Life, right? I had the best intentions of sharing this recipe with you all before the holidays and then whoooooosh there they went. But there is no reason why Brussels sprouts and candied bacon can’t happen now.
If you’ve not jumped on the raw Brussels sprouts bandwagon I hope this salad can convince you. They are great in just about any salad. They hold up well which I always see as a major salad bonus. When slicing my tool of choice is the mandolin (this one is my favorite). When candied bacon isn’t an option I also like to combine some frilly shaved Brussels sprouts with white beans or chickpeas. I always find a crumble of cheese like feta or flecks of Parmesan is nice and toss it all together with a shallot vinaigrette or just lemon and olive oil.
Before you leave though can we get real for a moment? I mean I know salads are real but I wanted to check in with you and see how you are feeling about this week? It’s kind of a tough one isn’t it? Last week on my Insta-story I sat with you in a puddle of my honesty and sought your guidance. The only question I could muster was, “What can we do?” What can we do in a world where it feels like hate and division are winning? How can we be a stronger voice for love, peace, and grace in this broken place filled with us; broken people?
Many of you are in the same place I am. Hurting, broken, and at a loss for what we can do to help our country heal. We are in this together and together we can do great things.
There are many great and beautiful things happening right now. Let’s talk about those things. Let’s focus on those things.
Here are a few of my responses to the question, “What can I do?”
First of all I have a renewed passion for gathering people at our table. Long lingering meals where people feel at home in ours. Where one meal trickles on to the next and the food just keeps filling the table. Sometimes this feels too small but I’m constantly reminded of the power of the table and I plan to continue to further invest in that mission.
“We are all broken by something. We have all hurt someone and have been hurt. We all share the condition of brokenness even if our brokenness is not equivalent.” Bryan Stevenson writes this in his book, Just Mercy. He continues. “I began thinking about what would happen if we all just acknowledged our brokenness, if we owned up to our weaknesses, our deficits, our biases, our fears. Maybe if we did, we wouldn’t want to kill the broken among us who have killed others.” I want to continue to be open in my brokenness and believe in my own healing and forgiveness so I can do the same for others. We are all broken and I believe love to be the only salve.
I get so excited about fostering the community that this site built. Some of you might come here just for the recipes and that’s totally fine, you are welcome. But it’s always been more than that for me. This used to simply be my place of rest and light while deep in the throes of raising young children. It was where my creativity lived while scrubbing crusted cereal off the floors. It was the happy place my mind wandered to while reading Brown Bear, Brown Bear for the 1,000th time. Part of my day is still spent scrubbing crusty cereal off the floor but they’re also quite capable of doing that themselves. All of that to say now I feel more able to help and serve you all. One of my main goals in this place has always been to inspire you to get food on the table and to enjoy it; the food, the process, all of it. Finding the beauty in the everyday as always been a part of my mission through the recipes, words, and images that live on the site. I’m ready and excited for more of that and to make this place more helpful for you.
The current political climate has ripped the scales from my eyes and revealed the work that needs to be done. I’m sorry for those who have been hurting for a long time while I sat by doing and saying nothing. No more. A friend of mine said the other night that she is tired of cowering and is ready to take up more space in this world. I love that. My voice will be louder and I will take up more space for the purpose of loving and serving the broken (all of us).
There are many incredible organizations to give to and that is, of course, a wonderful action to take right now. Many of you know that a portion of our each sale from our shop goes directly to an organization that we love, First Aid Arts. Right now my heart is bursting at the seams to tell you about a fundraiser that my sweet oldest son has come up with. After reading about mosquitos and how they are the deadliest animal on the planet he was moved to action. He has set a goal to raise $2,000 which will be enough money to provide 2,000 (!!) mosquito nets for families around the world. I’ll be sharing more about this as we continue to think through our fundraising plans. In the meantime feel free to check out his amazing website he and Gabe made. You guys, love bombs are bursting all over the place!! This, this gives me so much hope and happy, gushy feelings.
Finally, in that Insta-story I mentioned earlier, my new friend Shaina from Shaina Saw had the amazing idea of flooding the Internet with images of love on Friday (or maybe all week). She suggests “family, weddings, children, accomplishments, stores. Whatever love means to you. All day. We don’t buy in to the negativity. We project the values we hope to see in our country.” Damn. You guys are amazing. I love this! Who’s in? We’re using the hashtag #sharethegood so we can all follow the love train. Let’s let that be the prevailing message.