I have been feeling more than a little conflicted about my Food Goddess activities. Nothing I do in that regard is offensive but it feels silly, unimportant, and maybe a little tone deaf knowing that a portion of my audience living in Puerto Rico hasn’t had a decent meal in weeks.
|Taino symbol for coquí|
Most of our people are okay (not great, but alive, sustained minimal damage and are ready and eager to move on). Some have sustained more property damage/flooding than others. This isn’t the case for everyone we know. There are a few people “missing” or displaced, and not in a position to communicate. We have elders in hospital, and in no position to be moved. Most still have no cell service, intermittent water, and some have yet to get electricity.
So if you know any Puerto Ricans, you’d have witnessed a high level of neurosis and nervousness, anger, sadness, fatigue, all happening almost simultaneously, fueling us back into action and another round of more intense neurosis.
Our family, friends, our island is in broken and in peril and we feel helpless and broken too. We are warriors and don’t let that bother us! We need to work to bring more help to the island and restore it. It must be restored.
In the meantime, I am left feeling conflicted about my Food Goddess activities. Life must go on, but there are other more important issues to attend to. Gathering and sharing recipes feels trivial.
What’s worst is that as the temperatures start going down and the holidays approach, I am left with the sad realization that the holidays won’t be the same in the island this year – though Puerto Ricans will make the best of whatever the Universe throws at them! In fact, it may be years before there can be holidays like we used to have…
I want to get back to normal, but it may take me some time to get there. But as Food Goddess, may I suggest that you help Puerto Rico by donating to Chef Relief / World Central Kitchen José Andrés has provided over 1 million hot meals all over the island (follow them on Twitter to see how they continue their mission #ChefsForPuertoRico).
I will come back and write about some ridiculously delicious dish that will make you break the current diet. Just not today.
(Watch a resilient little coquí come back after Hurricane Maria to sing his song of freedom: https://www.facebook.com/groups/274834366346071/permalink/297350737427767/ -- and if the coquí can rise above the chaos, so can we!)