White and Dark Chocolate Blood Orange Cookies & Same Sex Marriage

by Irvin on May 10, 2012 · 104 comments

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I had another post ready for today. Or, more truthfully, I had written part of one that I eventually abandoned because things have shifted in the past few days in ways that made me realize I needed to write about something different. Part of it was the death of Maurice Sendak, someone who I always admired but never realized how much until he passed away. Part of it was the passing of Amendment 1 in North Carolina, enshrining in their state constitution a ban on same-sex marriage. And part of it had to do with President Barack Obama finally, officially, stating that same-sex couples should be able to get married. It’s been an emotional Space Mountain rollercoaster for me, up and down, and all I can do is just munch on these White and Dark Chocolate Blood Orange Cookies and ride it all through, hoping the endorphin rush helps sustain me until I see the light at the end of the dark tunnel.

I baked these cookies on Saturday for a picnic I was going to the next day up in Napa with a bunch of friends. It was a gorgeous day, warm and sunny, with friends and loved ones all lazing about, enjoying the company of each other, sharing food, giggling and grinning at practically everything and nothing at all. It’s the sort of day that you never want to end, the sort of day, when it does end, you sigh contently and say “that was practically the perfect day” even though you don’t quite remember any one detail that can stand out, making it perfect. The sun, the rolling grassy green hills, the laughter and the strolling around looking at whatever there is to look at all contributed to the perfection, but it was never the one element, but a product of the whole that created bliss.


AJ and I admiring the bucolic scenery.

Then the week started and reality set in. I came down with some sort of bug that waylaid me in bed and when I finally came around to checking into the virtual world of Twitter, I found out that Maurice Sendak has passed away. That man who wrote Where the Wild Things Are and In the Night Kitchen was no longer in this world, passing on to the next one. I grew up with his books as a kid and learning that he was gay a few years ago made his magical world all the more rich and extraordinary in my eyes. I can’t place why that is specifically, other than that tidbit of knowledge of who Sendak was made me understand more about what his stories were about. Escaping into fantasy and dreams and trying to express childhood anger, all in the hope of earning love and acceptance all seem to make more sense when viewed through gay glasses. I was immensely sad when I found out that Sendak never told his parents about his relationship with his partner, a relationship that lasted 50 years. I can’t imagine what it would be like to not be able to share the love I have with my partner AJ to my parents. To have to hide that love for a lifetime, talk about an unbearable burden.


Picture by Kate Hiscock, licensed by Creative Common Attribution 2.0

Which is why it hit doubly hard for me, when North Carolina’s Amendment 1 passed the following day. For 60% of the voting population of that state to institutionalize, in their constitution, a ban on not only same-sex marriage but domestic partnerships or civil unions sadden me. Sadden and made me furious. I felt sick, and not just from my illness, but emotionally and spiritually too. How could people vote to take away people’s right to visit each other in the hospital if someone was dying? Vote to take away health insurance for their partners and their kids? Vote to take away any legal recourse they have if their partner dies and their estranged family who they hadn’t talked to in twenty-five years tries to take their house and all their joint finances? Granted, those rights weren’t in place, not yet, not there in North Carolina, but 60% of the voting public there made sure that a minority population wouldn’t ever get them. I felt deep shame for that 60%. Fear is never a pretty thing to look at, and fear is exactly what drove Amendment 1 to pass. Fear of what? Two people who love each other living their lives together? Such a scary thing, love.


I know. The image of this scares people.

And then, like the rainbow after the storm, President Obama announced the following day that he had finally evolved on the issue of same-sex marriage. And though some people tried to makes politics of it, it didn’t matter to me. One of the most powerful people in the world finally said that he thought it was ok if AJ and I got married. I didn’t think it would affect me as much as it did, but somehow, it got to me. And hopefully it will get to others as well. Because what President Obama did was tell people across the nation, and across the world really, that it’s OK if you are gay. Gay and lesbians couples are real relationships. You won’t grow old and die alone. Trust me, as someone that grew up being told by everyone that this is what would happen to me if I was gay, this is a huge deal. Huge.

Here’s the thing: right now AJ and I are not married. People ask me all the time if we are or if we plan on getting married. There are many reasons why we aren’t. Not a single one of them has to do with us not loving each other or not wanting to get married. Sure we could have a ceremony, invite our family and loved ones to watch us make vows to each other. And yes it would mean something. But it wouldn’t be legal, not yet anyway. A few years ago, in that magical year of 2008, for nine months in California, marriage was legal, and we contemplated running out and getting married. But we decided that we didn’t want to get married on a deadline. We didn’t want to plan a wedding in less than nine months, when the rest of the world gets to plan their wedding in however long they want to take. We attended a few weddings during that time, saw many friends run off to the city hall to get married and all the while we said to each other, we’ll wait and see. And then Proposition 8 passed and our rights were taken away.


AJ and I hiking on Mt. Haleakala. Such the threat to society.

AJ and I do want to get married. We want to get married once, and do it properly. Friends and family flying in. Tears flow during the ceremony (I don’t want to, but I’ll know I’ll get hysterically choked up while saying my vows, trust me on this). Laughing and cry, sometimes both at the same time. Friends getting insanely drunk. Giant slices of cake being eaten, maybe even an overwhelmingly large dessert buffet table to go along with it. And yes we want it legal. We want that document with our signatures on it. We want the government sanctioned binding contract. We don’t want to be the couple who had four weddings: a spiritual commitment ceremony, a domestic partnership, a wedding in Canada, and finally a wedding here in California (yes we know someone who did all four of those). We want one big blow out. Also, we can’t afford to throw four weddings. Heck we can’t even afford to throw one right now. But we want the option at least to throw one.

