onions galore

Humble. Lovely. A pungency like no other. When I go for a walk around the neighborhood in the evening, I can tell the families that are cooking, from the smell of onions simmering in oil wafting out from the windows.

The way the papery sheath yields slightly tougher skin, and the tender flesh beneath it? Well, it has become such an overused metaphor for human learning or loving or the complexity of a situation that I cannot write it down.

It probably took less time to grow these onions from start to our kitchen table than a snowy day in Iowa in January 2007 until this evening…..

I can’t do it. I can’t write a post on onions tonight.

You see, I have been refraining. I have been biting my tongue and deleting the words when they fall in a mad dash onto the screen from my fingers. I’ve been working hard not to turn this food blog political.

But it doesn’t feel honest to write a little rhapsody about onions when I can think of little else but the election. For almost two years, I have been reading and following, listening to speeches and dreaming of a future for my daughter with one person as president. Need I say who? Look, I’m a woman with the word yes tattooed on my wrist. It should be pretty obvious that I’m wild about the man who says yes we can.

For weeks — really, for months — I have been jittery and twittering, wishing and worrying, talking to everyone I know, and sometimes launching tirades into the air as the Chef and I drive around, Little Bean asleep in the back seat. I have never seen an election like this in my lifetime. Somehow, tonight feels like the night before Christmas.

And not just because it looks like my team might win. (It does feel like a sporting event sometimes, the way these silly things are run.) It’s more because there were lines of people waiting ten hours to vote in Atlanta this weekend, because people are talking about issues in broad strokes about how this country could be run, because there’s a palpable feeling of being involved these days. We’ve lived in apathy too long in this country. Something is starting.

Like onions simmering. The very act of putting onions in the pan can lead to something extraordinary.

So I hope that you take the time to vote tomorrow. We can all participate in this together. No matter how you vote, please do.

Perhaps, like us, you’ll be cooking tomorrow, to share food with friends through this incredible day. We’re making six recipes from our cookbook. Life goes on, no matter what happens. By the time our book comes out, in February 2010, whoever will be elected tomorrow will have been president for a year. Who knows where we will be by then?

I know, without a doubt, that the food we eat on this complex, historical, enormously important day? It will probably start with onions.

91 comments on “onions

  1. HouseBear

    Well said from one YES girl to another!! Onions do seem to be THE metaphor for life but please don’t forget the garlic…wow onions and garlic sauteing..that just does it for me!!

  2. linuxgrl

    Well said Shauna! I can’t wait to cast my vote tomorrow and help change history. I am SO excited!

  3. Tiara

    I’m glad you didn’t force yourself to delete those words today. Posts written from your heart are what bring us here to read your words time and time again.

    YES, something great is happening and I can’t wait to see where things go from here!

  4. roseymama

    Wonderful post! Excellent metaphor, and I agree–it is hard to think about anything else right now:-)

  5. ana

    That was sneaky!! Starting out with a beautiful picture of onions… waxing poetically about them… and WHAM you change directions! You had me giggling over breakfast 😉
    You’re allowed this ONCE to wax politic, it is a special day but just this once, young lady!!

  6. sari

    yes we can, and yes we will!
    i voted an hour ago and already, the suspense is driving me crazy. i feel like i can not wait a minute more.

  7. Anonymous

    YESSSSSS!! Onions are my all-time favorite vegetable any way you cut it, prepare it, eat it, even for breakfast, which I haven’t had yet since I rolled out of bed at 5:30 to head to our local polling station for an hour wait to vote in lines filled with neighbors and friends in our college town.

    I knew who I would vote for way back at the beginning, but when that music video was produced? I’m a musician and I figured, if people are SINGING about a presidential candidate, he must be pretty special and I’m in good company for sure. Yes, today is a jittery kind of day, and onions are the perfect way to start. Think I’ll go fix me some breakfast.

    Kris in Virginia

  8. sweetpea

    While my girl didn’t make it to the finish line, I am so excited I can hardly stand it. Yes, I think our team might do it. I have been cutting onions for two straight days now as we have 50 coming for our annual election night chili fest. I only stood in line for 30 minutes to vote this morning, not bad. ENJOY THIS DAY.


    Years ago I lived in a cooperative household with friends. One day, as I was chopping onions, my housemate said, “Everything you cook starts with onions!” It’s almost true. 🙂

    I’m delighted that you wrote about the election. I am beside myself with suspense this morning. I soooo want the change that the YES campaign has promised!

