This blog has been, and always will be, a safe space for people of ALL backgrounds, religions, beliefs, genders, and ages to come together and celebrate their love for plant-based food. The only thing I’ve ever asked of my readers is to treat this space – and each other – with respect.
From the comments I’ve received here, I’ve learned that I have readers of all political affiliations coming to this blog. And whether you’re a Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Independent, or Non-Affiliated, let me assure you that YOU ARE WELCOME HERE. I truly believe that if we want to be an inclusive country built on love and respect, we must first lead by example.
As to my own political convictions, I choose not to espouse them here because of personal reasons. However, I deeply respect bloggers who use their platforms to fight for their convictions (please see these posts by Keepin’ it Kind and Kale & Caramel).
But today, I’m breaking my silence, because of a very special person in my life. His name is Kevin.
When I was in middle school and high school, I was different. I was awkward and socially inept and I didn’t really have any close friends. Needless to say I was bullied. I won’t get into the sad details, because it is very painful for me to talk about. But eventually, the bullying grew so bad that I had to transfer to another school.
My first day at my new, Catholic high school was terrifying. Would the other kids like me? Would I be accepted? A period of uncertainty ensued. But then I met Kevin. He was in my grade, in my study hall, and he actually went out of his way to talk to me – a totally new experience. Before I knew it, we were best friends.
All throughout high school, we were like two peas in a pod. We were in the school musical together, we were both on the varsity Ultimate Frisbee team, we were in the Honors Choir together, we spent hours at each others’ houses. However, it wasn’t until college that Kevin told me he was gay. Of course, it changed nothing. The only emotion I felt was pride in him. I’m actually pretty sure I cried when he told me, I was so proud of him.
A few years after Kevin came out to me, I got a phone call from him saying that he was engaged to the love of his life, Scott. It was on the day that the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage. Of course, being the waterworks that I am, I cried knowing that he finally had the freedom to express his love in the ultimate union between two souls. My heart overflowed with happiness for him, his fiancé, and all the people in America who would finally receive equal rights.
Having been raised as a young woman of Christ, I knew that this victory glorified Him too – for wherever there is love, God is also present.
It seemed like such a certain day – that Love would prevail, and that nothing could stop this amazing and powerful Force.
But now, it seems, this Force is in jeopardy. America has elected a president who clearly does not respect the rights of women, immigrants, blacks, or any other marginalized group. And with this man they have elected a Vice President who – among many other things – has supported “conversion therapy” for LGBTQ+ people. The president-elect has openly said that one of his first priorities is to nominate a socially conservative Supreme Court Justice, opening the possibility of a regression of LGBTQ+ rights. When I realized this, my first thought immediately went to Kevin. What did this mean for his marriage? Would he still be able to marry his fiancé, Scott? (My second thought went to my rights, and my fellow sisters’ rights, of reproductive health, but that’s a WHOLE other topic.)
My heart broke knowing that someone I care about so much could be denied rights under this new regime of disunity and exclusion. Then my thoughts naturally went to the other LGBTQ+ people in my life – my cousins Dan and Julia, my friend Jared, to name a few. What did this mean for them, and their futures?
When you look at a group as an abstract concept, as words on a page – “LGBTQ+ People”, “Women”, “Blacks” – it’s easy to dismiss them. After all, especially if you don’t belong to that group, their worldview will seem less “real”. If you don’t live it, how can you understand it? But when you look at individuals, like my best friend Kevin, it suddenly all becomes clear. These are not just words on a page, these are PEOPLE, with REAL feelings and REAL lives and REAL experiences. They may believe in something different than you, or love someone different, but they’re HUMAN. And it is the shared HUMANITY that I beg the world to see.
To all marginalized people – to women, blacks, the LGBTQ+ community, and all other minorities – my heart goes out to you. I STAND WITH YOU. You are not alone. We will fight, and we will get through this.
To any of you who may disagree with anything I’ve said – I invite you to respectfully state your opinion here, if you feel called to do so. Even though I feel a certain way, this is STILL a safe space for people of all ideologies and beliefs to gather. Disagreement should NEVER negate respect.
Thank you for reading.
With liberty and justice for ALL,
Autumn Pumpkin Pasta
- 1 Lb Pasta of Your Choice
- 2 Shallots Chopped
- 4 Cloves Garlic Minced
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil for Sauté
- 1 Cup Pumpkin Puree Canned or Homemade
- 1/2 Cup Canned Diced Tomatoes
- 3-4 Large Fresh Basil Leaves
- 1/2 Tsp Black Pepper
- 1/4 Tsp Salt or more to taste
The Rest of the Pasta
- 1-2 Handfuls Arugula
- Lots of Fresh Cracked Pepper
Start by cooking the pasta according to the package directions.
While the pasta is cooking, chop the shallots and mince the garlic.
When pasta is done cooking, remove from heat and drain water. Then, put the pasta back in the pot and drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil (to prevent the pasta from sticking together).
Then, bring a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil in a sauté pan to medium-high heat. Add the shallots, and sauté for about ten minutes, until shallots have softened.
Then, reduce heat to medium and add minced garlic. Sauté until the garlic is JUST browned (it cooks quickly - be careful not to burn!!)
Once garlic is slightly browned, add in diced tomatoes and sauté for about five minutes, to let the flavors really mix.
Then, add tomato/shallot/garlic mixture to a blender with pumpkin purée, basil leaves, salt, and pepper. Blend on high until everything is smooth and creamy.
Pour the pumpkin sauce over the pasta and mix completely. If desired, add in 1-2 handfuls of arugula for a nice peppery flavor.
Serve pasta in bowl, with lots of extra fresh cracked pepper on top.
Quote of the Day:
You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the LORD.