We’ll get there. It’s clear that is where history is heading, where the opinion polls are moving toward. Since last year, the majority of Americans now favor legal gay marriage. When the word “marriage” is taken out of the question asked in the polls the numbers jump to 64% who want legal recognition of same-sex couples. History is on the side of progress, and it will happen. But I’m getting impatient and we all know life is short. I know two awesome gay blogger friends getting married this year alone, they aren’t waiting for the government. Part of me thinks AJ and I shouldn’t wait either. But we’ve waited this long. I only hope we don’t have to wait much longer.


AJ holds out a platter full of white and dark chocolate blood orange cookies.

I’m blessed that I live in a bubble here in San Francisco. Gay marriage is a bit of no brainer for most people in the city. None of my friends even consider it an issue of any sort, and many of them (usually my straight ones) actively campaign and support the marriage equality cause. A lot of them were with AJ and I on our picnic in Napa, lounging away, in bliss and ignorance of all that was to come this week. We enjoyed each other’s company, as friends do, nibbling on BBQ and cookies. Some of those friends were married. Some weren’t. I can’t image our day would have been any different if AJ and I were married as well. And I can’t imagine 60% of the population of North Carolina’s day would be any different if we were married either. I can only hope that with President Obama’s announcement, and the slow shifting of the American public opinion, soon it won’t make a difference for anyone. Soon no one will have to go their entire life without being able to share their love with their parents like Maurice Sendak did. One day this whole same-sex marriage issue will be a sad little chapter in a history book. But until that day comes, I’ll be eating these cookies, staring intently ahead, looking for that light at the end of the tunnel and riding the ups and downs of the personal-turned-political debate, clinging tightly to AJ for support.

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{ 104 comments… read them below or add one }

Dave M. May 10, 2012 at 5:35 am

As a current NC resident, it has been quite a rollercoaster for us too. Polling before the election showed that opinion on the amendment was more mixed (near 50-50), but the rural areas of the state got their vote out, some counties going as high as 77% in favor of the amendment. After all of that, it was good to read this post and see the pictures of you and AJ. I’m glad to hear that my boyfriend and I aren’t the only ones waiting (im)patiently to get hitched. Let’s hope that Obama’s support starts to push things in the right direction.


Irvin May 10, 2012 at 1:58 pm

I’m sorry about how it all went down in your home state, and can only empathize, as I went through it with Prop 8 back in 2008. I too hope Obama’s support is the tipping point.


Arthur in the Garden. May 24, 2013 at 5:49 am

Yes, Here in North Carolina the vote on the amendment was sad but I feel in Raleigh that hasn’t stopped us from doing anything different. Its a pretty liberal city. I still hold hands with my Andy walking down the street! 🙂


Karla May 10, 2012 at 5:59 am

Great post! I’m glad that you have AJ to cling to for support–but just know that there are many people out there (me included) that will continue to support and fight for the rights of everyone to be able to be married. BTW, the Maurice Sendak interviews on “Fresh Air” brought me to tears…did you get a chance to listen?


Irvin May 10, 2012 at 2:02 pm

I’ve listened to a number of Sendak interviews, but I’m not sure if I’ve heard that specific one. I’ll have to track it down and listen to it. I do love “Fresh Air”.


Janeen May 10, 2012 at 6:41 am

You two are adorable. I love your stories and the different point of view I get from reading them. The outcome in NC was unbelievable but I believe a lot of that has to do with ignorance. Keep the faith.
[P.S. I like the baked goods too. Thanks for the refernces for substitutions on hard to find ingredients. I am definitely not that smart.]


Irvin May 10, 2012 at 2:04 pm

Thanks Janeen! I agree. I think ignorance is a huge factor.

On another note, I actually use a lot of hard to find flours, so I try to put in substitutions for people. I’m lucky I have a grocery store with an amazing range of alternative flours (over 30!) in their bulk bin. I can buy a little at a time to play with them.


Laura May 10, 2012 at 6:50 am

I can only explain it with ignorance, which is taught. If you look at young children, they are not judgmental, they play with kids of all colors, age, and appearances, they don’t judge people for what they wear or how they look. Then they are slowly taught by their parents, and the media what is “acceptable” and they become discerning and choosy, and in some cases racists and homophobic.

Obama was really gutsy for his statement, sadly I wonder how that will play in the elections, he already had the votes of gay people most likely, I wonder whether he is going to lose the votes from religious zealots now.

You are lucky to have the support of your family, I heard Maurice’s interviews on Fresh air and it was so sad to hear about his awful childhood.


Irvin May 10, 2012 at 2:08 pm

I’m curious as to how things will fall for Obama as well. He may lose votes from the religious zealots, but in truth, I don’t know if he had those votes to begin with.

What is interesting is Obama statement seemed to have become a rallying cry for both the gay community, and the younger generation, who spontaneously donated over a $1million in the 90 minutes after he made his announcement. I can only hope that it continues, and reinvigorates his base.


Lori @ RecipeGirl May 10, 2012 at 6:51 am

Man, what a subject. The whole debate about same sex marriage just seems ridiculous to me. Hopefully one of these days the vast majority of people will realize that it really is okay and normal. I love you for being so open in writing about it and send you big wishes for a long and happy life (married or not) with AJ. And hey, your cookie flavor combo is fabulous 🙂


Irvin May 10, 2012 at 2:10 pm

Thank you so much Lori! It was one of those topics that I wasn’t planning on writing about here on this blog, but with everything that went down, I couldn’t ignore it. Your wishes mean the world to me.


Lora May 10, 2012 at 7:26 am

Beautifully said!


Irvin May 10, 2012 at 2:12 pm

Thank you Lora!


Andrew May 10, 2012 at 7:55 am

Thank you, Irvin, for writing so eloquently about this.

