#5SmartReads - July 25, 2022
Abigail on how uncles matter too, a reflection on two perspectives of war, and how Recipe Developer became a paying job
Abigail Koffler is the founder of This Needs Hot Sauce, a Brooklyn based media company. She writes a newsletter and teaching IRL and virtual cooking classes (sign up here) Summer is her favorite season and she is excited about summer tomatoes and beach days.
The World Needs Uncles Too (Esquire)
I love the discourse around being a rich aunt and I love to see men enter the conversation and talk about the roles they can play in their village. Especially with the pandemic strain on parents, people like Isaac and their generosity and kindness are more important (and appreciated) than ever. I call my parents' close friends from college Aunt and Uncle and they really fulfill that role, in addition to my biological family. Having more people who love and care about you is never a bad thing!
I grew up in the American Girl Doll era. I never had one but my sister had two (unclear how that happened) and I loved them and read the well researched books and catalogs. Now, I'm obsessed with Hellicity, a meme page run by two best friends that captures the absurdity of the moment with humor and nostalgia. If you had a doll, which one was it?
Fur Spater: A Lifetime Spent Digesting War (Feminist Food Journal)
Our early experiences influence us more than we realize and this piece about the author's grandmother who survived wars and hunger in the Czech Republic (the borders and countries changed several times during her lifetime) is so moving. Her food, often fermented and never wasted, was evidence of the hardship she experienced. The author reflects on how different their lives are and how she now sees her grandmother's rationale more and more as food insecurity comes closer to home with the war in Ukraine.
Negotiation Tips For Writers And Creatives (The Atlantic)
People don't always think of writing as a business but it absolutely is (in addition to being a creative practice). I've been freelance writing for more than four years and these negotiation tips are gold. One I always employ: ask for more money. It might not be a lot more, but there's always more out there and publications will lowball you when you're just starting out. Being able to advocate for yourself and your work is a necessary skill and one to build with time.
I develop recipes on a monthly basis for the cooking classes I teach with Erica Adler and it is time consuming (and usually lots of fun)! Between the dishes, measuring every ingredients, getting groceries, and testing substitutions, the process takes many hours. Recipe development has become a desired job, with potential for huge payoff. However, it is work and boundaries are hard to enforce. After a day of recipe testing, sometimes all I want is a restaurant meal or to cook something where I don't have to measure.