  10. Sho

    I always put whole, peeled onions into the crockpot for stews. (Oh, cutting them tears me up!)

    Oh, and the health benefits of onions…

    Yes, we should start the day with onions. We need more breakfast recipes with onions.

    “Power to the People!”


  11. Tall Kate

    Amen! I’m jittering, and excited, and cooking, today. What better use of all that nervous energy?

  12. Rosita

    Very well said…we are also doing onions tonight with lentils and bulgur and on the side confetti kale (hopefully we will be celebrating). Both my sons (3 1/2 and 2) are such supporters of “Yes we can”. I early voted, and my older son still keeps telling me who I need to vote for…I have had to reassure him several times that I did vote for his canidate:-)

  13. Adrienne

    Yes, Shauna! Well said. I voted this morning and had to wait 45 minutes… not bad, but SO inspiring. Hundreds of people in line by 8 am! Goooo team 🙂

  14. Stephanie

    We took my children trick-or-treating, of course, and my son (almost 3-1/2) would step to the door with his bag and proudly sing-song “Trick Or Treat, Smell My Feet, Vote for Obama!”
    The best part? Most people said “Oh, I already did!”

    We’ve been cooking for an election day bake sale, but I am now ready for some savory treats. They say chocolate chip cookies make a house smell like home. But they’re wrong–it’s onions, sauteed in oil just until the first ones turn black.

  15. Gemma

    Well, it’s all everyone over here can think about as well (at least at my work and with my friends) so we’re all keeping our fingers crossed for you. Can’t wait to see the results tomorrow morning (our time), I don’t know how I’ll manage to sleep. Oh and onions, they’re good except when they make me cry so hard it hurts like they did last night.

  16. notoneless

    Onions smell like health to me.

    And regardless of who wins, I am so happy to see people actually VOTING.

    Don’t forget to get a greeting from the new president for the baby! Wait until January (unless you want one from *cough* the current president *cough*…..I’m actually quite fond of his wife, so no disrespect is intended). Then google “greetings white house”. You have one year from her birth to request a greeting from the president and first lady.

    If the winner is who I think it will be, what a gift!! Yes we can!

  17. Nova

    I have hated onions almost all of my life. That is until a few years ago when I stopped eating refined crap and started cooking beautiful whole foods. My new favorite way to feature onions is to caramelize them with some thinly sliced and peeled apples and throw them on pizza with some chicken and my favorite cheeses. I use the namaste crust mainly because it is so easy and my whole family loves it. Mmmm onions…. GO OBAMA!!!!!!

  18. Melissa

    Hell yes! 🙂 Derrick started a stew simmering this morning; onions are perfuming our home too.

    Hugs to you & the sweet baby.

  19. katrinka

    Aren’t we soooo lucky, those of us who have already voted? I feel for everyone standing in a line today. And I couldn’t agree with you more – when I woke up this morning (early!), it really did feel like Christmas.

  20. Anonymous

    I’ve actually been WAITING for you to break. It’s not just our right, it’s our obligation to talk about what we believe in, to help others realize that YES WE CAN (I confess I voted for HRC in the caucus, but am very happy with BHO)change the way things are. It makes an enormouts difference to add your voice, to encourage others to find theirs too.

  21. Lauren Denneson

    I’ve been incredibly irritable lately as I watch the polls and listen to the pundits…I don’t want to get too hopeful for an Obama win and then be terribly disappointed. The thought of a McCain victory is just too infuriating. I, too, let a little politics slip into my blog on my last post (I deleted over half of it before I actually posted it, but some of it remains) – I just couldn’t help it. Good luck in calming those jitters today and let’s hope for a good tomorrow!

  22. LakeRuby

    YES we can! I voted this morning, and there was hardly any wait at all… I was almost dissapointed! Not sure if I’ve ever commented before, but I love your blog and I, too, have the election on the brain. I’ve been trying to concentrate on work, but I keep getting all misty-eyed at the thought of what tommorrow might bring…

  23. Katie

    Wow, this is so ironic! I woke up to a pungent smell of onions this morning. Usually I am the first to get up, but my partner got up early today to work at the polls and decided to make me a breakfast sandwich with lots of onions 🙂 I must have hit the snooze button at least 5 times, but every time I wondered why the house smelled so strongly of onions. Must be an omen that the onion team may be winning today!! Happy election day!

  24. Sally Parrott Ashbrook

    Yes we can! Two hours at the polls in Atlanta this morning for me. (I think all those early voters got the kinks worked out for the rest of us!) For the first time, I felt flutters in my stomach as my turn to vote arrived.

