Dorie’s Cookies – Valentine’s Day Share-a-Heart & Rose-Hibiscus Shortbread Fans

Rose-Hibiscus Shortbread Fans

In troubled times, nothing seems as healing as sharing food and company. I need to keep that in mind, the next time busy-ness and bitterness keep me away from my keyboard. Besides, in a city where the average rents are skyrocketing, we’re going to have to learn to rely on one another for sustenance and support. So, connecting through writing and food may become tools for survival as much as pleasurable pastimes.

That’s why Dorie Greenspan’s #cookiesandkindness initiative is such a timely project. Homemade cookies bring cheer while nourishing us in a deeply satisfying way – they may not be dinner, but psychologically and primally speaking, they will help assuage what ails you.

Valentine’s Day Share-a-Heart Cookies

Valentine's Day Share-a-Heart Cookies

Cookies certainly helped soothe my fellow committee members when we met on the evening of Valentine’s Day. I didn’t make one of the giant break-apart hearts that the recipe calls for, since it wouldn’t have fit on the table (or on the agenda, for that matter). Instead, passing these chocolate wafers around the table brought a necessary bit of cheer to the evening.

They remind me of Dorie’s Hot Chocolate Panna Cotta from Baking Chez Moi, with the same cocoa-forward flavour. The salt I used was a bit assertive, so I’ll probably reduce the quantity by 1/4 teaspoon next time I make these, but they were otherwise perfect. One of the delights of this book has been discovering how many delicious variations there can be for what seems like one of the most straightforward of cookies.

Rose-Hibiscus Shortbread Fans

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Shortbread is another cookie with simple roots and infinite variations. This version is made for showing off and sharing. Subtle notes of rose complement the brightness of hibiscus. My tea also included lemongrass, which added another layer of flavour. Rice flour increases the sandy texture of the cookies, which is welcome in shortbread. It’s perfect for an afternoon tea of dreaming and planning for a better future.

I want to believe we can beat the historical odds against curbing inequality. I hope that affordable housing solutions like housing co-operatives can once again build diverse communities in our cities. I’d like to see intersectionality become the guiding principle in movements and in everyday life.

Along the way, I’ll be baking and cooking to soothe myself and to nourish those around me. It’s a small thing, but it’s a necessary one.

February’s Dorie’s Cookies goodness can be found here and here at Tuesdays with Dorie.

Inequality on the rise in Canada – Blog Action Day 2014

BlogAction

Today is Blog Action Day and bloggers across the world will be discussing inequality.

Last night a friend of mine and I were talking, after a meeting where the agenda was dominated by ideas promoting the sustainability of the mixed-income housing co-operative in which we both live. Our conversation turned to the BC teachers’ strike, which we agreed was a lost opportunity to focus public attention on the real issue plaguing the province’s education system, the steady loss of equality of education. These discussions share more than concern for the well-being of systems we rely on; they are connected to the growth of inequality across Canada.

Much of the conversation about inequality centres on the concentration of wealth that’s on the rise here. But that’s not the whole story, as the focus of our public infrastructure is changing to mirror those shifts in income. Our system is starving the institutions that benefit all, while promoting those that are accessible only to those who can pay.

Canada is in danger of losing its social safety net and any hope of equality of opportunity for future generations. Exercises like the CCPA’s Alternative Budget show potential for a way out of these inequalities, but it’s going to require the political will of ordinary Canadians.

You can see more posts from around the world on inequality via Blog Action Day’s participant list. One of their partners, Oxfam, has a stream of some of the best posts in Storify. There’s even a WordPress daily prompt round up.