Yesterday was one of those momentous, life-changing days which I’ll remember where I was and what I was doing at the exact moment I got the news. Unfortunately for my dentist, he’s now inextricably entwined in this moment.

I’ll cheer you two on whenever, wherever you finally decide to tie the knot, whether it’s legal or not, whether it’s your first wedding or your fourth.

And I’ll be first in line at that giant dessert table.


Irvin May 10, 2012 at 2:14 pm

Awww. Andrew. Your dentist huh?

I’m just sad I can’t be there for your wedding. I’ll be sure to have something unprocessed at my wedding dessert table for you . 😉


Kate May 10, 2012 at 7:56 am

Please don’t mistake the outcome in North Carolina for an actual representation of a fair fight between equal groups and an expression of the views of the majority of citizens of North Carolina. Consider that the pro-amendment, anti-rights groups spent almost $2.3 million dollars on their campaign (equal to about $2 per vote), while equal rights groups spent a mere $80,000 (about $.10 per vote). And a grand total of 1.3 million people voted to restrict marriage – out of a total of 6.1 million registered voters. I hardly call that the voice of the people speaking. Roughly 5 million people failed to make their voices heard, and I blame them.


Irvin May 10, 2012 at 2:35 pm

Thanks for clarifying that Kate! I think a lot of people try to blame the entire state, when really, it’s a vocal minority. What’s sad is that the majority of Americans now support same-sex marriage. But just because they “support” it doesn’t mean they are motivated to go out to the polls and vote for it.

I actually tried to be very specific when I wrote my blog post that it was 60% of the voting public, which, as you stated is a fraction of the population. I can only hope it’s a wake up call for people.


Kate May 10, 2012 at 2:49 pm

Irvin, I loved your post and that’s why I felt compelled to respond. It just really drove home the point for me that it’s not enough that I proudly support my brother and his boyfriend. Our side was vastly outspent in NC — we have to put our money where our values are. And we know from polling that had we actually gotten our supporters to the polling booths, the outcome could have been different. We have to get our people off their sofas, out of their offices, and drag them away from social media for all of 10 seconds so they can do their constitutional duty and VOTE.

It’s not enough to passively be supportive – we have to act and support.


Irvin May 10, 2012 at 3:48 pm

I absolutely agree. I remember being appalled when I heard a friend of mine, a CLOSE friend of mine, didn’t even bother going to the polls to vote in Missouri when they amended the constitution to outlaw same-sex marriage (my home state) back in 2004. It made me realize that it’s not enough to say you support same-sex marriage, you have to rally and go to the polls and get as many people as you can to the polls as well.


shelly (cookies and cups) May 10, 2012 at 7:56 am

I love this post. I love these cookies. Well, I just love you!


Irvin May 10, 2012 at 2:35 pm

And I love you too Shelly!


laura May 10, 2012 at 11:10 am

you happy in-love people scare me! HA!!
this was a great post 🙂


Irvin May 10, 2012 at 2:36 pm

Ha! We all know how you totally scare easily Laura! 😉 Miss you tons. When you heading back down here to SF?!?


Sabrina Modelle May 10, 2012 at 11:17 am

I am in my cube with tears welling up in my eyes and my glasses smudged on the inside from wiping them away. Irvin, I love your cookies, but I love you (and AJ) way more. Thank you for your post and just for being you.


Irvin May 10, 2012 at 2:37 pm

Awww. Thanks Sabrina! I didn’t mean to make you cry. I love you and Josh too. Hope to hang out with you soon.


Brian @ A Thought For Food May 10, 2012 at 11:20 am

My friend,

This was such a beautiful, touching, and thoughtful piece and I am so happy that you have shared it with all of us. I felt the same emotions as you did, with the passing of Maurice Sendak and then the passing of Amendment 1. It was all a lot to take in. However, I can’t say that I am in the remotely same place as you… since Eric and I are married and we are so lucky to live in a state that has made it legal.

The fight was long and hard here. I spent weeks at the Massachusetts State House face to face with the people who were fighting against our civil rights. But instead of yelling, I listened… and sometimes they listened back. My hope is that one day (soon, of course) the majority of the people in this country will listen… and understand. But we still have a long way to go.

Much love, my friend! Feel better!



Irvin May 10, 2012 at 2:45 pm

You and Eric are definitely one of the lucky ones. California had that for the tiny, brief moment. And then it was gone. I look forward to the time when we get it back.

People have asked us if we plan on getting married in Massachusetts, or New York or Iowa. But our friends are out here. Our roots are out here. We can’t imagine doing a wedding anywhere else. And one day, hopefully soon, we will.


Pat May 10, 2012 at 11:23 am

Feeling so much love for you and AJ and feeling hope (at last) for the possibility of change. Please do keep writing about what you feel, Irvin. It matters.


Irvin May 10, 2012 at 2:47 pm

Thank you Pat. You’ve been a huge part of getting me back to writing, and I can’t thank you enough.


Heather | Farmgirl Gourmet May 10, 2012 at 11:29 am

I know we’ve never met (hurry Monday) but I love you Irvin. I love what you stand for, your passion – everything about you. I can never wrap my mind around why anyone would care who marries who? We are ALL humans and we should have the right to do what we want with our lives and marry who we want to marry. I am sick that NC would make such a stupid decision. Just sick. I guess the bright side is that you don’t live in that state. Thanks for posting this. It was a fantastic read and the cookies…well, those look scrumdidlyunctious! I can’t wait to meet you!



Irvin May 10, 2012 at 2:49 pm

I can’t wait to meet you too Heather! Isn’t it funny how we get to know each other virtually, but haven’t met in real life? Ah the internet…

And yes, I can’t really wrap my mind around why anyone would care who marries who either. I really can’t.


