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Filling the House with Love

November 10, 2016

Yesterday was a hard day. For a lot of people. Sure, it was a happy day for many too. But within my community, most of the people I know saw it as a day of mourning. And like all grief, it hits people in stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance.

We clearly saw a lot of people last night in stage two.

Anger is one of those things I went through a lot when I was in my college years. I was an angry young man. And I enjoyed carrying that anger around. It gave me an edge. But it was also pretty toxic.

With Tuesday’s election results, I certainly went through denial and bargaining. Maybe there was a flash of anger, but it didn’t last long. And if that anger was directed at anyone, it was toward the DNC.

The cold and the rain yesterday really set the stage for depression. Fortunately, I know how to deal with that.

First though, there is just one thing I have to say for anyone who is uncertain about why I’m taking these election results so hard. It’s not because Hillary lost. It’s not because the republicans took the white house and held a majority in the house and senate. It’s not because of the implications of having a climate change denier in the oval office. It’s not about the rollbacks of hard fought civil liberties won by my friends in the LGBTQIA community.

I get that we need a change in Washington. We do. And I know that Clinton would not have brought that change. She wouldn’t.

But please hear me when I say this. Our president elect has emboldened a rising tide of anti-semitism and islamophobia that puts me, my family, my children, and my friends in harm’s way. If the goal was to “Make America Safe Again” it has gotten decidedly less so for many Americans.

If you aren’t Jewish or Muslim, then you’re probably not feeling it. You may not even be seeing it. But it’s there. It’s growing louder. And it’s ugly. Still, I’m not angry. I’m not even afraid. Mostly, it’s just sad. But I’m on the path to acceptance.

You know what helps? Chicken soup.

Yesterday, the thing that cut through the gray, cold, and rainy day was a pressure cooker filled with some of the collected chicken carcasses of the summer. I put them in the pot with a few carrots and onions from the CSA. I took handfuls of black and white peppercorns, another good handful of coriander seeds, and threw them in the pot with a few cloves and bay leaves.

I didn’t have any celery in the house, so I used a pinch of celery seeds to try and get some of their bright and earthy flavor into the stock.

Then I turned up the heat, and let the pressure cooker do its magic.

Not only did the project warm the house, but it filled the air with the glorious smell of aromatic vegetables and spices. And when it was done, those scraps of skin and bones transformed clear water into something rich and sweet that will warm my bones and comfort my soul.

And those soft, tender, and chicken infused vegetables didn’t go to waste either. Last night, as the stock cooled, I ate those mashed on toasted sturdy bread. They were topped with some large, tender flakes of Maldon salt, and a splash of Tabasco.

For a moment, all was well with the world.

My hope is that all will be well with the world moving forward too. It’s going to take a lot of work. It’s going to take vigilance. It’s going to take love. Hate, anger, and violence never solved anything.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. Billy permalink
    November 10, 2016 9:32 pm


    You forgot to mention that Trump will reinstate slavery and force every woman to leave the workforce and become barefoot and pregnant homemakers, kissing their husband’s feet as they walk in the door.

    This kind of fear mongering is beneath you and you should be ashamed of yourself. Frankly, it borders on hate mongering, and it’s disgusting.

    You do know that Trump’s son-in-law is Jewish? Right?

    • Billy permalink
      November 10, 2016 9:55 pm

      Here’s the relevant paragraph from the link I posted above:

      “The fact is that my father in law is an incredibly loving and tolerant person who has embraced my family and our Judaism since I began dating my wife. His support has been unwavering and from the heart. I have personally seen him embrace people of all racial and religious backgrounds, at his companies and in his personal life. This caricature that some want to paint as someone who has “allowed” or encouraged intolerance just doesn’t reflect the Donald Trump I know. The from-the-heart reactions of this man are instinctively pro-Jewish and pro-Israel. Just last week, at an event in New Hampshire, an audience member asked about wasting money on “Zionist Israel.” My father-in-law didn’t miss a beat in replying that “Israel is a very, important ally of the United States and we are going to protect them 100 percent.” No script, no handlers, no TelePrompter—just a strong opinion from the heart.”

    • November 10, 2016 10:03 pm

      I’m going to repost a comment that I made on Facebook earlier today.

