clear that we would all Be Inside for quite a while, I realized how much solace I found in chopping, slicing, dicing, kneading, resting, rolling, shaping, simmering, sauteing, frying and plating. There's such a calming effect in taking a lot of time to make your own meals. And while doing more dishes is never fun, that routine of taking your time and slowing down has been immensely helpful in calming down my anxious brain.

An album cover with Marvin Gaye on the cover
M.P.G. by Marvin Gaye, which is actually a low-key breakup album...except he hadn't divorced his wife yet. LOL

I have also found solace in music that I can't seem to find in movies and TV series at the moment, which is...interesting considering I was at the start of an art/movie/TV critic branch of my career. But that is another newsletter for another day. I used to be the kid making pause tapes from the radio, and would plan how to spend my allowance and babysitting money on CDs that I wanted. I used to take the bus to Lincoln Park (back when it was still weird and not gentrified) to Gramaphone Records and buy MF Doom and Vakill CDs. I would also take the train to places like Dr. Wax and Reckless Records and Crow's Nest records and listen to albums for hours on end before finally deciding on folks like Amel Larrieux, Res, Common, Mos Def (neé Yasiin Bey), and Incubus (Brandon Boyd will always be my forever crush).

So it is only right that I've found so much joy in making mixtapes again (I guess the kids call them playlists these days), and tuning into DJ D-Nice and Questlove's DJ sessions, and the live battles between producing legends that are always entertaining, even when there are a ridiculous amount of technical difficulties.

What has been getting you through? Let me know. And keep staying safe.