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Kamala Harris: Cooking & Politics - Both have a Place in her Heart

Kamala Harris proves what many women already know: They can have strong opinions about turkey brining and tax reform, and they can toggle from one to the other without missing a beat.

kamala-harris-cooking | kamala-harris-cook | cooking-with-kamala-harris


A little fact that you may not know is that Kamala Harris loves cooking and comes from a long line of expert cooks. She fell in love with cooking as a child. Her mother, a cancer researcher and civil rights activist, would wake up on weekend mornings and get a head start on dinners for the rest of the week: meal prep, before it was a Pinterest buzzword.

“As a child, I remember hearing the pots and smelling the food, and kind of like someone in a trance, I would walk into the kitchen to see all this incredible stuff happening,” Harris says. “My mother used to tell me, ‘Kamala, you clearly like to eat good food. You better learn how to cook.’”

So Harris did, from her mother, of course, who had moved to the United States from India in her 20s, and from the woman whom Harris calls her second mother, who lived down the street. One of Harris’s earliest “little specialties,” as she puts it, was scrambled eggs, which she perfected around the third grade and liked to top with cheese cut into the shape of a smiling face.

So what's a typical meal you would expect to be served by the Elect Vice President? Whole roasted chicken most frequently comes up in interviews as her go-to specialty.

She prepares it a day ahead, by rubbing a mixture of lemon, herbs, and seasonings under the skin, then lathers the skin with butter and lets it rest in the fridge for a day before slow-roasting it for dinner.

But her chefy savviness really shines through when she explains she'll use the bird for leftovers until every piece has been put to good use—she'll make chicken salad with leftover meat, while the carcass is slow-cooked with root vegetables for a delicious broth. The art of cooking once and eating twice (or three times) is surely something she learned from her mother, who meal prep on the weekend before meal would prep was a thing.

Another thing she loves to prep ahead? Beans! She uses dry beans and soaks them overnight to get that perfect pot of beans the next day. Then she gets creative, "I've done hummus. I did red beans and rice recently, which was so good. I like black beans too. You can do so much with beans."

Does it matter that Kamala Harris embraces cooking? It does to many working women who have to juggle work and home. She shows that she is a full person, with a full life, and not the stale idea of a woman achieving at work and giving up on having a family life, or having a vibrant family life and a stunted career.

Kamala is cooking up more than just dinner; she is representing working women as they actually are, and in doing so, inspiring so many to think bigger about who they could be.

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