My favorite thing to do every morning is pick out the coffee cup I’m going to use. A luxury of having exactly too many mugs is that you get to choose from an array of places, memories, and gifts from friends when you’re selecting a cup. This morning I picked a cup my friend Amy gave me a few years back because the colors reminded her of my blog header. It’s just like offering a little kindness to myself each morning. It’s Friday for me and the coffee is extra muddy. We’re just going to go with it.
This week – ya know. We’re in it. In the food world, Bon Appetit (the cool kids) both imploded and exploded for high-key disparities between it’s white and brown staff, and for just like… really bad behavior of some of the men in at the top of the Bon App food chain. Folks are coming with receipts and this is a shake-out.
In the meantime I’m in here trying to keep my head down and work. I’m taking big bites this summer, let’s see if I can chew it all. I don’t love that analogy, but we’ll let it stand.
I hope you’re well this week. I hope you find some steadiness this morning, this week. It’s one of those things we have to fight for for ourselves and I’m rooting for you and me.
The offering this week is below. It’s a bounty. As always, take only what you need:
• Our friend Julia Turshen has always had her eye on disparities in the food world and we appreciate her work. This is a piece from Julia two years ago: To Change Racial Disparity in Food, Let’s Start With Cookbooks (Eater)
• My house is slowly but surely turning into a cookbook library and three of my favorites from black women are: Edna Lewis’ In Pursuit of Flavor – an absolute treasure a heartfelt authority of southern food. Cheryl Day’s Back In The Day Bakery Cookbook – a solid baking book of stand-by classics. Soul Food Love by Alice Randall and Caroline Randall Williams. Tasting Rome co-written by Kristina Gill which is the trip to Rome I have yet to take and first introduced me to Maritozzi con la Panna. There are truly so many others but these are some of my favorites top-of-mind. (Indiebound)
• I feel lucky to have befriended Kim Rhodes this year. Her words are strong and thoughtful: How I Feel Right Now as a Black Woman (Cup of Jo)
• I don’t take for granted that I might have skated through Mardi Gras season without contracting COVID-19 so y’all I’m still playin’ it real safe out here in these streets. But, is America is Giving Up On The Pandemic? I’m considering these words from an ER doctor: What I Feel Comfortable Doing and wondering when I’ll feel safe buying a plane ticket home to see my parents. (The Atlantic and Slate)
• Ok wait – can we just take a moment to remember how incredible our bodies are and how we need to keep moving them around as best we can. A Single Session of Exercise Alters 9,815 Molecules In Our Blood. Maybe this is the motivation I need because I literally thought of my molecules when I was slow-jogging this morning. (NY Times)
• Do you subscribe to the Samantha Irby’s newsletter? I recommend. (SubStack)
• Let’s talk about books! I really love to read spooky / thriller books during the summer months. On my list this summer is Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke and In The Woods by Tana French. (Indiebound and Tana French)
• I’ve watched this clip of Lady Gaga singing Million Reasons on Howard Stern more times than I’d like to admit. This next link is NOT for you if the f-word or the b-word rustles your feathers (is that the right phrase?). Is that pro-hib-it-ed? Thankful to all my friends who are more active on TikTok and send me the good stuff (Anastasia, thank you.) (YouTube and Tik-Tok)
• The Bakehouse is hosing a Bake Sale to benefit MiNO and GrowDat New Orleans. It’s a local sale and presale details go up on The Bakehouse site on Monday! If you aren’t local but you still want to donate, we’d love that of course! (Instagram and The Bakehouse Nola)
• Our friend Jocelyn’s of Grandbaby Cakes made Banana Fritters and we’re here for it! Do you follow Jocelyn? We’ve traveled together on press trips and she’s just as hilarious and joyous as she seems – and her baby girl is the cutest. (Grandbaby Cakes)
• Do you follow Olive and Artisan? Karlee has the sweetest blog and some of the best Instagram stories. We met a couple years ago when I was almost literally drowning in cake batter for an event in Portland and she bailed me out of the weeds hour after hour to make a boatload of cakes. She’s ride or die. This week she made The Perfect Sugar Cookie. I trust her when she says perfect. (Olive and Artisan)
• Deb made an Any Fruit Galette which is exactly the thing we should be doing all summer. (Smitten Kitchen)
• I’m re-reading this Going It Alone: why I chose single motherhood and I dunno what’s brewing but here we are. (The Guardian)
• One of the most lovely little shops in New Orleans in C’mere where you’ll find the sweetest, tiniest food jewelry and loads of goods from other local artists. It’s like… we all try to make space for one another here in New Orleans. Local artist Ed Wycliffe has transformed his New Orleans bow tie business into a mask endeavor. You can learn about it here: Bow Shoeshoe. (C’mere and Kickstarter)
• I’m finishing this post up on Friday morning and looking forward to a weekend camping trip wherein I’M IN CHARGE OF ALL THE FOOD. It’s my favorite thing. Would y’all be interested in my weekend camping menu? It’s a lot of marinades and foil and tape to label food by day so no one ruins my grand plans, lol. Lemme know. (Food and Wine)
• We discussed this week but you’re definitely making a Summer Bucket List this year, right? (Joy the Baker)
• Last year this week we discussed meatballs, Drake, underwear… the usual: Let It Be Sunday, 226! (Joy the Baker)
Have a lovely Sunday.
