Chai S’mores Pie + A Call To Action
I almost didn’t post this chai s’mores pie. Don’t get me wrong, it’s incredibly delicious. But while both Ben and I really enjoyed it, I didn’t feel like it was appropriate to return to business as usual after this emotionally fraught week. Until I realized I could use my platform (and this pie) as a force for good.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that this past weekend was full of protests over police brutality, and more specifically, the killing of George Floyd. It left many of us feeling upset and wondering what we could do to help dismantle the systemic racism and white supremacy at play in this country’s police force (plus, y’know, racism as a whole).
While there are truly no easy answers here, I thought I’d share a few things that I’ve found make me feel a bit less powerless as an ally.
One way to do this is by joining protests. BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color), and specifically Black people shouldn’t have to do all the work here. Furthermore, when they do show up to protests, they’re often the first to be brutally targeted and arrested. I’ve never been hassled or arrested at a protest. That’s probably largely due to the fact that I’m white. I, and other white folks can shield BIPOC with our presence.
Not comfortable protesting? That’s ok. I certainly wasn’t this time around being that I’m pregnant and we’re in the midst of a global pandemic. There are other ways you can give your time (and also other things you can do). Do you have skills that might be useful to the involved parties? For example, maybe you’re a lawyer and can provide pro bono legal council. Even if you don’t have any relevant skills, volunteer work is always helpful!
It’s important to note here, though, that if you’re going to show up, you must be respectful. As an ally, you are a guest in whatever space you’re occupying. So listen more than you speak, and don’t emotionally burden anyone with your guilt. And if you’re going to show up to a protest, behave. Don’t vandalize, loot, or act out. You’re a guest, and you’re there for support.
Another thing you can do to help is donate money if it’s an option for you. I hesitate to list organizations here, as the players involved are always changing. For instance, a few days ago, it would’ve been most helpful to donate to the Minnesota Freedom Fund, which pays criminal bail and immigration bond for those who can’t afford it. They’ve gotten so much funding of late, however, that they’ve started redirecting people to other organizations with a more pressing need for donations.
Recognize your privilege and educate yourself
Coming to terms with this and dropping your defensiveness isn’t always easy, which is why it’s so important to educate ourselves. Understanding the history of racism in our country (and globally) can go a long way. Ditto for reading up on the experiences of people who don’t look like you. A People’s History of the United States is a great place to start. I also found The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks and Evicted to be hugely insightful and thought provoking. Even memoirs and fiction can be good resources here. For example, the memoirs In the Country We Love by Diane Guerrero and The Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish gave me insight into human experiences completely different than my own, despite being written by comedic actresses. Same goes for The Hate U Give and Such a Fun Age, both of which are fiction.
When it comes to reading up on taking action, The New Jim Crow was a quick and helpful read. I’m also about to start reading White Fragility and So You Want to Talk About Race, which I’ve heard good things about.
*Note: I’m not doing affiliate links in this post. That feels gross.
Amplify BIPOC voices
In addition to listening to BIPOC voices, you should be amplifying them. Personally, I’m not really interested in gaining attention for my musings on racism on social media. I’d rather use my platforms to amplify the voices of people who’ve actually been effected by it. That’s not to say you should never use your own words. I’m clearly doing so in this very post. But amplify others as well.
This also extends beyond the realm of social media. If you’re a white person who is involved in an organization, don’t take a position of leadership that could and should be going to someone else. Lift them up instead. Even if you’ve got more practical experience than they do. Use this as an opportunity to mentor them.
Engage in some hard talks
If a friend or family member makes a racist comment, don’t let it slide. Even if the conversation is uncomfortable, it’s essential that you have it. It’s also essential that you talk to your kids about racism. This isn’t exactly my area of expertise, as I’m not a parent yet. But I fully intend to research the subject and educate my daughter on it when the time comes.
Participate in your democracy
VOTE. And not just in presidential elections. Make sure that you’re actively participating in local elections, too! A great way to make sure that you’re aware of all of them is to register to vote by mail. That way, you get convenient reminders sent to your house.
You can also make your voice heard when there’s not an election going on. If there’s something you feel strongly about, reach out to your local representatives about it! They’re public servants, and listening to your concerns is part of their job description. Figuring out where to start here can be a bit daunting, but I find Resistbot to be an incredibly helpful tool.
Support BIPOC owned businesses
This is where we get back to that chai s’mores pie I mentioned up at the top. Many of us have been trying to support small or local businesses during this pandemic. While that’s great, you can take it a step further by supporting BIPOC owned ones. The LA Times recently posted a list of LA based Black-owned food businesses. And with a little research you can find all sorts of Black and BIPOC-owned businesses to support! The chai confection spice blend that I used in this chai s’mores pie, for example, is from Spice Tree Organics, which is a spice company owned and run by a BIPOC friend of mine in NY. Their blends are all phenomenal, and I feel much better about supporting a small BIPOC-owned company than I do picking up spices from a corporate grocery store.
Ok, now I’ll get back to pie. I know we all hate lengthy blog posts leading up to recipes, but I really felt that this stuff was important to address, so thanks for bearing with me.
I made this pie for my husband Ben’s birthday. It’s a chilled chai s’mores pie, and it’s absolutely perfect for summer. The chai confection comes through in a way that’s reminiscent of spiced hot cocoa, and I think it’s just lovely.
It’s also incredibly easy to make, and adaptable for a low carb diet. I’m going to write the recipe for regular diets, but if you need to modify it, simply use low carb marshmallows and low carb graham cracker crust (or an almond based crust, like the one I made for my chocolate covered passion fruit and raspberry cheesecake), and sub out the sugar for a diet friendly substitute like erythritol.
Chai S’mores Pie
- 1 Graham cracker pie crust (premade, or your favorite recipe!)
- 3/4 cup Sugar
- 3 tbsp Flour
- 1/2 cup Cocoa
- 2 tsp Chai Confection (from Spice Tree Organics)
- 1/8 tsp Salt
- 2 Eggs
- 3 cups Milk
- 2 tbsp Butter
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- Marshmallows (as many or as little as you want!)
- Add the pie crust to a deep pie dish and squish it down with your hands or the bottom a of a measuring cup so that it covers as much of the pan as possible. If you bought a preassembled graham cracker crust, more power to you.
- In a medium pot, mix the sugar, flour, cocoa, chai confection, salt and eggs and mix until combined.
- Slowly stir in the milk, and heat on medium high heat, stirring constantly until it reaches a boil. This'll take about 10-15 minutes. Once it's reached a boil, remove it from the heat and add the butter and vanilla.
- Pour the pudding into your pie shell (no need to pre-bake), and cover the surface with marshmallows. You can use as many or as few as you'd like.
- Broil on high heat for about 4-5 minutes, or until the marshmallows are nice and toasty. Then transfer to the fridge for about 4 hours, or overnight.
And that’s it. A simple recipe for a decadent summer treat. Thank you again for enduring my schpeal, and for stepping up to be actively anti-racist. We all (myself included) have a lot of work to do here. And if you’re not about doing the work or acknowledging racism, or are just unabashedly racist, you can save your heated comment for someone who cares. I’m not here to build a community of racists.
Finally, if you make this pie, let me know in the comments or on Instagram! I always love hearing from you.