GATHERINGS

Dinners For Democracy

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It’s safe to say the whirlwind of emotions that has surrounded this election season is unprecedented. As the country braced for one of the most important elections of our lifetime, we at Abby&Edna reflected on food’s ever-present role in times of adversity. We’ve seen food’s power to bring people together during pivotal moments throughout America’s history. Take the Southern cooking prepared by Atlanta’s Paschal’s that routinely fueled the likes of Martin Luther King Jr., John Lewis, Andrew Young, Hosea Williams, Ralph David Abernathy and Joseph Lowery during the Civil Rights Movement. Or, let’s dive into food’s role during the worldwide George Floyd protests, serving as an olive branch from supporters to protestors on the front lines. So, it’s no surprise that food (and wine’s) healing powers were on full display during election night — curbing anxiety and fostering community across the country. From New York City to Houston, Texas, we checked in with Abby&Edna readers to find out the flavors fueling and soothing their evening.

New York City

“I’ll be having three bottles of wine to my face.” Chandra Fogg, @dothechachaslide

“We’re expecting a long night at the very least, so this year is all about comfort and stamina — something that sticks to your ribs, we can enjoy curled up on the couch, and also makes good leftovers. I’m cooking this “Mushroom Bourguignon” that I love with creamy polenta, and we’ll sip along with wines produced in the USA.” Julie Weil, @weil_deal 

“Maybe I’ll make something good to call upon the ancestors. I feel like we’re gonna need them.” — Hayley Vaughn, @allhayl

“I decided on making Birria tacos because I wanted something that was a little more extensive than my regular weekday meals to fully get my mind off of the election.” — Chidera Nnorom, @eatsbydnd

Chicago, Illinois

“I’m making chili because it’s one of my favorite comfort foods, and what’s better than having comfort on a stressful night?” — Sascha Smith, @sascha.r.smith

Houston, Texas

“Election night will be all about convenience and comfort for me. I have a rotisserie chicken and chickpeas in the fridge, plus some vegetables left over from homemade chicken stock. Soup it is!!” — Victoria Christensen, @v_christensen 

“What’s more American than stressing out about democracy over apple pie? So that’s what we’ll be making!” Kristyn Story, @ohhnoitsksto_

Miami, Florida

“This year, I wanted to go into this election with full hearts and tummies. I decided go community style — paella, a charcuterie table, and grazing desserts. Throwing a small election night party will be something that we hope can be used to celebrate a new president while bringing many different people together.” Abigail Diaz, @shopgirlblog

Los Angeles, California

“I decided to make homemade pizzas with a cornmeal crust. It’s delicious and easy.” — Breanna Adams, @ilybree

“I cooked for a village of two people to calm my election anxiety.” — Cayla Harris, @fashionablycayla

Washington, D.C.

“I’m doing a surf and turf with crab legs or garlicky shrimp. I’ll probably also make a blackberry cobbler. Cooking and eating good food is always a distraction for me. I’ll either be eating good and celebrating because the results were what I wanted, or I’ll be devastated. Either way, I will still have a happy tummy to make me feel better.” — Kirisha Marshall, @kirmars

“Comfort food is different for all of us, and for me, chicken wings bring me joy. So while I watch this country disappoint me again, I enjoyed some Honey Habanero Chicken Wings with Sweet Potato Fries!” — Tyler Bryant, @tymitchell_

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