Like many people, I’m turning to cooking as a source of comfort at the moment.
But more than usual, I find myself craving and cooking Chinese food – unfussy dishes that I grew up eating: a crispy scallion pancake, a steaming bowl of noodle soup, or a simple stir fry like this one I made the other day (di san xian, with potatoes, eggplant, and peppers).
It tastes like a piece of home, when family is and feels far away. But on some days, cooking also feels like a small act of defiance – to all the things that’s being said right now about Chinese food, and by extension, Chinese people.
I wrote about all these feelings, what traditional Chinese home cooking means to me, and finding beauty from my food culture during these chaotic and challenging times for Six Feet for Solidarity, a community zine “devoted to building social solidarity during the coronavirus pandemic”.
Sarah Atkinson and Claire Kaufman published and edited the zine. I met Sarah during a zero waste workshop she led last year (read our Q&A here), and we’ve since become friends (even teaching a virtual workshop together on Earth Day!) As Claire and Sarah stated in their letter from the editors: this zine serves as “a time capsule of our raw emotions so that we can one day reflect upon them and move forward to a new normal that prioritizes community, physical and mental health, and social equity.”