Thursday, March 26, 2009

Our Spring Intentions

candied weeds: the "homos of the plant kingdom"

Spring is marked by the vernal equinox -- one of two days during the year when
days and nights are of equal length, and the sun is perpendicular to the equator. In simpler terms, chickens that shopped laying eggs in the darkness of winter resume laying eggs as days get longer, which is why the egg is such a significant and widely celebrated symbol of the Spring. For our Spring Dinner, we made an edible nest on your plate. We presented you with greens, symbolizing the return of plants to the soil; eggs- a possibility of new life; and a nest, a place to put and grow your intentions for the coming year.

Nowruz, the Persian New Year, falls on March 21 and celebrates the first day of the Spring, marking the "rebirth of nature". Nowruz is the time to clean the house, pay visit to the home of your friends, and picnic outdoors. Some people believe that whatever a person does on Nowruz will affect the rest of the year. So, if you are warm and kind to your relatives, friends and neighbours on Nowruz, then the new year will be a good one. Nowruz is a time to disrupt of the normal order of things with boisterous parties and forgive yourself and your enemies for deeds of the past. According to Nowruz tradition, noodles represent the impossible knot that life presents us with, and many paths life can take us on. By eating noodles, we hope to untangle the knot and find our path. Nowruz traditions usually include a live goldfish in a bowl of water, which is supposed to bring us good luck. Since we celebrate traditions in a cruelty-free manner at Queer Food, we have chosen to present you with chocolate goldfish on your dessert plate instead.

In March it is customary to give Hamantashen to people you know to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Purim. Hamantashen are triangular cookies, usually filled with sweet poppyseeds or jam, given to family, friends, and neighbors. Normally sweet, we have filled our hamantashen with Easter Lamb instead, making a twist on Spring traditions by mixing a little Easter with our Purim.

A Jewish tradition after the Spring holiday of Passover holds that the woman who bakes bread for the home should impress the key of the house into the bread. This loaf is called the "shlissel challah," and by impressing the key,
we are asking that the gates of livelihood and sustenance be properly placed and turned for us. So on Sunday, we impressed the key of this queer home, where we are feasting together, into your loaves of challah, to open the gates of livelihood and sustenance for us all.

In Spring, weeds sprout up - in cement cracks, at the edges of parking lots, in abandoned landfills, on rural hillsides, and besides freeways. Normally bitter, weeds survive by their own determination in the marginal spaces normally overlooked or forgotten by people looking for quick fixes and synthetic pleasures. So too have queers traditionally made homes for themselves in the margins of society, creating relationships and community in spite of heterosexism and homophobia. Whether or not gays can legally marry, or agree that marriage is even a good thing, we will continue, as we always have, to find love, make friends, welcome strangers into our midst, build families of our choosing, and love each other, in spite of what society thinks of us. On Sunday, we offered you candied weeds on your dessert plates- to remind us that what is bitter can also be sweet, to honor the fierceness by which wild things survive through their own determination, and to suggest that weeds might find a rightful place in the queer cosmos, as the "homos" of the plant kingdom.

text by Yasmin

1 comment:

Camille said...

Can I quote this in an essay I'm writing?!!?!?