  25. La Niña

    Nervous excitement. We rode the motorcycle to the polls… A new treat for a new future, a new administration, a new chance for real change. We put our “I Voted” stickers on our helmets (me) and jacket back (him) and smiled the whole way home. Now we wait for the news… and we will share the victory (we hope) with you tonight. Can’t wait…

    Go Obama go!

  26. JohannaB

    I was shocked this morning. I got to my polling place and there was no line. I walked right in voted and walked out.

    Now to find some onions…

  27. Sarah

    Dear Shauna,

    I’ve been thinking about your post whilst I’ve been baking a lemon drizzle cake using mashed potato and I think it’s great that you said something about this historical moment. You’re in an influential position and therefore, it’s important that you can use this for good – for positive change – for a yes. Good job! We’ve been following it closely here in the UK and are having a gluten free party whilst watching the coverage. It’s very exciting. I pray for YES.

  28. Anonymous

    It IS a thrilling day… shared with my children as we went to the polls together, as we have since my daughter was born almost seven years ago. I watched as Barack Obama cast his vote, his own daughters watching on, and was moved to tears at the very possibilty that is being offered up today. What an historic moment. I pray that our country is open to the chance to grow together.

  29. china

    I’m one of those people in Atlanta. I stood in line for more than four hours last Friday, waiting to Barack my vote! So nervous to see how things go…

  30. Tuan's Princess

    It’s so important to talk about politics and discuss the issues! I don’t understand the social taboo of the subject. THANK YOU for sharing your opinions!

    Nader ’08

    Now – where are those onions?

  31. Kinderhook

    You put it so well, Shauna. I am so enthusiastic about this man and so excited. We have been volunteering (including a stint at 6:30am today — which is a real stretch for a couple of night owls). We bought the champagne yesterday and other goodies for a little party for two. We are going to celebrate this astounding election. I definitely believe it will happen. It must.

  32. Cat

    OH! As we were going to bed last night I said the same thing- I felt like it was the night before Christmas. Just a few more hours now…

  33. amanda

    I’m in Australia, but this is more than a US presidential election. It feels like this election is like a metaphor for what the world will become. If I had the ability to cast a vote, you can be damn sure I would be voting for change, positivity and hope for the future.

    The whole world is praying America gets it right this time!

  34. Anonymous

    I have a recipe for GF Obama fried onions.

    You take 2 egg whites (the republican kind work best)per sweet yellow onion (I like Walla wallas for this but vidalias are just fine too) and you beat them until they are so stiff they can only squeak for mercy. Add a little cream of tartar and baking soda, just to get a rise out of them. And a smootchie bit of salt for flavor. Otherwise they are pretty bland.

    Then you stir in chick pea flour. Yep. Down to earth, real world chick peas.

    Once you have the right constituency, you dip your rings and fry them up in olive oil. If you like a little ethnic diversity, you can add some spice. I like mine with lots of spice.

    Here’s to a bright and shiny new day tomorrow!


  35. Kate in CT

    I grew up in a nonpolitical family that didn’t even vote until I registered when I turned 18. I used to drive the whole household to the polls to make sure that they voted.

    This year I’m married and living in another town, but I needn’t worry about my parents’ votes. They are SO excited about the possibility of YES that they have been planning the best time to go to the polls for days. I am so proud of them and of everyone voting today!

  36. Anonymous

    I am very sad. This was my favorite website because I love cooking but am also gluten sensitive. I also happen to be a hard working, conservative, republican female. Interesting that you wove your love for Barack Obama into a post on onions. The thing with an onion is that when you slice below the surface it has a way of making you cry. I think a lot of people do not realize that “hope” and “change” are cute ways of repackaging socialism. “Yes we Can”…what exactly? Interfere with the free press? Redistribute wealth? Be careful what you wish for becuse this hope and change will be the death knell to our great, independent land founded on principles of hard work, earning and success.
    I was looking forward to buying the cook book…now I think I will “spread the wealth”…MY wealth, elsewhere. I am sure you will understand…after all isn’t that the change you all believe in?

  37. Anonymous

    Well said! I was moved to tears this morning by the line of people outside my polling station. I saw all ages and races and I didn’t mind waiting in the freezing cold for over an hour to vote. I’m so excited, I can hardly focus on anything else. Go Obama!

  38. Tori

    Just like onions, I’m moved to tears with this election. My first chance to vote was for Kerry and I remember crying for days after the election was over. I’m hoping that we will win this election and if there is a question that Obama will not take it lying down.

