On What’s Next

and what's just happened!

It’s the day before my wedding and I’m writing this, preparing for an interview about my work on veganism for an NPR show, and making a list of what I need to bake a wedding cake, which is an improvement, because I had planned to make two wedding cakes until I arrived home to a family health situation. I think I’m supposed to be concerned with flowers. I’ve spent my life more or less ignoring all the minutiae of weddings. I thought it would be fine to work right up until the day, and what choice does a freelancer really have? It’s all been a mistake to take on, though. I’m exhausted.

In February, I wrote about getting married while not being the biggest believer in the whole institution, and clearly my scheduling habits and controlling cake tendencies are being put on display to make sure I am not one of those brides, frivolous and flipping out. This is stupid of me, because there’s apparently no way around it. Being a bride is work! I keep saying, “I’m the bride!” to get out of things or make my sister do stuff for me, as a joke, but it is truly taxing. Questions, expectations, last-minute changes to attend to, finding a slip in the year 2021 when it seems all fashion designers believe only prudes don’t want to show their ass cracks at family functions.

What I am excited about and have always been excited about is marrying Israel (my dress, a floral gown by Giambattista Valli and found for much lower than it should’ve cost by my friend Drina, is also fabulous). My sister, of course, will do my hair and makeup. I’ve hired a photographer, Maridelis Morales Rosado, who specializes in documentary and editorial, not weddings. My nails are brilliant, by my now-brother-in-law’s girlfriend, Nathis. Our mutual friend, a New Yorker and a Puerto Rican to represent the union, will officiate. My rings were designed by By Ren in Philadelphia; Israel’s band is from Catbird (I’m a cliché, darling). We will say our vows, and then we will have a dinner with just family and excellent wine at Le Crocodile.

There won’t be any dancing, not because I don’t like to dance, but because a very small number of people dancing is strange. When you receive this, we’ll be in Montreal for a week on our very cold honeymoon, and then we’ll go home to Benny and prepare to do a talk at the Climate Adaptation Forum’s event “Climate Disruptions and Dinner: How is climate change impacting our food systems?” where we will talk about the role of narrative in building climate resilience. Life goes on, with new jewelry—and we get to stop saying the dreaded word “fiancé.” Husband! Wife! Finally!

Tomorrow, Tuesday, I will turn 36, and for my birthday, I’m going to share the changes you can expect with this newsletter for the rest of this year and the next:

  • This Friday, I will send out the last podcast of the year (with Frances Moore Lappé!). For the remainder of 2021, paid subscribers will be receiving recipes for vegan desserts with a holiday focus on Fridays, to culminate in sending out a PDF with all the recipes I’ve published this year.

  • In 2022, things will be rearranged. Monday essays will remain the same, but audio recordings will be for paid subscribers. The audio of the Friday podcast will be getting a refresh, and it will be freely available; transcripts, though, will be a paid subscriber benefit. Monthly recipes will continue to be for paid subscribers, too, with occasional PDF collections.

Because this week I’m starting a new chapter in my life and a new year, it feels like a good time to set up the newsletter revamp, and because we’re going into the holidays, it’s also a good time to slow things down. A couple of forthcoming Monday newsletters will be roundups of the year in essays and interviews so you can catch up on anything you missed or that catches your eye now. I hope you’re able to slow down, whether it’s in your nature or—like me—it’s not. Thank you for being here.

Diet for a Small Planet by Frances Moore Lappé was released in 1971, making the statistic that 80 percent of farmland provides only 18 percent of calories through livestock a rallying cry for better, more equitable agriculture systems. This book gradually grew to sell over 3 million copies and irrevocably changed the way we talk about food, hunger, and culture. Fifty years later, there is a brand-new updated edition, out now, to meet the urgency of our current environmental moment. Visit dietforasmallplanet.org to learn more and get your copy.

This Friday’s interview with Frances will go out to everyone. We discuss what other books have been influential to her thinking, how she’s changed her approach in the new edition, and what she thinks about tech visions for “the future of food.” It was an honor to talk to her, as it was an honor to have a recipe in this new 50th anniversary edition.

A dream to be interviewed for The Creative Independent by the brilliant Isabel Slone!

Both Kudos by Rachel Cusk and My Struggle Book 4. An autofiction abundance. I could’ve finished the former on my flight to New York without a break for the Sex and the City movie.

Who the hell knows! The cake was three layers of chocolate with chocolate ganache filling and a spiced tahini buttercream, garnished with candied carambola that I brought from San Juan. Above is tomato confit from the last Sunday aperitivo.