Brooklyn neighbor and Friends model extraordinaire Charlie Alonzo is a lady of many talents. Besides being the general best, she is an amazing cook and baker. Charlie is participating in Bakers Against Racism, a movement bringing together bakers nationwide to raise money and awareness for anti-racist causes. We asked her a baking directed version of our friends questionaire.
How did you get into baking?
I’ve always liked cooking and baking, but I got into baking sourdough about 3 years ago when I was visiting my sister in Jackson, Mississippi. My friend Robbie was teaching a sourdough making class that I attended and I’ve been doing it sporadically ever since.
Tell us a little about bakers against racism!
Bakers Against Racism is a global virtual bake sale that started out of DC. I found out about it through instagram because a friend was doing it. The intention is to change systemic and structural racism by raising money for charities that support the Black Lives Matter movement. The greatest thing about it is that anyone can participate! All you have to do is bake some goods, sell them to your friends, and donate the money to a cause you care about. I decided to donate to NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund because I think legal action and education is necessary for concrete change.
What’s your favorite thing to make?
My favorite thing to make is honestly just a good loaf of sourdough. Baking, and especially baking sourdough, is a learning process and it feels great to learn from past mistakes and finally get it right.
Who’s your favorite person to cook for?
Well let’s be real, considering covid, I typically only get to cook for my boyfriend and his 3 and a half-year-old. But I love cooking for them! Getting a thumbs up from a kid over a dinner of shrimp risotto is a great feeling!
Do you have any new tricks or tips or skills you picked up during quarantine?
Yes! My favorite is a scallion pancake sourdough discard recipe I learned from my friend Caroline Schiff. You basically just fry mature starter in vegetable oil, add scallions and sesame seeds, and flip when it starts getting bubbly (like a pancake).
I also like making discard crackers by mixing flour, salt, sourdough starter, and olive oil with different herbs, nuts, or seeds. Or sometimes I’ll cover them with a thin layer of ghee or butter and top with cinnamon sugar. They are seriously addicting!! Kind of like a bigger, crunchier version of cinnamon toast crunch.
Un-sourdough related, I’ve been experimenting with making different dips or spreads out of sour cream or Greek yogurt. I like to add citrus, herbs, and spices. It’s good on roasted veggies, eggs, sandwiches, tacos, basically everything!
Who would you most love to share a meal with (it can be anyone!)
Right now I’d love to have a meal with Marsha P. Johnson. She was a Black trans gay liberation activist and I would absolutely love to hear what she has to say about the current revolution. She fought for gay liberation in NYC for most of her life but also protested against oppressive policing. She seemed like such a warm and loving person and I aspire to have the passion and perseverance she had.
What’s your most favorite snack!
Hmmm I love a toast with any fruit and cheese combo!