    As for the anonymous commenter that has decided to “spread the wealth” elsewhere, she’s fighting a loosing battle. If you stop buying things from people that don’t hold the same beliefs as you do where does that leave us as a country?

    Does she ask everyone if they are a republican before doing business? Sounds more like republican’t. Attitudes like that is how we got into this situation in the first place.

    Thank you for sharing your views Shauna. We all have a voice in this election

  39. Sarah

    Bummer! I thought I would get through ALL of the posts without someone adding something negative. Oh well, to each their own. This gluten free girl WILL be buying the books and looks forward to your posts. You inspire me. (and make me hungry)smile. There is amazing energy in the air in Wisconsin, YES it is a great day!

  40. milhan

    I love onions now! I could never appreciate the beauty of onions until I really started to cook in earnest. I am especially fond of sweet onions. However, I still can’t eat onions raw…blech.

    Unfortunately, I do not share your political opinions – but you can’t have everything! 😀

  41. Marnie B

    Anonymous said…
    I am very sad. This was my favorite website because I love cooking but am also gluten sensitive. I also happen to be a hard working, conservative, republican female. Interesting that you wove your love for Barack Obama into a post on onions. The thing with an onion is that when you slice below the surface it has a way of making you cry. I think a lot of people do not realize that "hope" and "change" are cute ways of repackaging socialism. "Yes we Can"…what exactly? Interfere with the free press? Redistribute wealth? Be careful what you wish for becuse this hope and change will be the death knell to our great, independent land founded on principles of hard work, earning and success.
    I was looking forward to buying the cook book…now I think I will "spread the wealth"…MY wealth, elsewhere. I am sure you will understand…after all isn't that the change you all believe in?

    3:58 PM

    Me too. I couldnt have put his better myself! It's hard enough being a conservative vegetarian (I dont eat meat because I dont like it's texture & it has too much fat), & in addition to being gluten sensitive I'm also sensitive to dairy, eggs, & yeast, & I love to cook too so I'm always looking for good recipes for stuff I can eat. Well, it looks like your candidate will win, so you can be happy about it. I wish I could think of something clever to say like this poster did.

  42. kimberly

    Yes, we did!

    Leeks in tonight’s soup, rather than onions… and more than a few tears shed while watching the returns.

  43. Alison

    Marnie B & Anon

    Should Shauna not express her opinion on her very own blog? Should she not share her real emotions with us? Should she not share what makes her happy?

    Being angry, rude, and mean spirited helps neither you nor the people around you. Shauna has been there for you with good food and good advice, would you really turn your backs on her?

    Shauna – Love ya girl…Yes We Can!

  44. Les

    From another YES girl, I couldn’t be more proud!!! What an incredible night. Thank God for this victory. I can finally stop holding my breath.

  45. Anna Lee

    I am very moved by the passion with which this country has spoken, regardless of sides. My son, now 14, said he can’t wait to be able to vote when he’s 18 at the next election. I am proud to see him taking an earnest interest in his country, and the impact of his voice.

    I adore all aliums! Onions have such a nice family. So versatile and nutritious, with many health and healing benefits. I grew onions for the first time this year. it was so gratifying to have my own picked onions to cook with. Solid, firm, flavorful. Not the blandish mushyish ones that I sometimes get at the grocers. Love a good onion dip with potato chips (1 block softened cream cheese, one cup sour cream, one cup mayo, 1 minced medium walla walla onion, salt and pepper to taste, mix well together, cover, chill, serve with chips or veggies).Tasty.

    BTW I had chills, goose bumps and tears.

  46. Lynn

    I can most definitely say that while I generally enjoy this blog, I did not today. While you can certainly share what you want, I’m not exactly sure why you chose to alienate so many of your readers – because make no mistake there are many of us, who weep over Obama becoming president. And not because we necessarily wish McCain in office. I have never been terrified of a president before (saddened before, yes; angry at before, of course, scared out of my mind – never before). Obama scares me horribly. Sad thing is that so many have screamed for change and grasped at any change they could get. Change does not equal improvement. While I’m sure you’ll simply count all this as the cost of doing business, you can count me in as another who won’t be purchasing your cookbook. I’ll be holding on to as much of my earnings as possible while praying that he won’t allow the killing of full-term babies.

  47. Anali

    I was so excited that I was up at 6:00 am and voted at 7:00am! And we did it! I blog about food a lot too, but I have not been able to keep from talking about politics. So I mix politics and food together. Sometimes you just have to say what’s in your heart.

