Bringing the country together

Bringing the country together

The United States seems as divided today as it has ever been. Racial, economic, religious, and intellectual divisions have spread us further and further apart. And while it’s in the country’s DNA to be divisive, things are seemingly at a breaking point. Politicians call for the country to come together. Is it even possible? Is it possible for there to be “one” America?  Or maybe a better question is, has there ever been one America? A country founded on dissent, based on bringing different cultures together. The term “melting pot” has been used over and over. When imagining the “great” America that Donald Trump seeks to return to, something painted by Norman Rockwell comes to mind. That is one part of the U.S., and it is the one that dominated politics and society for much of recent memory. This is where the problems arise. The idealistic/idyllic white families sitting around a dinner table and talking swap meets with a dog dreaming at their feet and a white picket fence around the front yard only worked for one portion of the country. That is no longer the predominant culture (whether symbolically or otherwise). The painting pictured right, aptly titled Freedom From Want, depicts the only piece of the country that could actually afford freedom from want. This is the demographic that had it all/everything, and they feel as though it is slipping away. As in the video posted by the Atlantic, the U.S. is no longer a white, Christian nation. But the notion that it is only the subjects of those paintings struggling with the social progress and equality embraced by modern society...
Comfort food to get you through the cold

Comfort food to get you through the cold

Wet, warm and cloudy. Not ideal weather for Minnesota in December. Although it hasn’t been as cold as normal due to climate change, I still crave some wholesome, warm, eat-until-you-want-to-hibernate type of food to make the serotonin flow. This recipe is just that, but with a little fresh zest; a spice and brightness that makes you tell yourself (or your partner), “don’t stop.”  So cozy up this weekend, cook in your underwear, crack a bottle and make something from scratch. Egg pasta, yield: 5 servings Ingredients: 4 large eggs 1c OO flour 3c semolina flour 1t salt   Directions: In a large sized bowl, combine flours and salt. Make a well in the flour, add the slightly beaten egg, and mix. Mixture should form stiff dough. If needed, stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons water. Knead for 10 minutes and let rest for 30 minutes. Cut the dough in 4 pieces and cover with a damp towel. Grab one of the pieces of dough and smash it down with your hands until its about 1/4in thick. Then using a pasta roller, start at the thickest setting and roll the past through it (you may want to do this setting twice). Then, lower the setting by one notch and roll the pasta through. Continue until you reach the thinnest setting. You should have a rather long sheet of pasta. Cut into 10in lengths and layer them on top of each other, making sure there is a fair amount of semolina flour between the layers so it doesn’t stick. Once they are stacked nicely, cut pasta every 1in and set aside with plastic wrap or damp towel over...
Everything is PLNT BSD

Everything is PLNT BSD

We have become more aware of what we eat, where it comes from, and why that matters, than ever before. But if that is how we treat our food, isn’t that how we should treat everything? If you care what you put in your body, shouldn’t you care what you put on your body? That’s the idea behind PLNT BSD, the brainchild of local designer Caroline Yares. The company produces clothes; T-shirts, hoodies, hats, tote bags, and more, made from vegan and plant-based materials. But it’s more than just vegan, more than just the latest trend. It’s a movement that seeks to bring awareness about what plant-based actually means for the world, for the community, and for you. We chatted with Yares to learn a little bit more about the company, her goals and mission, and the plant-based philosophy behind it all. A plant-based mission Big ideas often come from humble beginnings. Apple started in a two-car garage. Starbucks began by just selling beans. And PLNT BSD started with… day drinking? “To be honest, my husband and I were out in the backyard with our chickens, Gretta and Bessie, having a weekend margarita.” Yares laughs. “I told him I wanted a license plate that said PLNT BSD. We talked back and forth about different ideas. I said what about a T-shirt? So we made one about a week later.” And it took off from there. “We attended a few events around town and were shocked to see the response from the community. People wanted PLNT BSD shirts. So we gave the people what that wanted and started PLNT BSD as LLC and...