Monday, November 14, 2016

Asparagus, or Why I Shipped Cookies to People I've Never Met

Hi. If you're American, I think we can all agree that the last week has been a little rough. Regardless of who you wanted to win the election or who you voted for, I think the ensuing fear and hate has been pretty grating and exhausting for us all. I'm about ready to leave Facebook forever.

The election stress and upset has been especially difficult for me and many people I know because I/we are volunteers for Crisis Text Line. Crisis Text Line is a free, national service people are able to text when in crisis and be connected with a trained counselor. On election night and for several days after, we experienced quadruple the usual traffic. Volunteering with Crisis Text Line has made me a better person, and I love it so much, but it's exhausting at times. Whether you think the fear many people experienced as a result of the election was warranted or not, those people and their emotions are very real. I talked to dozens of texters who were terrified of the future and hurting.

Which brings me to cookies. The Crisis Text Line community is so good, y'all. A lot of us were having a rough week. Being there for so many people who are hurting takes it out of you after awhile. But a truly beautiful thing happened. Our Facebook group page was suddenly inundated with posts by my fellow counselors offering all sorts of comfort to each other--everything from meditation videos to personalized playlists. This warmed my heart so much. To pay it forward, I made my own post offering cookies and brownies to anyone who sent me their address. Baking makes me so happy, and I'm constantly looking for people to give love in the form of sugar and chocolate. Today I went to the post office and shipped cookies to eight people I've never actually met. These people are so amazing. They dedicate their time to helping others and spreading positivity, both to texters and to each other. In my book, that deserves to be celebrated. Share cookies with the ones you love, y'all. It'll warm your soul.

If you're in crisis, text Hi to 741741. Crisis Text Line is available 24/7.

Bacon Asparagus
1 lb asparagus, with the woody parts cut off
8 strips of bacon, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
dash of red pepper flakes
2 tbsp salted butter

  1. Fry the bacon until crisp over medium heat in a pan (I like cast iron skillets).
  2. Add the garlic to the pan, stirring constantly. Garlic cooks fast so be careful.
  3. After about a minute, add the asparagus and toss with the bacon. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes, or until brighter green and tender.
  4. Add the breadcrumbs, red pepper, and butter. Stir constantly until butter is melted and breadcrumbs are lightly toasted. Enjoy!

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