My love to you.
Yes, please share your camping menu! I just got back from a week in Yellowstone and could use some fresh ideas.
If you loved In The Woods by Tana French, be sure to check out The Secret Place and The Witch Elm. I’d read Tana writing descriptions of paint colors. Her writing is gorgeous and evocative.
omg I love Tana French. It starts dark and just. keeps. getting. darker.
I also would like to see your camping menu. We are going next weekend.
Would love to see your camping menu!
Would love to see what you planned to cook on your camp out.
Me too! Going camping this next weekend as well.
Thanks for the intro to Olive and Artisan — she’s new to me and I love the aesthetic.
I would love to know what you brought on your camping trip!
Joy, thank you for being you. I have been reading your blog for many years, and have been drawn back to it a lot lately as a place I can mentally take a deep breath of fresh air, while still feeling grounded in this very complex world of ours. Thank you for balancing the dark things with joy, thank you for providing windows into other people’s real experiences. Thank you for being so genuine. Thank you for the always delicious food, and the nourishing brain food, too.
Just want to echo this comment, and thank Rachael for saying it better than I could have! (and also, a big YES PLEASE to seeing how you put together your camping menu, Joy!)
That goes ditto for me!
Comment echoed as well :) You put into words what I couldn’t.
Reading these posts is so comforting and inspiring and if I can think of new adjectives to explain my delight, I will list them here when I do. You’re great. Thanks for being you.
You are always a grounding moment in my Sunday morning routine. Sending love from a chilly front stoop in Ann Arbor, Mi.
I found out yesterday that I am unexpectedly pregnant with our third baby… during a pandemic. A lot of feelings going on here. But I woke up this morning looking forward to sneaking out to the porch with my (now limited to one a day) cup of coffee to read your post. Isn’t the exercise piece fascinating? I’ve been pretty inconsistent with exercise, but you can just feel those little molecules doing their thing afterwards, and it’s never a choice I regret when the work is done.
And the flying, yes. My husband is in a high risk group and we live in one of the hardest hit areas, so we’re trying to be really cautious. I don’t think we’ll have school in the Fall, and our families live across the country. That’s one of the hardest parts, isn’t it? I know you must miss your family and the ability to pick up and visit whenever you feel immensely.
Thank you for being a beautiful and truthful part of this world. I know we don’t actually know each other, but I appreciate just knowing you’re out there a neighbor in this world.
Mazel Tov! Congratulations on your pregnancy. I wish you happiness and good health, for you, your pregnancy and your family.
Camp menu please! I’m used to improvising and choosing what to eat at the time I need to cook it for myself, but I feel a desperate need to plan everything out when cooking for other people.
I would love to learn more about your camp cooking plans! Camping is something it looks like we still might be able to do this summer (ahhh 2020?!!) and I’d love to do it up right!
I also choose my mug….sometimes to reflect my mood in the AM, sometimes to help my mood. Right now I have an abundant Rae Dunn mugs with words on them..from WISH to I cant even…..and then there are mugs given to me by friends or by my mom who passed. I find choosing my mug instead of randomly pulling one from the cabinet is kind of a mindfulness or meditation while my coffee is making. I enjoy your blog…it is a comforting and inspiring place to be. Thank you.
The Choosing of the Mug is a very important ritual! My mom laughs when I invoke it when I visit her, but I love choosing a mug every morning depending on my mood and – as you say – the memories it invokes. This year I bought 5 of a lovely mug, one for me, one for my mom, and one for each of my 3 kids – and presented them, saying that when we drink from them we can feel connected with each other. This was just before the pandemic, and we haven’t seen each other for a while – so I guess it was intuitive. But I’m glad to hear I’m not alone in finding these small daily actions important.