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Cooking From Scratch: Week 4

I can’t believe it’s only already been a month since the new year started. I wish I could say that time flew because I was out having fun and making memories, but the truth is that time flew because I was sleeping and not leaving my house. Depression from the winter and the chaos in the government kept me down, as it has for many of us.

What can I say, I’m boring at this time of year. Check back in summer for Fun Abby, she’ll post pictures of berry picking and fishing adventures. Until then, you’re stuck with a shell of an existential crisis.

The depression, though, has recently given way to a renewed vigor for activism. It can be hard to commit to, especially when you’re young and poor and feel powerless. But I called up my local refugee aid shelter and asked how I could get involved, and that helped take the focus off of myself. I encourage anyone who is afraid and angry to do the same. It’s easy for those of us who are unaffected to throw our hands up in frustration, when instead we should be participating in bettering the world for others.

With all this weighing on my shoulders, I have spent the past week focusing on comfort foods. I go in for wisdom tooth surgery this week, so I’ve been getting in all my “last meals.” Namely, the cheesy, the greasy, and the bready among us. Whenever I have medical procedures coming up I like to stuff myself with everything in sight.

You know, in case I die.

The Best Things I Made This Week

  1. Flourless Chocolate Cake. For baked goods, I made my first ever flourless chocolate cake. This was exciting, because I’ve been dreaming about making one for about a year now. Turns out, it’s pretty easy! It’s basically melted chocolate, butter, sugar, and eggs, all whipped up and spread into a baking sheet. It was ridiculously decadent, a fudgy, dense layer of chocolate that tasted like some insane cake/brownie hybrid in the best way possible.
  2. Pork Chops. I was craving these all week after seeing a recipe for them. When I finally got around to frying them up, it was totally worth it. They had a crispy outer layer and came smothered in a spiced, thick vegetable gravy. If it sounds divine, that’s because it is.
  3. Galette. I test baked a recipe that will be featured in the middle of next month, and it made me wish that I had tried making it sooner. The crust was so simple to bring together, and it turned into a flaky, buttery crust. And the filling, piled high with zucchini and tomatoes and browned mozzarella cheese.
  4. Salsa. This may not seem like comfort food to most people, but to me there’s nothing more comforting that something fresh, crisp, and spicy. Salsa fits that bill perfectly, especially the way I make it. Loaded with jalapenos and cilantro leaves and crunchy onions, it was a good way to snack through the day.

These dishes helped remind me of what awaits me after I recover from my toothless rendevous. They also gave me something to do when I felt like a useless bystander over the weekend. I cannot donate large amounts of money to a charity, or provide shelter for anyone. But I can feed people, and that’s a start. We all must eat, every day, and if we can provide joy for others through food then we are giving the world a little bit of joy.

Sometimes, the best thing we can do to get through the bad times is to give ourselves something to look forward to.

Until next time, remember to love your neighbor.



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