  48. Ms. Moniker

    Dear gluten free girl,
    we of the world have watched with bated breath (i’m from australia) and watched the news like crazy people to see what is happening. We were so excited that people were having their say, wanting change and now, it has arrived.

    I hope your only tears are from onions, but I doubt that’ll be the case.

  49. Anonymous

    I live in Ohio and you probably heard our scream here when we saw that our state turned blue. I could not be prouder.



  50. Sho

    Buying a cookbook should not be based on sharing the same political views. Does this mean that you would also not buy a cookbook from someone of a different religion? This is a blog, and bloggers express personal views.

    At any rate, my fave breakfast dish with onions was matzo brie with sauteed onions and cheese. Everyone loved it. Now I cannot find a substitute for matza.

    “Power to the People!”

    ~Freedom of the press!


  51. Anonymous

    Come here often, had a feeling you may share in the jubilation!!! Been shedding tears of joy for the past 12 hours. Onions are great, change is greater. The words to the song “Talkin’ about a Revolution” by Tracy Chapman have been running through my head all day. Yes WE did!!

  52. nikkoblue

    Like your anonymous blogger, I too am sad. As a fellow teacher of English who is gluten intolerant, I have very much enjoyed the rhythm of your words and the passion you have for food. I was very disappointed to have this site of harmony and neutrality tainted with political flavors. I do not begrudge you your happiness with the election, but it contrasts bitterly with my own feelings and fears. Our differences are now starkly apparent, the common ground lost. Unlike you, I am gladly working two jobs to keep my two daughters in college. My husband is an officer of a small company that will inevitably shut down because they cannot afford to provide Obama’s $9 minimum wage by 2010 and health care for all their employees. The same will be true for my brother who owns a small restaurant. Obama has great dreams, but they come at great cost for those who are already working like dogs to provide for their families. I love my country, and am intensely proud to be an American, but I don’t expect my country to make everything right for me. Hard work doesn’t scare me, and I don’t need to be rescued. Unlike you, Shauna, my family can’t afford to quit work in order to share morning snuggles and leisurely hours in the kitchen. As you enjoy your precious baby girl, Obama is planning on passing the Freedom of Choice Act which will make any type of abortion at any time a possibility. That’s the kind of thing that I can’t stomach. Ever. I feel worse than if I’d eaten an entire pan of brownies. With gluten. Something delightful for me has been ruined.

  53. Shauna

    The moment in which I wrote this post is now over. It’s the morning after the election, and it’s time to start something new.

    For those of you who felt you found sustenance in this little piece I wrote, I’m glad.

    For those of you who seem to be so bitterly disappointed that I addressed politics at all, I’m sorry that you felt so alienated.

    If you read the post again, I believe you’ll see how restrained the piece is. Believe me, I could have gone on and on, advocating for my candidate. But I did not. Instead, what the piece became — born out of an urgency the night before the election — was a big yes for voting, for advocacy, for people across the country feeling like they were a part of democracy.

    Whoever won, the other side was bound to be disappointed today.

    I so appreciated that Obama quoted Lincoln in his speech last night. “As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, ‘We are not enemies, but friends…though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection.’”

    I write this site because I am moved, every day, by food and the connections it inspires. I am moved by how much more we have in common than our differences.

    But in the end, it is very much a personal site. Whether I write about little kid songs or falling in love, this is the space for my thoughts. And in the end, as a writer, I just didn’t feel honest completely ignoring something that has been taking up a large space in my heart.

    I am sad to see the comments turn so personal, attacks against me. Honestly, I don’t think this is the space to talk about baby killing. And I also don’t feel this is the space for those of you who voted for Obama to turn on those who did not.

    As Senator McCain said in a gracious beautiful speech, and Obama said in his, this is the time for unity. We have so much work to do.

    And this is the last I’ll be talking about politics here.

    If you feel you cannot buy our cookbook when it comes out because we have a different political opinion than you, that is entirely your decision. Too bad, though. The recipes are turning out great.

  54. Erin

    I was so proud when I saw the line around the block and my precinct an hour before the polls opened. Our thoughts and opinions have been disregarded for so long because not enough of us were screaming. I am so proud.

  55. Sho

    I am a registered independent who decided to vote for Obama over the past few weeks. It is not that hard for me to understand why people would vote for McCain. It was not my intent to turn on anyone who voted for McCain. I was merely expressing my views that personal beliefs have nothing to do with a cookbook and everything to do with a blog.

