Who loves you, baby?


I am feeling quite happy to live in Olympia this week. Look what we did:  Gay Marriage bill passed, voters likely to get final say. When you vote on this, please say yes to love.

It just so happens that my god son is gay, so I am admittedly a bit biased when it comes to this. Well, also, two of my ballet teachers, three of the girls I sail with, two of my friends in Portland, a school friend who was the accompanist when I took ballet classes, a couple that are friends of our family, three of my students, a friend in Cleveland and at least two other female acquaintances. I’m sure there are plenty of other people I know who are gay, I just kind of forget to notice.

Who are we to judge who people love? This stupid question of banning gay marriage isn’t, in any way, about protecting anyone. It’s about prejudice and assumptions. I don’t know if there is a more flagrant violation of the concept of separation of church and state.

As I was having a discussion with a friend of mine one night on this subject, JJ chimed in and said to me, “You don’t have any gay friends. You’ve never mentioned them to me.” I was floored. Dumbfounded. I just stood there stuttering. It was the moment that I realized that he was not dating me at all, I was just a fantasy embodiment of his ideas and assumptions. Later it occurred to me that is what prejudice is all about. When a person sees two men walking down the street holding hands and has problems with it, it is almost never because they know them on a personal level. It is often because those two men are an embodiment of their imagined ideas and assumptions about what gay people are like.

Now I don’t mean to imply in any way that JJ is prejudice. Just the opposite, in fact. He is just young and inexperienced. The point is, we all make assumptions based on our previous experiences without making an effort to get to know someone. It happens to the best of us. When I think about the couple that I sailed with, I don’t think about them being gay. If it does happen to cross my mind or come up in conversation, what I think of is what a great relationship they have, what courage and honesty they had in following their hearts. They made a real effort to get to know each other and found a deep and abiding love. JJ could learn a little bit from that, and so could a lot of other people. How could we ever justify a law that protects the rights of some people to express their love and share their lives and not others?

Yep, this is another post that has nothing to do with the recipe at the end. I guess the only thing that ties them together is that passing this bill and eating this dish are two pretty damn good things.

Potato Gratin with Cotija and Goat Cheese

  • 3-4 small red potatoes
  • fingerling potatoes
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • Cotija cheese
  • goat cheese
  • heavy cream
  • salt and pepper
  • fresh rosemary

This is so simple my 7 year old could make it. Slice your potatoes and onions pretty thin and put down a layer of them in a greased pan. Put salt, pepper and rosemary on that layer and add another one. Repeat until your pan is full.

Crumble the cheese on the top, pour the heavy cream in and bake at 375 degrees for about an hour. This is not your mother’s potato gratin. It is light, but still satisfyingly hearty.

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