Jenni May 10, 2012 at 11:30 am

I’m so glad you wrote this, Irvin. You know how I feel about the issue, just from our brief, hope-tempered-with-worry twitter conversation on Tuesday before the results came in. A couple of notes from NC: Only 30% of the voting public even showed up (a record, by the way. Apathy much, folks?), and of that 30%, 60% voted yes. It seems a landslide, but in reality, only 18% of the voting public was for this awful amendment. It doesn’t change the end result, but please don’t think that 2/3 of the voting public in NC doesn’t want you to get married. In reality, 70% of the people just didn’t care enough one way or the other to get up off their stupid…couches…and vote.

Many, many people here were saddened, disappointed and angered by the results on Tuesday. Hell, my husband said, “Great. Now we have to move.” Here’s my take. Apparently, the Republicans wanted the vote on Amendment 1 to happen in November. Along with the presidential election. To re-elect a now-out-in-the-open proponent of gay marriage. There are many, Many socially conservative but otherwise politically liberal folks living in this state, and yes, many of them are black and go to huge churches where their pastors are telling them to vote For the amendment. NC was a pivotal swing state in the 2008 election when we, thankfully, voted for Obama, a guy who was all about civil unions but no gay marriages. Now, 4 years later, can you imagine what would happen when the very large socially conservative/politically liberal voting block in NC shows up at the polls in November confronted with the choice of voting for an amendment defining marriage as existing ONLY between a man and a woman and voting for a president who has come out in favor of gay marriage? NC is all of a sudden a red state. Having the vote in May effectively takes the issue off the table. They can say “Hey, it’s illegal here in our Fair State, so I can vote for Obama and our marriages will stay holy.” (or whatever the thought process is). Since the ban on gay marriage is a fait accompli, for now, it is a non-issue in November.

This is not over. There are plenty of people here who are already talking how to fix this. It is not over. As a North Carolinian, I am totally with you and with my many North Carolinian friends who just want to get married. And can’t. Yet. This is not over.

And I cried when I heard about Maurice Sendak. What a talent.

Thank you for the cookies.

Love to you and to your Beloved.

You might find this blog refreshing and smart. It’s written by a progressive Presbyterian minister in Greensboro, NC. He’s the kind of Christians that Christians should be. And he’s starting a movement. Take a look. http://www.thegodarticle.com/allall.html And follow him on twitter if you want. @MarkSandlin


Irvin May 10, 2012 at 3:05 pm

Oh Jenni, thank you so much for your clarification and comment. It’s always so hard to look at the statistics and try to figure what went wrong and what it all meant.

I tried to state in my post that it was 60% of the voting public, which clearly was a small fraction of the state. But I’m glad that people like, people who actually live in the state, not only understand how it happened, why it happened, but are there to help change it back. It will be a hard road, but hopefully it will happen, and happen soon.

Thank for being one of those North Carolinians that voted against the Amendment. And thank you for talking, tweeting and commenting up storm about it. It’s people like you that make me so glad to be part of the food blogging community.


Jenni May 10, 2012 at 3:18 pm

There are many of us, Irvin. Believe me. I have just been looking at the visit NC page on facebook, and I’m just sick. So many people spewing hatred from both sides. “I will nevernevernever visit North Carolina which is obviously the Pit of Hells” crowd in next to a bunch of “Hallelujah, NC is the promised land” posts. And both are so, so wrong. No state, no country, no city, hell, no person should be painted w/just one brush.

This isn’t over. Just as Californians obviously haven’t given up on their state (and their ban actually reversed an okey-dokey, which is a big step further AND 3 years earlier than NC’s A1), we will not give up on ours.

Much love to you and AJ.


Irvin May 10, 2012 at 3:52 pm

California was, in so many ways, a bigger slap in the face because they took away rights, as opposed to just saying people can’t get rights But then I also lived here in California, so it stung that much harder for me. Either way you look at it, both had a terrible outcome.

I agree, you can’t paint any one thing or person with a giant brush. I hope can only hope that you and others like you in NC will put up the good fight and fix what happened. And I’m so happy that you won’t give up.


Jenni May 10, 2012 at 5:07 pm

Count on it. 🙂

Dina Avila May 10, 2012 at 11:30 am

First of all, I absolutely LOVE that photo of you and AJ with the lake behind you and AJ leaning on your shoulder. It’s so beautiful that I admit I got a little choked up.

You’re preaching to the choir here, Irvin, and I don’t think I have much more to add except that I too hope that Obama’s announcement will be the beginning of a shift. I am so effing bored with state-sanctioned hate. Apparently, the civil rights movement means nothing to some people and I fear, in some parts of the country, we’re going backwards at an exponential pace.

Also, did you see the segments with Maurice on Colbert? Really really funny.


Irvin May 10, 2012 at 3:08 pm

Oh Dina. Thank you! I love that picture of AJ and I too. It’s one of my favorites. And I can only hope that Obama is the start of the big shift.

And yes, I saw that Sendak & Colbert piece. Hilarious!


Ralph Sciutti May 10, 2012 at 11:45 am

No Irvin much of your column didn’t say much about food but it sure wove together a handful of topical issues and events into a great blog entry. I only wish I could have been munchin on those cookies while I read your musings. Keep it up


Irvin May 10, 2012 at 3:10 pm

Thanks Ralph! I actually contemplated about giving it another rewrite, so I incorporate cookies and food more into the whole thing and then I thought better of it. It is what it is.

We must get together sometime soon. I haven’t seen you ages. Hope you and the family are well!


Kate May 10, 2012 at 11:52 am

This warms my heart and brings me to tears. Thank you for sharing — so clearly, so honestly — your feelings. I, too, was surprised how much President Obama’s words moved me. I truly hope, and believe, that one day I’ll be telling my children about this point in history and they will be astonished that marriage equality was ever an issue. That will be a good day.