    I read these comments and they appear to be sad, rather than hateful. Yes, and you were very restrained. You did not even mention your candidate’s name. You just linked it.

    Some people are elated today, and some people are sad today. My own 88 year old father told me I was a commi for voting for Obama, and I don’t really care. I do not view his comment as hateful at all.

  56. Sarah

    Honestly, this is such a beautiful post; full of intergrity. I’m sorry for you that it has caused such responses but you have replied with grace, humility and strength.

    We in England are celebrating YES!

  57. La Niña

    Amen Shauna.

    It is so tiring to live in this “us and them” society. Why do we need to divide ourselves by “parties” whether they be political or religious? We are all “people of this Earth.” We are all humans being. We are not our jobs. We are not money. We are not red, blue, purple, green or brown, black or white. Inside our bodies we are ALL the same color.

    We need to be love and tolerance. We need to create warmth, caring and sharing, not tax breaks to hide wealth. We need to feed each other despite our differences. We need to be able to make the right choices for our own souls.

    And… we need to stop being so divided. We need to be open to change.

    Too many out there are sold on fear. It’s time to stop fearing what may or may not happen.

    Don’t believe everything you think.

    Think with your hearts.

  58. Rosiecat

    Gah! A post about onions and there is hardly any onion talk in the comments!

    Interestingly, I waited in line to vote for about an hour yesterday, which is just about the right amount of time (give or take a few minutes) for caramelizing an onion or two. THAT is what I do with my onions 🙂 Does that make me an old-fashioned kinda girl?

    I’m going to sound like a cranky copy-editor here, but your last paragraph is contradictory: you use the phrase “without a doubt” followed by “probably.” It sounds like you can’t make up your mind!

  59. dänika


    This was a beautiful post. And it spoke so much to me, because I have been trying to restrain myself, keep my words and hope and delight from causing division – because oh, it does cause division. Who thought that being happy about your candidate could bring a backlash of such negativity and nasty jabs? I’m so, so tired of it all. I wish people could respect each other, respect opinions and choices that differ from their own.

    I, for one, Shauna, am delighted with the prospect of another book from you.

    I love your honesty and way with words. I truly feel that you and the Chef are a blessing to this world – such a huge, huge benefit especially to those of us who want to eat and live gluten-free and consciously.

  60. milhan

    I apologize. I hope my comment didn’t offend you, it was not my intention. I really believe, as adults, we should be able to respect our differences in opinion. We cannot all agree on everything (besides, how boring would life be if we did!).

    I may not have voted for your candidate, but I will accept and respect him as my President.

    BTW, I am a Democrat – this has been a very difficult election for me.

  61. Amanda

    Kudos to Milhan, for realising that differing political views does not preclude you from appreciating the talents of another human being.

    Shame on those who feel that Shauna’s decision to make brief mention of her political views gives them license to make personal attacks on her lifestyle.

    That’s all.

  62. Anonymous

    I am flummoxed, over and over again, by those whose tolerance for someone with a differing opinion is so thin that they can’t bring themselves to see the commonality of us all. It saddens me and sometimes angers me, despite my best intentions. What is it that is so threatening about the airing of a different opinion? There is no implied threat in Shauna’s words (nothing like the over threat of “if you aren’t with us you’re against us”, to be sure) — just what I would expect from a writer who clearly lives her life joyously and openly and embracing change and all that life has to offer. I am startled that someone can appreciate your writing, Shauna, and all that you discuss, but then draw the line abruptly at this. Keep talking — it is our silence that gave us the last eight years. Someday they will see that we really do share so many of the same values.

  63. springazure

    Please, to those who have written of sadness and fear, I respectfully invite you to hold your judgment until you see what actually happens in the next term. I am certain that many of your fears are unfounded. Although some policies may change in the new administration, some that you might not agree with, I truly believe that our next president will have your interests at heart every bit as much as he has the interest of those who voted for him. We have elected a decent, honest man, and that speaks well of us as a country.

    Senator McCain’s concession speech was a class act that deeply impressed me with its generosity and open-heartedness. I wept while listening, because there wasn’t even a slight tinge of bitterness in his words or tone. I could not have done that. My hope is that we can all learn from him how to move forward with grace and without regret, and find the common ground that unites us, rather than the ways in which we are divided.

    May we all be well fed and free from fear.

