Today, I am beginning a new segment of Cleansed Palate called “Around the Kitchen Table.” It is something that I have planned for quite some time but am just now getting around to implementing.
Each Sunday I will offer a menu. With that menu I will include a topic of discussion. In a sense we will all be sitting around our virtual kitchen tables enjoying a nice meal and conversation. That conversation may be lively; it may be educational. Perhaps it will even be controversial.
The only rule I offer up is to be respectful. There will be no tolerance for bullying or disparaging others. No name-calling. I am looking for an exchange of ideas. Perhaps you will have insights that I – or others – have not considered before now and vice versa…
Around the Kitchen Table: Today’s menu
It’s winter, and in many places that means cold and snow. Here it is cold and wet, in the form of rain instead of snow. Unfortunately for me, it is not quite cold enough for a wood-burning fire in my fireplace…but that’s Texas for you!
To honor the chill in the air, I have chosen a hearty meal fit for the coldest of days!! It is one of my favorites. Polenta is something I have grown quite fond of over the years. In Italy it is common to serve polenta at the table, on a long, wooden board – one of these days I hope to finally find the perfect polenta board! There are spoons every so often around the board so guests can serve themselves. I love to serve various toppings on mine. Perhaps some caramelized onions with goat cheese and herbs; or fresh tomatoes and basil in the summer with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese…one of my favorite ways is to sauté a variety of mushrooms, some shallots and some thyme. This is how I plan to serve it tonight.
Here is tonight’s menu:
- Pork roast, slowly braised with root vegetables (to be served on the side)
- Creamy Polenta topped with Sautéed Mushrooms and Goat Cheese
- Green Salad with Lemon-Thyme Dressing
Today’s Topic: Presidential Inauguration
Okay, I am going to begin with a bit of a controversial subject…Not sure what sort of response, if any, I will get, but again, I do expect any opinions, facts, comments, etc to be respectful. This may be a challenging one!
This Friday is the inauguration. Are you planning to watch? If so, why…if not, why not?
Let me begin the discussion. I am planning to watch. I did not vote for our new PEOTUS, and on a personal level I do not agree with his views. Actually, in most respects I do not agree with him. But I want to see what he has to say…how he chooses to embrace his new role. While I do not feel he earns [my] respect merely by being elected, I will listen to what he has to say. I will do my best to keep an open mind. He has not yet earned my respect, but I will listen.
This brings me to a related topic. I take issue with all sides attacking each other. It doesn’t accomplish anything. We need to come together as a country, but to do so we first need to understand how we got here. I have heard several friends of mine who voted for Trump say that they don’t like him, but they felt unheard the past eight years. My guess is that in the next 4-8 years we will toggle back to the other side as the other half of the country rises up after feeling unheard. Furthermore, I believe this back and forth will continue until we eventually address the underlying issues causing the disconnects in our country.
Anyone who has been to a counselor has probably been told that the issues we have with one another are rarely the actual thing we are arguing about. It comes down to being heard; feeling validated. But with all of the attacking and disparaging remarks…with all of the “Fake News” out there inciting each side we have stopped listening to each other, assuming we ever really did. We are only adding fuel to the fire instead of putting it out. It is imperative that we join together, to recognize those areas we actually agree on. And there ARE areas we agree upon. Seriously, who doesn’t want our country to have – among other things – an abundance of jobs, great healthcare, and a strong economy…to feel safe within our borders?
I strongly believe that each side (for the most part) truly wants what is best for our country…though we may have different approaches on how to get there. We all think our way is best. Does 2+2=4; or does 3+1? Is it possible each side has their own merits? That there is not necessarily one best way?
So yes, I will watch the Inauguration on Friday. I hope to hear a message of inclusion for all of us. It’s not what I have heard so far, but I am holding space for the possibility of it.
How about you…thoughts, comments?