Irvin May 10, 2012 at 3:13 pm

I too can’t wait to tell my children, my nieces and and nephews and my friends’ kids about a time when I couldn’t marry AJ. Something tells me they will give me that astonished look that says both “what the heck are you talking about?” and “man you are OLD”.


Garrett May 10, 2012 at 12:11 pm

Was thinking of making cookies tonight and, so, I will make these. And yeah, I’m going to try and not cry, too. Let’s see how well that works out for me. 😉


Irvin May 10, 2012 at 3:14 pm

I can’t wait. I. Can. Not. Wait.

And if you make these, let me know what you think.


Paula Cecere May 10, 2012 at 12:12 pm

Great post Irvin. This was indeed an interesting week and I really believe we’re heading in the right direction (or, rather, the correct direction!). I’ve enjoyed getting to know you a bit through your blog. Thanks for sharing. See you on Monday!



Irvin May 10, 2012 at 3:15 pm

Thanks Paula! It was definitely an interesting week, and I also believe we heading there. Can’t wait to meet you on Monday!


Kate @ Savour Fare May 10, 2012 at 12:16 pm

I’m still flummoxed that gay marriage isn’t a no-brainer everywhere. I’m hoping California will rectify its issues soon because it’s just irrational. OTOH, I trust that the issue WILL be rectified. You’re right that the President in on the side of history for this one. My best friend is getting married this summer to his partner of 7 years. I’ll be his matron of honor, my daughter (his god-daughter) will be the flower girl. They’re just lucky they live in New York. I hope you and AJ are lucky soon.


Irvin May 10, 2012 at 3:20 pm

Oh how wonderful to a part of their wedding that way! Your friends are lucky to not only live in NY but also have you in their lives. Much love to you and them.


Kelly May 10, 2012 at 12:17 pm

What a touching story on so many levels, and what yummy looking cookies! I for one look forward to the day when all that is required for marriage is a loving commitment between two people.


Irvin May 10, 2012 at 3:21 pm

Thank you so much Kelly! I look forward to it too.


Anjana May 10, 2012 at 12:31 pm

Amazing Irvin. Really well written too – love the way you wove the stories together.


Irvin May 10, 2012 at 3:22 pm

Thanks Anjana! Now if I had figure out a way to weave in the cookie as well. This is a food blog after all. Oh well…


Stephanie, the Recipe Renovator May 10, 2012 at 12:36 pm

Beautiful post from a beautiful person. Thank you for sharing your heart.


Irvin May 10, 2012 at 3:22 pm

Thanks Stephanie! So wonderful to spend some time with you last week.


Jameson Fink May 10, 2012 at 12:36 pm

Great post. Hard to believe that so many people would find photos of you and AJ a threat or something scary.

PS: The cookies look great.


Irvin May 10, 2012 at 3:24 pm

Thanks Jameson! I have a hard time believing photos of AJ and I are a threat either, but apparently some people do. *shrug*


Jill Mant~a SaucyCook May 10, 2012 at 12:47 pm

What a beautiful and heartfelt post. Thank you for sharing so intimately and so eloquently. I too struggle to understand people who would deny others the right to marry and enjoy all of the privileges and responsibility that comes with the certificate. I don’t understand those who state they are opposed to big government yet believe that that same government should have the right to mandate what does or does not go on in the privacy of our bedrooms. Of course, I don’t understand a society that doesn’t believe that all of it’s citizens should have access to health care-but that’s another issue, or is it?
Anyway I would love to chomp on one of your cookies while I ponder your very touching post. I’ll send you one of mine if you send me one of yours!!!


Irvin May 10, 2012 at 3:26 pm

Awww, Jill I would send you one, but sadly there aren’t many left, and by the time it got to you, it would be very very stale (the one or two that is left are a day way from the compost bin).

And yes, the whole “against big government…except when I want big government” thing is completely contradictory. As does the health care issue. I mean who WOULDN’T want everyone to have health care? But that’s a conversation for another time I guess…


Michael Procopio May 10, 2012 at 12:57 pm

I’m glad you two decided to get married without rushing. This way, I have more time to find a stunning outfit that won’t upstage the grooms.

I hope neither of you plan on wearing white.


Irvin May 10, 2012 at 3:27 pm

I don’t think AJ nor I could ever wear white to our wedding, especially after Folsom Street Fair circa 2009. Or was it 2007? They all blur together for me.


Samantha May 10, 2012 at 1:16 pm

Really amazing post. As someone who has never really understood discrimination or why it must exist, I am grateful to stand beside the LGBTQ community and lend my support. Thank you for your heartfelt words.


Irvin May 10, 2012 at 3:34 pm

And thank you for your support behind the LGBTQ community! It’s people like you that rock my world. Truly.


The Wind Attack May 10, 2012 at 2:19 pm

You got me misty eyed too! Especially at the picnic picture with the matching hats.

And I love that you zest the orange into the hot browned butter. I usually brown butter for most all cookies I make, but never thought of flavor infusing it while still hot. Genius!


Irvin May 10, 2012 at 3:35 pm

Awww Andy! It wasn’t my intention to make people teary eyed. But thank you for being moved. And yeah, those matching hats are ridiculous but we love them. We bought them for Hawaii and still use them when the situation is appropriate.

And yes, flavor infusing while the brown butter is hot TOTALLY punches up the flavor. You can really taste the orange in this cookie.


Lauren at Keep It Sweet May 10, 2012 at 2:55 pm

Such a beautifully written post, Irvin. It boggles my mind how people can vote and be against gay marriage for so many reasons. It truly is a selfish way to live life – preventing someone else from living how they should be able to live even though it has nothing to do with them. I know that one day will look back on these debates and the discrimination as a part of history that the country regrets, I just hope it comes soon.


