This is just a touch of my spring into summer, with some lines repeated from an IG post because the words don’t need editing–they perfectly describe that feeling that’s been lived in. Little recipes will naturally fall into the spaces btwn these words or in the photo captions, all of them simple.
I’ve been quiet, I know. Late May, after 8 busy months, I lost my full-time agency job and a day after that, I found out that my dad’s been diagnosed with Acute Leukemia (meaning, aggressive) and things have been strange and wild since then–but I am somehow manifesting very beautiful days for myself and I have very good friends to thank for that. One night I’m in Jenika’s kitchen eating shrimp dumplings she made from scratch, trying different sauces I know I needed to stock up on, other days I’m with Mary and Sussie and sweet 7-yr-old Sebastian swooning over plates of seasonal eats and drinks (one of which inspired the simple syrup I’ll be sharing with y’all.) And longer, pace-yourself-days spent with Christina and Jordan who I’m so happy to have (re)connected with. I feel myself safely stepping into my Queerness and it’s the most precious thing, something I felt I couldn’t do having always ended up with cishet men.
We eat and talk shit like we used to in our Hunter College days, but at a different stage in our lives when the only thing that really matters is the company you keep and the food before you that feels like ceremony. Bowls of fruit, young greens, flowers that taste, well, floral..and flowers that taste like straight-up sugar snap peas. It isn’t a heartbreak that drives the conversation along..what moves it along are the most peaceful things btwn our cussing over my latest hurt: hands quietly passing a jar of pomegranate and guava jam over to the next, Jordan tasting their first lychee, revealing the hidden nut inside (the tiny eggplant, says Joe) with such delight, you’re reminded that these are the moments you should linger on. Christina’s hand on their belly, a baby inside.
I don’t care if I’m stopping by for a few hrs, staying overnight, or if we’re going away on a little trip together…I will forever be *that* baddie that packs all sorts of food things for my ppl. For a recent beach getaway, I specifically made a fennel-strawberry simple syrup for mocktails and cocktails, inspired by a fennel margarita I became obsessed with at abc cocina (thank you Mary and Sussie!). Y’all, I don’t even like fennel like THAT, but this was tongue-magic. When I tasted my own I felt it wasn’t fennel-y enough. The fennel itself was very mild in flavor so I think adding some fennel seeds will do the trick if you also end up with a mild one. Recipe below!
fennel-strawberry simple syrup
- 1 med fennel chopped
- 1 tsp fennel seeds if you want a stronger fennel flavor
- 8 strawberries sliced
- 1 c sugar
- 1 c water
- 1/2 tsp orange blossom water or more to taste
- black pepper to taste
- pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- Add all ingredients into a sauce pan and simmer for 15 minutes. Strain and keep refrigerated til ready to use.
My main focus this summer is NOT to stress myself tf out because the stress will come naturally from the going-ons with dad. I’m going to be super careful who I give my time and energy to. And I’m going to brainstorm ways to create a cash flow that feels real good to me. Yes, I’ll have my own clients again to do my food photography for, but I also want to start doing seasonal dinner pop-ups, submit to food AND poetry magazines again, maybe even get deeply involved in postpartum recipe development (which will happen naturally because I plan on cooking for Christina with utmost intention) and, fuck, I can do a wholeeeee thing with that, too, because it feels so nurturing and loving and I know others have built businesses based on that alone. But mostly, and most importantly, I just want to be me unapologetically, eating beautiful food with beautiful ppl, romancing friends, romancing me. Let’s keep in touch.