I hadn’t been working as a server for long the night of the 2016 Presidential Election. My manager perched up at the bar with his laptop open. Our legs hugged the mahogany bar stools with our arms rested on white and grey speckled marble. “Everytime Clinton wins, we take a shot.” He said. The restaurant was merchantless. And understandably so, everyone was at home, ready to party in another progressive American win.
Tea candles flickered and the lights were dimly warm as the wax began to drip while the evening got progressively worse. The staff stood around a thirteen inch screen, trying to come to terms with the possibility that Trump may win. Luckily, I was cut. I eagerly hopped on the A train to meet my friends at a bar in Bedstuy. My foot tapped in an anxious rhythm. I was uneasy about losing reception for 15 minutes. The armpits of my shirt moist with nervous sweat. I feared I’d return to the world above ground and everything would suddenly be different.
The air of the bar was thick. People’s shoulders cowered as the ceiling began to cave in. Mouths open, eyes wide, breath heavy - The New York Times barometer was predicting a 95% chance of Donald Trump winning. We couldn’t take it anymore, watching a small stove fire turn into the devastation of a home burnt down. We left.
The next morning, I woke up next to my ex and hoped it had all been a dream. Trump’s tyrannical face boarded the CNN homepage. I snuck out of bed, went to the bathroom and cried.
The next week, lost in a funk, I encouraged my community to come together and remind ourselves, we had one another. I chopped loads of celery and minced carrots. I peeled garlic and showered a few cups of lentils. I prepared lunch because I knew if I could gather my people together over a warm cooked meal, we would be more emotionally equipped. The soup simmered as shuffling feet rippled through my small living room. The silence of being home alone quickly changed as eighteen of us congregated. People sat wherever they could: kitchen counters, couch cushions, the floor, and our dining room table. Lunch began at 2pm but the conversation roared late into the evening. We talked about racial identity and gender inequality. We debated about our roles as educators and spoke about lifelong goals. It was just the reminder we all needed - that we the people are strong when we come together.
Vegetable Broth from Scraps
- 4 c frozen scraps
- 3 celery stocks, cut in half
- 2 carrots, cut in half
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 inch of fresh turmeric, skinned
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 a large onion
- Handful of fresh parsley
- A few sprigs of rosemary
- a generous amount of salt
- 10 c of water
- In a large pot add all of your ingredients
- Bring to a boil
- Turn the heat down and bring the water to a simmer
- Covered, allow for the veggies to infuse the water for an hour
- Taste and add any additional salt you feel necessary
- Remove vegetables with a large spoon and strain out any lingering bits
- House liquid in an airtight container and keep in the fridge for up to a week