Irvin May 10, 2012 at 3:39 pm

I too hope it comes soon. I can’t wait until that day. Until then, it’s wonderful to know that I have people like you in my corner. Thank you.


Janet Rudolph @ DyingforChocolate May 10, 2012 at 3:07 pm

Love this post.. so from the heart on so many levels. It touched me and probably a lot of people. It’s been a roller-coaster of a week.


Irvin May 10, 2012 at 3:40 pm

It has been a crazy week hasn’t it? Thanks for loving this post Janet. I hope to see you sometime soon at an SF bay area event!


Christine K. May 10, 2012 at 3:33 pm

A beautiful and touching post…I know we live in a democracy and voting on issues is the way things are done, but the idea that people can vote away the rights of people who are “different” than them sickens me. It would be like putting Jim Crow laws to a vote in the 1950s in any number of Southern states — Just because a majority of people “believe” in discrimination does not make it right. I can only hope that (not so many) years from now this will be well behind us and we as a country will look back in shame the same way we do now when we think about segregation. You would have thought we learned something about the evils of institutionalized discrimination by now!


Irvin May 10, 2012 at 3:43 pm

You would think that as a civilized country, we would be against institutionalized discrimination, but then we have things like Amendment 1 and North Carolina happening.

And, on the flip side, we have President Obama coming out and taking a stand, and letting the political chips fall where they do. I hope the time comes sooner rather than later when it will all be behind us.


Christine K. May 10, 2012 at 4:18 pm

I hope so too…and I must say I am proud of the president for standing up on such an important issue in the midst of everything that happened in North Carolina. People need to understand they are citizens of a (relatively) free country and as such have the privilege of voting — a privilege not all people around the world have. And that privilege, that freedom should never be used to restrict the freedoms of their fellow citizens. I want to live in a country where my children (and friends and family, etc. etc.) are free to marry whomever they choose. I sincerely hope you and AJ don’t have to wait much longer and I wish you all the best.


Aimee @ Simple Bites May 10, 2012 at 3:59 pm

Irvin, this was such a moving post, especially hearing you describe your wedding ‘giant slices of cake’ and all. I truly hope you don’t have to wait much longer for that dessert table to become a reality!


Irvin May 11, 2012 at 12:34 pm

Thanks Aimee! I hope I don’t have to wait much longer either. Some people plan their weddings their whole life. I’ve been planning that dessert table!


Kelley May 10, 2012 at 4:12 pm

Thank you for this post Irvin. I admire your prose and I admire your candidacy. As a fellow San Franciscan, it’s true, equality for all is a no brainer. I await the day for when we legally treat everyone the same. And yes, I use your recipes!! 🙂 Your GF lemon pancakes are probably some of the best pancakes I’ve ever had! Guests don’t even think twice about them being GF. Keep on postin’!

Sending a big virtual hug!! (I like hugs)


Irvin May 11, 2012 at 12:36 pm

Oh I’m so glad you liked those pancakes! They’re wonderful aren’t they?

I like hugs too, so hugs from another San Franciscan. It’s been gorgeous here hasn’t it?


Karista May 10, 2012 at 6:13 pm

I just found your blog and your post brought tears to my eyes and tugged at my heart. I wish you and AJ many years of happiness and joy! As you said it will happen someday soon… and now much sooner rather than later.

And I love your blog! Can’t wait to browse. 🙂 Karista


Irvin May 11, 2012 at 12:41 pm

Thanks for finding my blog and taking the time to comment. I too hope it will happen someday sooner rather than later. But I take small comfort in know it will happen eventually!

And have fun browsing. I apologize in advance for my overuse of exclamation points in my earlier posts. I was just REALLY excited about blogging. 😉


Gail May 11, 2012 at 3:50 am

Oh Irvin, I feel so old right now.
30 years ago we had what was considered a ‘commitment ceremony’ that our friends and some family members attended. It was all we could have in those days. Years later we were able to register as domestic partners, which, while not providing any concrete legal benefits for us, did somewhat weave us into the fabric of our community. And, we did ultimately get married 3 years ago, and I did cry hysterically during our ceremony.
What happened in NC is more about the voting process & the shenanigans leading up to voting day than actual core values, I think. More money was spent preaching hate amongst the fire & brimstone troops than was spent rallying the voters who could have overturned this ban. And, of course, there are allegations of voter fraud.
Yet, I’m still hopeful that in my lifetime, I’ll see the federal government say yes to same sex marriage. Then, I won’t have to carry my marriage license with me like I do now when I travel to another state. I won’t worry that if either Jackie or I wind up in a hospital that we have to produce documentation that proves we are like any other married couple and we can make important medical decisions for each other. I won’t have to worry about the inheritance tax we will have to pay when one of us dies; something taken for granted by heterosexual couples.

And, it’s going to happen sooner than we think, Irvin. Look how much has happened in the last couple of years! The momentum is just starting to really build now.

Oh, and your cookies look great, too!


Irvin May 11, 2012 at 12:52 pm

One of these days Gail, we are going to meet in real life and I am going to give you the biggest longest hug in history. True story. It will happen.

I’ve been to those commitment ceremonies back in the day. I remember, and I know they were all we, as a community, had. They were just as important as “other” weddings I went to, and in some ways even more important. They were a celebration of a relationship that society shunned or, at best, ignored. They were a joyous occasion like no other, because they were built on love, and only love, not strict formalities, tradition or obligations to family.

And I am hopeful that soon, in this lifetime, we will see the federal government say yes to same-sex marriage. I know the momentum is starting to build, and I can only hope that President Obama’s statement gets the ball rolling all faster.


