Thursday, November 17, 2022

A Few Thoughts on Rules + Winter Squash Card & Recipe!

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Something very strange is happening to people's brains.

This probably isn't news to you, if you consume media of any kind. There's some feral-ness about. But in particular, something odd is happening around rules and how they apply. 

I belong to a LOT of groups. One of my favorite groups is a squirrel group. My next favorite groups are centered around cooking and true crime. 

I think there's a perception out there that the true crime community is somehow more difficult than other communities and I'm here to tell you it is NOT. 

No matter what the interest group, people are very, very strange about rules. 

I am the youngest child, and a Virgo, and so rules are a big deal to me - especially in other people's spaces. For example, if you go to someone's house and are asked to take off your shoes - I would never DREAM of saying no to that request. I'd sooner leave than break someone else's rule in their space, and I'm CERTAINLY built with the boundaries and sass to leave if a rule makes me uncomfortable. That's just as important. Because if you go to someone's house and they ask you to take off your UNDERWEAR, obviously, that rule would lead to a hasty exit. 

But it sure seems like all that has gone out the window lately. People come into groups that are not their own, agree to the rules, break them, and then make a HUGE scene, often threatening the admins or calling them terrible names before getting kicked out. I've seen this in squirrel groups - one vegan cheese group that gave me PTSD, and in groups centered around appliances like the Instant Pot and Foodie air fryer. I'm not kidding. It's weird. 

So what has changed? What makes people feel comfortable breaking basic rules that hold communities together and keep things civil and comfortable for other humans? I'm someone who believes you are the same person online that you are in real life. I do not believe social media makes people bad. I do think it enables bad people to do more bad in bad places, but that's not what I'm seeing. To me it feels like some social contract has been broken, and I'm trying to figure out the why, when and where of that. 

For all these reasons, art is very important. Art is a place where there are no rules. It's just you and your tools. I have wondered if maybe not enough people have a space where no rules apply and they can have all the freedom they can stand to create, and because they don't have that, they feel the need to yell at people in vegan cheese groups. I guess that's one of the reasons I feel like it's important to teach art, and to teach it early in life. So people have somewhere to go when they have intense feelings about cheese. 

Anyway - you know what's great? Winter squash. Of ALL kinds. Not only is it one of my fave foods, it's one of my fave art subjects. Pumpkins are beautiful shapes to paint, draw and practice shading with. So today I have an art pumpkin and a soup recipe!

First up - the pumpkin fairy house dies, which I colored simply with OLO Markers and put together on an ink blended background with this sentiment. I added a bit of Posca pen. It's hard to see in this pic - but the spots on the pumpkin are embossed with the die. I added some dark shadows before putting the die cuts down - it gives it such a nighttime feel! LOVE. Makes me want to work on a real fairy house. 

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Here's a quick stop motion of the process. There was nothing complicated about the coloring, so I thought just a quick video would be fun. 

One of the BEST soups I've eaten in a long time is creamy, vegan butternut squash soup with warming spices. The trick of using cashews to replace dairy has been so life-changing for me. It's depressing sometimes not being able to just have cheese and crackers, but little tricks like this for things I LOVE to cook like soup makes up for all that! Here's how beautiful it looks in my blue Staub pot I recently bought in a HUGE sale. It has a glass lid, so it's great for soups. This was a recent purchase, and I feel like all the pandemic cooking taught me just how important it is to INVEST in great cookware. I have gotten rid of a lot of stuff I thought was a bargain at the time, only to realize I should have just spent that money once and well, rather than over and over. 

I'm a subscriber to New York Times cooking, and it's worth every penny. But this was one of their free recipes, and you can find it and my modifications here

Try that cashew trick any time a dish calls for cream. You won't be sorry. 


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1 comment:

  1. I've missed this space and your writing. Beautiful card. People ARE weird. And that soup looks amazingly delicious.


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