In the spirit of the Love Issue, I wanted to share one of my favorite recipes. It was at Middlebury where I discovered how food could be a conduit of love and that it allowed me to create and foster spaces for my friends to find quiet moments together. I first discovered these moments when I lived in Hepburn my sophomore year. I lived in a suite on the first floor with this tiny little kitchen which had a stovetop, an oven and a counter the size of a small cutting board. My room was 107 square feet and shaped like a coffin. I was taking a class called “Food in the Middle East” at the time and for the class, we were reading a cookbook about Turkish food. I impulsively decided to, in my tiny kitchen, cook one of the recipes for my friends. My room was so tiny that we had to sit in the hallway of the suite, legs overlapping in a giant pile to eat. There was something magical about the splayed limbs, the laughs and the smiles shared over something that I had spent so much time and effort creating. The food didn’t matter, what mattered was everyone simultaneously pausing their busy day and sharing this moment. I wanted to share my recipe for chocolate chip cookies with you all because it is my absolute favorite thing to make and the easiest way to show someone you love them without words. My approach to love is a lot like making chocolate chip cookies. I love making them because of how happy they make other people. They have a way of slowing time, creating moments of quiet in the midst of an insane day. Since living in Hepburn, I have come to believe that it isn’t just cooking for someone that shows you love them, it’s putting aside your own stuff to let someone know you care about them, whether that is ignoring homework to spend time with them, going out of your way to walk them home or the most delicious option, making them dinner or chocolate chip cookies. I hope that you enjoy this recipe and that you share it with the people you love. Ingredients: 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon of salt ¾ tablespoon of baking soda 1½ sticks of unsalted butter (step 2 in the directions) ½ cup brown sugar 1 cup of cane sugar 2 large eggs 2 egg yolks 3 tablespoons of vanilla extract ½- ¾ cups chocolate chunks 1 cup of rolled oats Directions: Mix together the flour, baking soda, salt, oats and chocolate chips in a small bowl and set aside. Preheat your oven to 350. Add the whole stick of butter In a small pan over low heat on the stove. This will take about 4 minutes but you are looking for the butter to take on a golden color and for the milk solids (the flecks in the butter) to take on a golden color as well. It should smell nutty and the butter should be completely melted. Once the butter has browned, transfer to a heatproof, large bowl. Into the bowl, add the cubed ½ stick of butter and stir until it is melted. To the butter, add your sugar and mix to combine. Then add your two eggs, and the two egg yolks (separate over another container if you want to save the whites). Add the vanilla extract to the mix as well. Gently stir in the dry ingredients to the bowl with the wet ingredients. Mix until you don’t see any bits of dry flour. Cover the bowl with a dish or tea towel and place it in the fridge. Ideally, this should rest overnight or for at least an hour. It’s important to let the flour hydrate and to let everything come together. But that being said an hour in the fridge is fine! Grease a sheet pan and form the dough into roughly two-tablespoon sized balls. Place them on the sheet with plenty of room for spreading. These are meant to be tall, gooey on the inside cookies. Bake for 8-10 minutes, checking at 8 minutes for whether the top of the cookie is golden brown. Let sit for 2 minutes before eating so they can set.
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Middlebury students were given the opportunity to re-learn American history on Tuesday, Feb. 25. That opportunity came in the form of a talk by Nikole Hannah-Jones, the creator of the 1619 Project. Hannah-Jones explained that the intention behind the 1619 Project was to place enslaved people, formerly enslaved people and their descendants at the center of the American historical narrative. In this project, she reveals that it is black Americans who — since our country’s “true” inception in 1619, the year which marked the beginning of American slavery — have upheld the ideals of the 1776 Constitution, which not only declared all men to be equal but entitled all to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The 1619 Project illuminates the America that could be if we as a country were able to honestly and fully accept that we are built on a foundation of unprecedented slavery. At one point in her speech, Hannah-Jones referenced her own birthday to illustrate that she is a part of the first generation of the descendants of enslaved peoples to be born with the full constitutional rights and privileges theoretically endowed to all Americans. At this point, people clapped. Hannah-Jones quickly pointed out that this is not something worth applauding. It is shameful. In 2020 — in a country which supposedly decided it was founded on “equality for all” in 1776 — she, a 43-year-old, was part of the first generation of black people who could truly claim America as “their” country. In telling us not to clap, she reminded us that our job as white people is to give voice to disenfranchised groups and, most importantly, to listen to them. She concluded her speech with a photograph of a black woman protesting, holding a sign that read “trust black women,” and went on to remind us that black women were the only demographic who did not have members who voted for Trump. Our job is to listen and vote alongside the people who have constantly demonstrated that they understand what it means to live in a democracy defined by equality. With 1619, Hannah-Jones and her team — dedicating an awe-inspiring level of time, care and integrity to their project — flipped the stagnant narrative of white superiority and dominance on its head. Throughout her speech, Hannah-Jones challenged the audience to make a moral judgement on the accepted narrative of American history. When I learned about slavery in school, I learned that it was wrong, but also that I couldn’t make a moral judgement about it because it “wasn’t considered wrong at the time” and those judgements would be grounded in 21st-century beliefs. In every history class that I have taken for my major here, someone has argued that we cannot make a judgement on some horrific reality of history because it was acceptable for its time. A culture which enabled slavery and profited from it is not insulated from critique or judgement. At the end of the day, the entire population of enslaved people knew it was wrong. Not only did enslaved and formerly enslaved people speak about it being wrong, they also wrote about it being wrong. If you claim something was seen as right at the time (and so a moral judgement cannot be made), you are clearly not doing due diligence to examine the disenfranchised voices of the time. The job of a historian isn’t to maintain the dominant narrative; the job of a historian is to push those narratives by researching and giving voice to the parts of history which have been erased by a white, privileged pencil. To claim that because white slave owners and white Americans — who profited immensely from a system of brutalization, murder and torture — thought that slavery was justifiable should not render it forever justifiable in the American narrative. White Americans have erased the contributions, opinions and experiences of enslaved peoples, formerly enslaved peoples and their descendants from the history of the progression of American Democracy. It is the responsibility of white people to enable these voices to rewrite the history they have been excluded from and to accept the new definitions of history, so, as far as I’m concerned, America was founded in 1619 when the first slave ship landed in Virginia. Izzy Lee is a member of the class of 2020 and a History major.