Belinda @zomppa May 11, 2012 at 4:48 am

Thank you for this thoughtful post – your honesty is beautiful. I live in NC, right next to the polling headquarters, and it has been quite a fight. The vote underscores the lack of separation between church and state. I can’t wait for you and AJ to have that big blowout party!! I can only imagine all the food…and the joy…and the food. =)


Irvin May 11, 2012 at 12:57 pm

Hi Belinda. I had no idea that you lived in NC. I’m so sorry that your state constitution had to be sullied the way the CA one was with Prop 8.

And yes, I can’t wait to have that giant big blowout party as well! I should start saving up for it shouldn’t I? Hmmmm…


thelittleloaf May 11, 2012 at 5:19 am

Maurice Sendak was wonderful, and such a huge part of my childhood. My big brother was called Max and my Mum made him a special ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ outfit out of furry material!

These cookies look wonderful. Love the combination of chocolates and blood orange flavour.


Irvin May 11, 2012 at 12:58 pm

I love that your brother was named Max and your Mum made an outfit for him. What a magical family you grew up with!


Angie May 11, 2012 at 6:43 am

Very eloquent. And just a note that not all Southerners are as intolerant as North Carolina’s vote suggests. I live in South Carolina and have many friends who support gay marriage, even those who lean slightly toward the right. Thank goodness for an intelligent, thoughtful, compassionate president who isn’t afraid to consider all sides of an issue and then admit publicly that he was wrong. Best of luck to you and AJ!


Irvin May 11, 2012 at 1:04 pm

I would never think that the people who voted for NC’s Amendment 1 represented all Southerners. In truth, as other people have pointed out above in their comments, I don’t even think they represent an accurate slice of what North Carolina is about.

I’ve never been to South Carolina, but I’ve been to Georgia (both Atlanta and Savannah) and experienced nothing but warmth and friendliness there. I actually grew up in Missouri, which isn’t the South, but definitely was influenced by the South and often times culturally aligned itself with the South. I love the South… especially the food. I can count on one hand the restaurants in San Francisco that serves decent grits. It’s sad.


Alison May 11, 2012 at 8:31 am

Such a beautiful, heartfelt post. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with the world (and your recipes). This week was bittersweet, indeed. And as for you and AJ…good things are worth the wait, yes? And what a celebration that will be! Love to you both!


Irvin May 11, 2012 at 1:07 pm

Thank you Alison. It truly was a bittersweet week. I can’t wait to see what sort of celebration we whip up. Hopefully it will happen sooner rather than later… Much love back to you!


Faye May 11, 2012 at 9:16 am

Why am I so emotional this morning? This post literally made me tear up…. I feel like we, as a country, are on the verge of finally making some progress with a President who is willing to say he personally (and I do believe the word “personally” is significant ) believes in same-sex marriage. I’m glad that you were able to share your feelings about this on your blog! The cookies sound amazing and I can’t wait to make them! Yes, there are people out there that make the recipes : ) believe me, I drive home at night wondering the same thing myself….


Irvin May 11, 2012 at 3:48 pm

Thank you Faye. I hadn’t meant to make this post as emotional as it ended up, but many people told me it affected them the same way. But I’m glad it did, because it means people are actually thinking the same thing I am.

Also, I’m glad there are people out there making my recipes. I always wonder about it, as I am such an oddball with my crazy ingredients and wacky flavor combinations…


Faye May 11, 2012 at 10:01 pm

The unique flavor combinations are the best part!!


Shannon May 11, 2012 at 10:47 am

You + AJ = Adorbs!


Irvin May 11, 2012 at 3:49 pm

You + comment = Awesome! Thank you!


Erika May 11, 2012 at 11:21 am

Hi Irvin,
First of all, it was nice meeting you the other day on the SF food blogger bake sale. I’ve wanted to say hi on your blog but just slipped away every time until I read this post.
Having a gay brother myself, It’s something that is very close to my heart and which I totally support in every way. It’s time for Marriage Equality.
People that vote to pass the amendment 1 really need to understand that marriage is not a privilege between a man and a woman, it belongs to all mankind. It’s not man and woman makes a marriage, it’s the relationship, the emotion, the care, the responsibility makes a marriage. So many people shared their vows and yet got divorced, then what were they thinking when they first decided to get married? The meaning of a marriage has been so twisted some way.
I felt genuinely happy for you and AJ and your faith, courage, and strength. What you two have been through is not some regular couple would ever imagine and experience. And I believe what’s between you two is precious and should not be discriminated.
I am putting together my own wedding for this July, and the more I demand or envision what I want for my wedding, the more I realize that I dont really care about all those details, after all it’s just me , him and the life together afterwards.
I like what you said about just wanting one blow out wedding. I will wait together with other people our there, my brother, you and AJ, … for that TIME comes!


Irvin May 11, 2012 at 4:02 pm

Erika it was awesome to meet you at the food blogger bake sale! Thanks for finally commenting on here. I often bounce to people’s blogs and read them and never comment either, so I can relate.

Good luck with your wedding planning. Weddings (and marriages) are just about the celebration of two people’s love for each other. Having helped friends out, and been in weddings in the past, it can be overwhelming to have to plan for them. But in the end, you’re right, it’s just you and him with a life together afterwards.

I hope I get to see you around SF at another event soon! If not, congrats on the wedding!


Ryan May 11, 2012 at 11:38 am

Thank you very much for this post.

It’s been a heavy week. I’ve been more heartened than I have been in a long time, I’ve read some of the most hateful, vitriolic words I’ve ever read, and I’ve been at a loss for words. I think, really, what we’re seeing this week, with President Obama’s support of marriage equality, is the death rattle of hate speech being successfully passed off as rational discourse.

