Dear friends,

It is 2020. It is heartbreaking that this still needs to be said (over and over, until the message is really, truly understood), but here goes: BLACK LIVES MATTER. RIP George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and the countless other black men and women whose lives were pointlessly, violently lost due to the intense systemic racism and prejudice in this country. I’ve been spending the last few days thinking about the ways we can help dismantle the broken social structures that enabled these tragedies to occur in the first place. Please consider watching Chris Cuomo’s meditation of America as a tale of two cities, then read this post by @goodgoodgoodco on how to be actively antiracist and this post by @mireillecharper on non-optical allyship. The Cut also has a great round-up of ways you can actively demand justice for George Floyd.

Now, how is everybody doing? 

I wish I had good news to report, but the truth is, well…🤷🏻‍♀️. It feels like many things are still in limbo or on hold indefinitely. My city of Portland is still in lockdown. We have no official ETA of re-opening any time soon (though there have been some reports of a mid-June re-opening). In any case, Erlend and I made the decision to postpone our August wedding

The good news is that, because our wedding was so small (we’d planned a courthouse wedding with a ceremony exclusive to just our parents), there wasn’t much to cancel. Just the flowers and photography (both of which were weirdly expensive, but that’s another story, lol). The bad news is that because of the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, we didn’t set a new date. It just seemed especially risky to do so! Because what if the worst of the scientific models comes true? That COVID-19 comes back with a vengeance in the fall/winter? What if this truly is our lives for the next 2 to 3 years?

If it were up to me, Erlend and I would likely just go to the courthouse and just unceremoniously get the deed done. Why? Doing so would afford us the legal protections that we currently don’t have as a couple. I mean maybe that’s not romantic, but it’s the end of the world and it’s important to plan. However, I wrote before that our decision to have a ceremony in the first place was driven primarily by our families. It seems especially heartbreaking to have some kind of wedding without either of our moms actually there. But maybe that’s just the reality of future weddings. I really don’t know, except that it seems pretty unappealing to do anything over FaceTime or Zoom. So in the meantime, I’ve just been keeping myself busy by developing new recipes for y’all.

In Case You Missed It…

And in case you missed it, I published and updated a TON of recipes in the past month. Here’s a round-up of everything new:

Below are pictures of the two most popular recipes from the month—Mini Pancake Cereal and Small Batch Blueberry Muffins—to inspire you:

pancake cereal recipe
small batch blueberry muffin recipe

Food For Thought

This past month, I also spent a LOT of time thinking and reading about food beyond the baking recipes you see on this blog. Here are the ideas and issues that resonated with me:

Now Let’s Talk About Fun Stuff

Because yes, sometimes I need an escape from it all. Here’s what I’ve been doing to distract myself: 

vietnamese iced coffee cake

And Some Hot Takes

And finally, Imma leave you with some hot takes:

  • This is old, but gold: A Quick Guide to Instagram DM Etiquette by The Frugality. The truth is, I love answering most of your questions—I love doing anything to encourage you guys to bake as much as possible! But also, it can be really, really overwhelming. I get urgent DMs at all hours (including Saturday night at midnight!) that I feel like I need to respond to. I often field questions where the information is already readily available in the blog post or through Google. While many of you are lovely to chat with (and I love, love, love seeing you sharing the results of my recipes!), there are a handful of rude people who display the worst behaviors described in that guide. At the end of the day, I know we are all trying our best…but I need your help, too.

    Most recently, I was saddened by some of the questions I saw in the tutorial for my Vietnamese iced coffee cake. There were a couple of questions about substitutions—like swapping out the coffee in the recipe with tea, or swapping out the sweetened condensed milk with something else—that would have changed the flavor and nature of the cake completely. I understand the need to make substitutions because of ingredient shortages and/or allergies. But these substitution requests bordered on—and I don’t say this lightly—disrespectful. In the blog post, I wrote about the historical reasons why Vietnamese coffee is paired with sweetened condensed milk. That kind of substitution would have inconsiderately stripped the cake of its Vietnamese identity entirely. Why not just find another coffee-flavored cake recipe, or one that isn’t paying homage to the signature dish of a country?

  • Two Ingredient Ice Cream Bread. I am not ready. I do not agree. This is wrong.

  • Did Instagram ruin the chocolate chip cookie? You tell me. 

Hope you all are staying safe and healthy! Please let me know how you’re doing in the comments below, and feel free to share the articles, memes, movies, songs, and stories that are floating around in your heads, too.