Sunday, November 6, 2011

Occupy Your Kitchen!

In the last several weeks...maybe months...I have been following the Occupy Wall Street movement & have watched closely the situation in my former town, Oakland, CA, get increasingly ugly. I have been paying attention to how the movement is manifesting itself here in Portland, OR and I wonder what changes will really come of all of this. Winter is coming & camping outside will soon become bleak. The parks are getting trashed. People who are fortunate enough to have jobs downtown are being heckled, even when they are not working for "The Man". My thought, when I recently lambasted a manager at Fred Meyers for putting up Christmas decorations (before Halloween!), was to get back into the kitchen. Occupy it in a way that felt empowering, not drudgery. Before everyone got so busy watching cooking shows on TV, we actually cooked. We spent weekends baking, we presented neighbors with coffee cakes & made time to talk. We made stews & soups to take to friends who may be under the weather. We made cookies for the kids' lunch boxes. In other words, we spent time doing the things that feel good & nurturing. If you want to make a difference, it seems to me we might want to consider spending some time in the kitchen this month, preparing food for the Holidays, for our families, and for those folks who brave the chill in the parks for Occupy Portland. Or Oakland. Or wherever. Or offer to teach someone how to make something you really like. What a gift!

On a totally silly note, you might even want to call your act of generosity "OccuPIE". Ouch. That was really stretching it. But, the point is that grounding or centering or whichever term best suits, is the way to go during all the political & financial turmoil, as well as the imposed sense of stress for a season that's supposed to be about being grateful. The photo above is of a jam crostata. They are really fun to make & delicious. Try making one, & I'd be ever-so-grateful if you made one with Pink Slip Jam! And now, back to my own kitchen...

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