“We’re here! We’re queer! Get used to it!” rings a bit corny now, but when we look at the world today, we are here. We are queer. And people have gotten used to it. It’s inspiring to see not only how far we’ve come, but how many have come with us, and how many more are doing so every day. Increasingly, we’re not a thing, or a lifestyle, or that thing I tried during college, or a mental illness. We’re people. And if we’re people, we deserve the same rights other people have.

I like being a person.

And it’s freeing to feel, less and less, the burden of having to prove that I exist, or that I am a human being. Now, the burden is on people who don’t want to think of us as such, to come to terms with a world in which we are people.

It will happen. We will be allowed to marry someday. Soon.

All the best to you and AJ.


Irvin May 11, 2012 at 4:11 pm

It’s been a crazy week. I actively avoid reading comments on news sites because I just get so worked up over the sheer idiocy of some people.

But I liked what you said about being a person. That’s what we all are, and it feels like people are starting to get that finally. Everything that comes with being a person, the same rights that allowed for other people, should be allowed for us as well.

I have faith that we will be allowed to marry someday. I hope soon. We shall see. But I have faith. Thank you for having that faith too.


Shauna May 12, 2012 at 9:55 am

I love you and I love this post. xxoo


Jennifer May 12, 2012 at 4:49 pm

Please know, Irvin, that not all North Carolina folks are against gay marriage! I live in Charlotte with many gay friends and neighbors. An earlier poster was correct that the advertising campaign here in favor of the amendment was over the top, in your face. I think the biggest issue here was the lack of information – purposely not shared – about the unintentional consequences. There was a good push here to explain the problems with the amendment, but it was an uphill battle without significant funds to support the work. She was also right in that the efforts worked across typical political boundaries. Trust me there are many Republicans who take no issue with gay marriage here. There are a lot of folks who question why the government should even be “legislating” this stuff at all. If two people love each other they should be allowed to get married. Simple as that. To me, it’s just common sense. But our illustrious government (of both parties) over the last fifty years or so has managed to inserted itself into every facet of our everyday life. Politics are all too intrusive and eliminate common sense. Now politics are making issues out of non-issues.

Just like our city government talks out of both sides of their mouth on property taxes – they significantly increased the property values last year (even in the sour housing market). This year they are raising the property tax percentage – all the while feigning that “property taxes (rates) haven’t been increased in several years! Politicians are all out of their minds. Where are the statesmen?

It’s this craziness that makes my husband and I want to leave this country and move to Costa Rica! Which reminds me, I need to make some pineapple jam! Back to cooking…. oommmmm, oommmmm!

P.S. – You and AJ are adorable! Wishing you many happy years together!


Rachel May 18, 2012 at 5:15 am

I will just never understand how I grew up so accepting of everyone with an urge to fight for equal rights; and at the same time there seems to be an almost far too many people who just don’t get it. This is such a good post; also the cookies were amazing! I’m going to be making like massive batches for my birthday, thanks for the recipe!


Annie May 18, 2012 at 11:08 am

Late as usual.

Thanks for a wonderful post. And while recipes are part of why I visit, it’s also the pleasure of your cyber company that keeps me coming back. So please never apologize for anything you write.

I did not know Sendak was gay. I just always enjoyed his books. Higglety-Pigglety Pop and Chicken Soup With Rice were two of my favorites.

I hope someday soon you and AJ can get married, whether in another state or here. It DOES make a difference to be married, or at least it did for me. I’m not sure my husband agrees but it feels safer and more settled. I like being able to say “my husband” and hear him say “my wife” when he talks about me. It’s a feeling of belonging and closeness that I didn’t feel when we were just living together, even though we lived together for 8 or 9 years before we married.

I really am thrilled that Obama came out in favor of gay marriage at last. Political move or not, it moves the process of civil rights equality in the right direction.


Helene May 19, 2012 at 6:05 am

I am in shock to read this this morning. My son is gay and I would not want Canada to remove his rights to get married. As a mother it brings me tears to my eyes to see what is happening and how you feel. When Obama announced that he supports Gay Marriage I was excited for everyone in US. Marriage is a union of two person in love and it should not be defined by sex. I want the best for you guys and you deserve it. Beautiful pictures of you two.


Marly May 21, 2012 at 7:28 am

We live in the downtown area of our little midwestern suburb. Our area is not known for progressive values. So I used to take my daughter to a big city Unity church on Sundays so she would get a chance to be exposed to different kinds of people. One day we were sitting behind a gay couple; the two men were holding hands during the service. After the service I asked my daughter – around 5 at the time – what she thought about that. She said, I think those two guys loved each other a lot. It was so sweet.

I hope you and AJ have the wedding of your dreams someday…someday soon! Loved your post. Maurice Sendak will be missed. Let the wild rumpus begin!


dimple May 21, 2012 at 5:12 pm

after reading your post i have decided to read Maurice Sendak’s books again and hopefully see the deeper meanings to his stories. Your story touched me deeply, i wish you a wonderful legal-wedding soon. Also thanks for the recipe, gonna try it soon! 🙂


Clare May 24, 2012 at 12:06 am

What a moving post, I don’t usually comment on posts as I can never think of anything interesting to say but this time I was glavanized into action. I am appalled that so many people still feel the need to victimize people who are seen as ‘different’, we are all just people who deserve equal rights and respect and love. It breaks my heart that at present you are not afforded the same legal right as straight ppl- what a ridiculous and terrible indictment on our society. It is the same in Australia and my blood boils every time our PM says’ I have made my mind up on this and I don’t support gay marriage’- parliament is supposed to drive social change ! I will advocate for as long as I can to push for change in Australia and will cheer with joy the day your and AJ announce your marriage! By the way, I absolutely adore your blog.


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