I saw a meme the other day (I’m sure you did too), the specifics of which I can’t recall, but it was something to the extent that 2021 is just a 2020 who can now drink. Yeah, pretty much. 2021, our drunken little hellscape baby, isn’t even two months old and yet a pandemic still rages, the economy sucks, and our government was almost overthrown; despite a federal governing trifecta, Democrats in power are more committed to lying and fucking around than giving Americans desperately needed financial relief; and of course, those same Democrats are rolling out the red carpet for fascism to return in 2024, if not sooner.
Yes, it’s true that I remain a defiant, curmudgeonly holdout about joining The TikTok; no, I haven’t made the baked feta pasta myself, (though it does look good). Forgive me, my family lives in Texas and I’m more worried about their potential hypothermia due to some rich, batshit wingnuts privatizing the state’s electrical grid in pursuit of… what, Ukrainian oligarchy cosplay? The real life version of Paw Patrol libertarianism? Suffice it to say, I’ve had other things on my mind.
I had this whole screed planned out for the Baked Feta Shaming Instagram Guy, a searing diatribe detailing all the million and one life-and-death issues facing us and demanding our attention right now, all of which are vastly more urgent than a subjectively irksome viral recipe. But then I realized that 1) I had (perhaps egocentrically) assumed he was American; and 2) he is, in fact, Canadian. Oh. So maybe he actually doesn’t have bigger problems than a repetitive baked feta video bombarding his internet experience. That would be nice.
I believe my original point still stands though. If people – particularly Americans living in frozen-over hell at the moment – want to be enamored with baked feta, just let it go. I admit I don’t completely understand why that recipe tripped such a collective fascination and adoration, but I don’t have to! It brought joy and distraction to people who needed some, and that’s fine. Even if we didn’t currently occupy the dumbest dystopian timeline ever, the baked feta pasta isn’t hurting you, and no one deserves shame for their participation. No one said you had to make it if you don’t want to. Seriously, dude, let it go. I wasn’t yet through high school when I learned that loudly sniffing disdain at the latest trend bringing people a moment of joy and/or escape doesn’t make you deep or hip or cool. It just makes you kind of an asshole. Don’t we already have enough stress and struggles without your hot takes? Get on the barge if you can’t just be nice.
I need a drink. Don’t we all. If you reside on the relatively warmer East Coast or the actually warm West Coast and have the means, consider donating a few bucks to help those freezing in the middle. This mess will take a while to clean up, and the brutal cold temperatures abating won’t immediately abate the struggling caused by it. Here are some organizations that are helping people stay warm and fed:
Our Calling (Dallas)
Austin’s Ending Community Homelessness Coalition, or ECHO (Austin)
South Alamo Regional Alliance for the Homeless (San Antonio)
The Way Home (Houston)
My Favorite Aperol Spritz
- ½ cup Aperol
- ¾ cup Prosecco
- ¼ cup gin
- Splash of club soda or seltzer water
- Fresh orange slices or quarter slices, for garnish
- Into two large white wine glasses, evenly divide the Aperol, Prosecco, and gin. Give a light stir to incorporate everything, then fill each glass with ice. Slip an orange slice or quarter slice into each glass (alternatively, you can cut a slit and decorate the rim of each glass with orange). Just before serving, top each glass off with a little club soda. Serve immediately.