In the face of the heartbreaking news from Louisiana, Minnesota, and Texas this past week, I am again at a loss for words. My heart goes out to the families of the victims, and to people who live every day wondering if something as routine as being pulled over for having a broken tail light could be fatal for them or their loved ones. I know that we can do better than this. Over the past week and the past few years, I have come across some articles and video clips that discuss this issue much more eloquently than I ever could, and I’d like to share a few of them with you:
Trevor Noah brings up a lot of things to think about.
Alex Landau talks about almost losing his life in “Traffic Stop” on NPR’s StoryCorps.
Jane Elliott asks an audience a simple question about being black in America.
Plus, a few links that lifted my mood and made me smile this week:
Their caretaker is trying to rake leaves, but these pandas just want to play.
President Obama’s nightly routine: solitude, contemplation, & a snack of seven almonds.
What if conductors’ batons were replaced with selfie sticks?
These moments of pure joy collected by writer Heben Nigatu under the hashtag #CarefreeBlackKids2K16 on Twitter.
A virtual tour of author Haruki Murakami’s desk (scroll down to find it). And how about all that vinyl in the background?!
This recipe is a little more labor intensive and less “lo-fi” than what I usually post, but I promise it’s worth it. Use extremely fresh shellfish for the most delicious results. If you eat fish but not bacon, you can sub in three tablespoons of a neutral-tasting vegetable oil (like avocado or sunflower oil) for the bacon and skip directly to sautéeing the onion. This recipe was loosely inspired by several recipes in The Slanted Door: Modern Vietnamese Food, a cookbook I highly recommend.
Fisherman’s Stew with Lemongrass, Cilantro, & Mint
- 4 slices bacon, chopped
- 1 small yellow onion, halved and sliced thinly into half moons
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp chili flakes
- 2 cups diced plum tomatoes
- 2 stalks lemongrass, bruised and cut into 3-inch pieces
- 2 Tbsp fish sauce
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 4 cups water
- 1 lb medium clams, cleaned and purged
- 1 lb mussels, cleaned and debearded
- 2 squid, cleaned, bodies cut into thin rings, tentacles chopped into 1-inch segments
- 1/2 lb peel-and-eat shrimp
- 1 small fish fillet (like flounder, sole, or halibut), cut into 3/4-inch pieces
- steamed jasmine rice, to serve
- lime wedges, chopped cilantro and mint, to serve
serves 3 to 4
- In a large pot, cook bacon over medium heat until most of the fat is rendered, about 10 minutes. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 5 minutes, or until onion begins to soften and becomes translucent. Add garlic and chili flakes, cook 1 minute. Add tomatoes and lemongrass, cook 2 minutes, stirring. Add chicken broth, water, and fish sauce, and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer 20 minutes, partially covered.
- Remove as many lemongrass pieces as you can. Increase heat to high and add the clams. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes before adding the mussels. Cover and cook 3 to 4 minutes, reducing heat to medium if stock comes to a boil, then uncover and stir. If clams and mussels are still closed, cover and cook for a few more minutes. When the clams and mussels have opened, add the squid and fish, stir, turn off heat, cover, and let stand for a few minutes.
- Serve with a spoonful of steamed jasmine rice, chopped cilantro and mint, and lots of lime wedges.