June Bug...

Happy June fellow cookie lovers and conversationalists!!! We have now reached the 6th month of 2021. This month we celebrate Pride! Encouraging love and acceptance, demanding recognition and inclusion, and refusing to settle for less than what each individual deserves. Dignity. June we also celebrate freedom from American slavery with Juneteenth! We also paid homage and respect to the survivors of Tulsa, when the state sanctioned violence on June 1st, 1921 terrorized and massacred a thriving, independent, self contained community. June much like life is full of the joys and pains of our collective present and histories. I am grateful to be in a place where I can hold space for both the good, and the bad; hope and despair; jubilee and mourning. Life is complex, and thankfully there is a cookie for that.

So what I really want to talk about in this post is MUSIC! I don’t know about y’all but the last 2 years are blurring together in one giant blob. My normal systems of tracking time has gone completely out the window. Not only did the world get flipped on its head, music and release dates, which have been how I’ve been able to track and retain so many memories, took on a new form. I spent a lot of time diving into the past. The last year and a half has lead me to rediscover music that had been lost to time in my memory. I’ve been deep diving into classics. I have to thank club Quarantine and listening to DJ Nice for reopening up a world of forgotten gems and musical legends, inspiring me to take a look back in time.

I’m curious what sorts of music have you been listening to as of late? Has it changed at all from your normal repertoire? I’ve started the pandemic falling back hard on the songwriters, actors, & performers of the 60s and 70s. Al Green, Bill Withers, Diana Ross, Aretha, Stevie, Dionne, Chaka, Tina, Prince, Michael, Eartha, Marvin… just to name a few…. I’ve gone through the genres of Disco, Funk, House, EDM, Classical, Bossa Nova, Afro Beats, Dancehall, Current music, 80’s Pop & Rock, a little country, and I’m currently in a deep 90’s R&B kick. I’ve tunneled into artists, going through their collections. I’ve revisited my favorites, reliving the music and gaining new meaning and understanding of the lyrics from this 35 year old perspective. I’ve enjoyed sharing memories and new stories with friends about the music we listened to at a particular era of our lives. I’ve loved hearing about where my new friends were when a song dropped. I’ve loved being able to just sit and talk about how we have evolved and what we feel hasn’t changed within us using the music of a certain time in our lives to evoke a variety of memories.

Music has been such a connecting force. It’s what I bang when making delicious cookies, or cooking dinner, or creating a cocktail, choosing the soundtrack to be paired with my love of food. Music is a near constant when creating, much like it was a constant when I was in the kitchen with my grandparents, underfoot. My grandpa being the man who’s influence on me and my love of baking are inseparable, and he also may be why I love the songbirds of the 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s. When I make the time to get lost in a new recipe, Al Green and his friends are usually orchestrating a concert while I’m playing in sugar. But when I get lost in the familiar, recipes I know by heart, I blast the music my grandpa used to fill the house with, big band music of Count Bassey and John Coltrane to start… The photos of him and my grandma live in the kitchen with me, so it feels like they are always there, especially when dancing down memory lane. Music, food, and family.

Music and food have the power to lead to some incredible connections. In the rhythm of the unspoken words, the variety and layers of different notes and flavors, the magnitude of the nourishment not only for the physical body, but for the soul. Music and Food remind us to connect, they spark conversations, they push us to go beyond what is always easy and always simple. They also remind us that the simple can be the most profound! How do you use music in your daily life? How does it inspire you in the kitchen? I’d love to talk about it, munching on a cookie of course!

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