Ah...social distancing. In these uncertain times, I’m thankful for access to a grocery store a few blocks away. Visiting recently was unsettling, with rows of empty shelves and staff anxious about paychecks, feeding their own families, and the health of loved ones.
(Feeding America is responding rapidly to US communities in need, if you’re looking for ways to lend a hand to the hungry)
So, we picked up what we could and then looked in our pantry to see what non-perishables we had. An idea was born, an inspiration remembered.
For those unfamiliar, Penzey’s is America’s largest independent spice retailer, and an amazing organization to boot. Thoughtful, ethical (& delicious), sourcing to start. A leader who is not afraid to stand up for tolerance and against those who live in fear of our differences. A company forced to shut down 70+ retail stores during this current crisis, but doing its part to support the people who make it go.
(Favorite line from the linked New Yorker article: “Never mind that the spice trade itself is one of the most intensely political industries in history, or that “staying out of politics” is, of course, its own kind of political statement.”)
So our, admittedly, not very original idea - let’s take this indefinite period of social distancing as an opportunity to build community in ways we haven’t tried before, during a time we need it more than ever.
Tint Fam, I’m embarking on an attempt to cook recipes from places and cultures less familiar to us, and need your help! As you can see, most of our spices lend themselves to Italian, Indian & French (bistro, certainly not gourmet) cuisines because you know, I can make pasta and add red chile flakes to everything. But we’d love to hear your recipes and what types of food your family is experimenting with right now. Our hope is that by sharing, we’ll lean into that familiar way of building connection through food, even if our dinner parties are virtual for the foreseeable future.
Also, Penzey’s is open for business online and running some promo’s right now. So if you’re looking for that rare Za'atar blend to try your hand at Middle Eastern cuisine, give them a visit!
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[photo credit top: Getty/New Yorker]