  64. Anonymous

    Not that I’m surprised but I am disappointed.
    I wish you had refrained. But it’s a free country and this is your blog. I just like reading about food. I get hit with everyone’s political comments all the time and think, maybe I can just read about food.
    I’m sure lots of people will think I’m being too “thin skinned” (see, I’m keeping with the theme!) but I just wanted to read about gluten free food. Sigh.

  65. Ann

    YES! Hello again from Cameroon. My goodness, the world was truly watching this election, regardless of time difference. I stayed up all night, and heard cheers at 5:00am local time, when the final projection/ announcement was made. Later this morning at the busy downtown market (I was buying onions, among other things), one name was on everyone’s lips. As with cutting onions, there were tears. Such waves of hope and joy and optimism here. YES!

  66. celeste

    i just kept kissing our son’s face and telling him the world just got a whole lot better after 8 *long* years of hatred and fear (unfortunately capped off with the narrow margin of prop 8 winning in California – never will understand that fear and hatred).

    a new day today. hope filled.
    now we roll up our sleeves and really get to work.

  67. Tori

    I didn’t leave my comment as an attack but more as a statement on what I’ve been seeing everywhere. Yesterday I saw a McCain supporter accost a woman in an Obama shirt at Ikea. I’ve watched news stories of small children being denied candy at Halloween because of their parents political standing. I feel like this division has gone too far.

    I was sad when McCain gave that wonderful speech last night only to be greeted with boos every time he said Obama. At this point in time we all have to stand together, no matter who the president is. I feel like the joy that comes with watching Obama become president also comes with the sadness that this election inparticular has left our nation completely divided.

    I have read more hateful words in the past 15 hours then I ever did before the election ever happened. I’m hoping tensions will calm in the coming months and our man will win over the other side. These rough waters will lead to calm seas if we can just all stay in this boat together.

  68. Bear and Bones Mama

    YES YES YES WE CAN!!!!! Thank Buddah, it’s the new dawn! I cried last night, and I’ve been swelling all day. I’m so happy.

  69. Lisa K

    I am a Canadian addict of this site and all the beautiful words and thoughts and recipes that I read here weekly.
    It is amazing to me how a personal political view equates to mean spirited comments and refusing to buy your much anticipated cookbook – a cookbook that will be filled with delicious, well thought out, well tested recipes that will be enjoyed by democrats and republicans alike. Do those who are signing off and keeping their hard earned money to spend elsewhere going to check with everyone they give their money to their political allegiance? Do they know the political preferences of all the authors of all the cookbooks, magazines, websites, that they read? How is freedom of speech and inclusion and home of the free and the brave realised when a personal blog creates such close minded, negative comments? Senator McCain was very gracious and proud and dignified in his speech – prepared to respect and serve his country under the new administration – a lesson to be learned by all.
    Thank you Shauna and Chef and Little Bean for so openly sharing your life with us and for taking such care and dedication with your recipes so that those of us who love GF food can have a palate that screams “Yes”!

  70. Miss Pants

    No need to read this blog for a recipe or two. There are bookstores, libraries and recipe sites enough for that.

    What draws us back, week after week, is the “voice” that sings from the heart of a life lived with both grace and gratitude.

    We are allowed, certainly, to disagree with any idea expressed at Gluten Free Girl. Discourse is, no doubt, good for the soul.

    But to reprimand Ms. Ahern for expressing what is in her heart?
    At best it is simply bad manners. At worst it is the manifestation of a choking fear – one that allows us to easily dismiss those with whom we do not agree.

  71. Lori L.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the election. I know some people seek out refuge in non-political blogs, but an expression of one’s thoughts and ideas, versus coersion, is always welcome in my book. God bless 🙂

  72. Anonymous

    A lovely post and as a Canadian living in the USA for the first time, I can tell you it was something incredible to hear the room I was in explode with joy because it was my joy and my country’s joy too…I think it was the sound heard and spread around the world…and perhaps we can also remember the ideas in his words: we may not like everything he does because government cannot do everything and hence it is our responsiblity in our day to day lives to bring about the changes we need.

    But I think the line between personal blogging and the political is not so clear, not so obvious, especially when it comes to food. Every part of our lived life is political whether we name it so or not, the choices we make, the things we buy, the places we live. To place the political on one side and our lives on the other is to deny the forces that act on us and through us everyday. I think that to speak up and to talk about the political, conscious of the effects and without expressing aggression or anger or hostility is an act of courage. The kind of act that we need more of in the world.

  73. Sue-Ann

    Carol Ann Duffy in her poem Valentine wrote
    “I give you an onion.
    It is a moon wrapped in brown paper.”