      “I’m not saying he’s antisemitic. I don’t think he hates his own grandkids. Nor am I saying that this campaign brought these foul forces into existence. I believe, that he believes, that he is not racist.

      That said, Trump’s campaign had a uniquely appealing message for racists, antisemites, islamophobes, xenophobes, homophobes, and hate groups of many stripes. Whether that was on purpose or by accident is up for debate. However, this rhetoric certainly helped him with far right elements of the Republican base which helped the president-elect in the primaries.

      This is not to say that most or even all of his supporters feel that way. I believe the vast majority are good people. But there are absolutely despicable acts being done in Trump’s name by awful people.

      My sincere hope would be that those good people who support Trump would see these, and instead of suggesting they don’t exist, repudiate those actions. At the moment, it would seem, that hate mongers feel more emboldened than at any time in the recent past.”

      • Billy permalink
        November 10, 2016 11:13 pm

        That Trump appealed to “racists, antisemites, islamophobes, xenophobes, homophobes” is a canard of the Left and is itself hate mongering.

        Anyway, it doesn’t matter. So what if a minority of his supporters are such? It has nothing to do with the Man, or how he will govern. Nothing.

        I’m watching the news tonight and the anti-Trump (pro-Clinton) protests. These are hateful, nasty people. Do they represent Clinton, the majority of her supporters, or how she would govern? Of course not.

  2. November 10, 2016 11:47 pm

    Respectfully, I don’t think anything I’ve said is hate mongering. And while I certainly support protesters demonstrating their freedom of speech and public assembly, I condemn anyone who commits acts of violence in the name of political dissent.

    This isn’t an issue about left and right. Paul Ryan made a habit of repudiating Mr. Trump. I’m thinking right now about Ryan’s response to the proposed Muslim ban, “a religious test for entering our country is not reflective of these fundamental values. I reject it. Many Muslim Americans have served valiantly in our military, and made the ultimate sacrifice.”

    On it’s face the very suggestion of banning members from an entire religion is the very definition of islamophobia.

    Now, Trump doesn’t see it that way. And I believe, that Trump believes, he himself is not islamophobic. He has Muslim friends and I’m sure he has Muslim supporters. The president-elect views this policy as part of protecting our national security.

    But can you see how that position can fan the flames of hate for those who already have hate in their heart?

    Sure, some of these hate-filled people wore their hatred out in public during the pre-Trump era. However, others kept it hidden, and would only grumble about such matters in private. But now that this platform has been endorsed by almost 60 million people, those in the shadows are stepping out.

    These are the burdens of Presidential leadership. The small things you say and do can have massive and significant ripple effects.

  3. Billy permalink
    November 11, 2016 11:59 am

    I’ll let you have the last word. But I would like to make a suggestion; you should start a political blog.

    I and many others come here for your insightful, interesting, and unique take on food. We do not come here for banal, follow-the-herd, left-wing political commentary.

    I understand the need to vent, but this is not the place for it in my opinion. You obviously feel strongly about politics, and I suggest you scratch that itch in a separate space.

    • chrisck permalink
      November 11, 2016 2:08 pm

      You think food isn’t political? Just off the top of my head: access to healthy, affordable food; quality and safety of our food; Dept.of Agriculture; Farm Bill; Food & Drug Administration; GMOs (for or against); food labeling; federal funding for food inspectors; school lunch programs, SNAP.

      • Billy permalink
        November 11, 2016 6:59 pm

        I have no issue with a political discussion as it relates to GMO’s, farms or the FDA, etc. Those are food related topics.

        A discussion of Trump’s alleged mistreatment of Jews, Muslims, and the gay community are not.

  4. November 11, 2016 1:23 pm

    As with most things ‘Time Will Tell’ as to which side is right (and wrong) about what President Elect Trump will do. Personally I believe that down the road we will see reality unfold as being somewhere between what each side is predicting. As with the current president, the previous president and most of the presidents before its unlikely Trump will bring the end of the American civilization nor deliver it unto utopia.

    What I’m interested in seeing is how the establishment (on both sides) responds to/deals with Trump once he’s in office and how the anti-trump crowd responds to any positive actions that come about from what Trump does in particular the draining of the swamp known as Washington, DC.

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