I've had a busy week working from home made harder by the racism both here and in America,. The racism is not new, it's continual, its painful and its gut wrenching, its real. I've cried these tears before, now I cry for young people who have had to witness the brutality against black bodies replayed over and over again. I know that pain. Black Lives Matter.
One of the reasons i started my blog was for my mental health and wellbeing. It was my escapism. My space away from those racial microaggressions in everyday interactions as my work evolved around discrimination and prejudices and social justice, I consciously made a decision not to write about those things here, because I did not want this space tainted by ugliness of other peoples behaviour, but people have become more emboldened in recent years that even i cannot pretend anymore.
Subtle racism has even seeped from some food bloggers in the past. I often noted as a non white vegetarian food blogger that started ten years ago, I was often excluded from the collaborations that thrusted some white food bloggers into the 'limelight', they would never extend the invitation to me and in some cases 'actively' exclude me. It still happens. They know they have this power, privilege and influence, but they would never admit that racial bias played a part in their interactions with me. I know it did. I will write about that some other time. Today is not that day.
As the only brown face in white spaces there were no safe spaces for me, so Blogging became therapy from both overt/direct and covert/indirect racism. Growing vegetables was therapy. Cooking was therapy. Baking was therapy.
So without further ado here are some Rainbow Chard Pakoras aka Onion Bhaji's that I made last weekend. I am missing seeing my family, my father and mother (who are shielding), my brothers and sister in laws, my nephews and nieces - my intergenerational family. I look forward to joining them again to sit down and eat pakoras and samosas. I don't make Pakora aka Onion Bhaji's that often partly because I do not have a deep fat fryer and partly it's something my sister in law will knock up for me when I got over, so Pakora's like Samosas always feel like a treat for me. But the hankering for fresh pakoras got me motivated and it was perhaps one of the best recipes I've made with the last of the Rainbow Swiss Chard (that had begun to bolt in the garden). I shallow fried the Swiss Chard Pakoras in a wide pot. They were delicious, crisp and mildly spicy.
Still as much as the Rainbow Chard Pakora were delicious, I long to eat again with my family and know that they are all safe, not just from coronavirus that is disproportionately affecting Black and Brown people in the UK, but also from the racism that constantly ripples in our lives, we are always on edge for the tirade, the racial tsunami ...