    Congratulations on your new president – the rest of the world is rapt and amazed and proud that you voted in Obama. Here in England it all happened in the wee hours of the morning and I felt sick with apprehension as I went to bed…but what joy and relief when I heard the news on the radio in the morning. Yes, hooray! well done.

  74. Francesca

    I love reading this site and checking in as I get adjusted to living with celiac. Reading this post just added to that. I also loved the “shout out” to Lincoln in Obama’s acceptance speech. It is a great reminder to us that our nation as been through worse experiences and survived.
    It was amazing to vote for someone I was excited about.

  75. smartcookie

    Have I told you I am in love with your blog. Thank you for sharing all your thoughts and recipes and adventures…

  76. Anonymous

    Yeaaaaaaaaah! I feel like I could smile for years to come and that a great weight is lifted off my shoulders. Finally.


  77. The Giraffe Head Tree

    “Like the night before Christmas!” I’ve been trying to describe the feeling I had on election night and that’s absolutely perfect. Like the night before Christmas. I’m so excited about the future of our country, and about this man, his family, everything, all of it. YES WE CAN!!! (…yes, we DID!)

  78. Littles

    Wow, some of you are really representing your party well. Enough said.

    I am elated about our new president elect!

    Shauna, let me say how happy I am that Danny can get out of the kitchen to spend time with his family, raise his daughter and work on your new book.

    Unless you are a chef or have lived with a chef I don’t think anyone gets how intense and hard the work is. 80 hour weeks in a sweltering box where the dance with perfection and critism is nonstop. In your head, on the floor, in the papers. That’s when you aren’t unclogging the toliet and fixing the ice machine while the dishwasher walked out and left you with a sinkful. Or something.

    To imply that Danny is now living a luxurious and lesiurely life kind of negates the hard work he’s done to get to this awesome place where he can slow down a little and work on something else.
    Because we all know that raising a child is a piece of cake.:)

    Shawna, I’m not gluten free. I read your blog because you write about creating impecible recipes, weaving your life, thoughts and feelings between the lines. So well done.

    I’m so glad you gently intertwined your political views. How couldn’t you?

    My republican friends are sad. Time will make it better. I’m glad I have them to discuss opposite views with, it makes my opinions stronger.


  79. Anonymous

    I wish we could leave politics out of some places and I think a blog about food is the perfect place to do that. I’m glad your excited and happy about the election – me not so much. I just like to hear about how you write about food, because you do it so well.

  80. BealcA's Pad

    housebear has it right, onions and garlic sauteing sounds so wonderful, and I am thankful for those friends that grow the garlic and onions as my green thumb is a brown one sometimes.

    The election turned out the way I voted except for 1 person in my state that I had voted for didn’t make it.

    How is Little Bean, how I love to read about her. I have been remiss lately and too busy for my own good at times or so my stepdaughter Mary tells me.

    Well, the gluten-free recipes are getting to be more on so many sites. I was on one that they were putting in recipes for the upcoming holidays and I read then and told them they sounded good except for those of us who are gluten intolerant. Well, by the next day they had put in a whole bunch of recipes that were gluten-free. HeeHee! It pays to speak up I guess.

  81. Stephanie

    One more Onion recipe!!! Did you know that dhosa batter makes an absolutely amazing batter for onion rings?! Sourdough-ish, chewy, crunchy, and just plain amazing with onions. And made from lentils & rice!

    We actually first just were making dhosa and I was in the mood for fried up onions (my Grandma Lucy's kind, not onion rings). So we filled our dhosa with them.

    A few days later, thought of batter. YUM! It was pretty good on okra, too, though not quite cornmeal…


    (and, Shauna, please write about whatever moves you. We love it!)

  82. Shauna

    I promised myself I would publish every comment that came in to this post, after I started realizing how upset some people were.

    I really believe the conversation, when conducted with courtesy and common sense, is the point. Not winning or convincing, but listening.

    We are so much more alike than we are different. Political seasons seem to exaggerate our arguments. I’m hoping that we can all breathe and be together again.

    And so, I wanted to publish everything. What I have published here felt important. I wanted you all to be heard. Thank you, all of you, for every comment.

    But it feels like time to close the comments now. The moment has passed. And some of the comments and emails I have been receiving have been so personally hateful and ugly that I have not felt it right to publish them.

    This has grown much bigger than this little post of the moment deserves. There are so many places to comment on politics on the internet. Not here, anymore.

    Thank you for the conversation. Now, let’s talk about gratitude instead.

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