This is round two of what I think might be a three times a week blog for our readers. I say “might” because lack of time and ideas may thwart me.
I have to deliver one Friday because on Monday I promised a couple of recipes for the weekend. Many of us are still at least partially sheltered in place and the seclusion allows more time to think, read, listen to music, cook, eat meals with family, and work. Yes. Work. Our small business has everyone working at home and my colleagues all report working harder and getting more accomplished than when they were in the office.
How about you?
More than likely I will drift into writing about food because cooking is a hobby. For me the return on more cooking has diminished returns. I seem to be getting worse not better at it. Golf treated me the same way. At the time I believed I was becoming a better golfer I began to obsessively work harder at it. And I regressed. My scores went up, not down.
So, one day I did what many other golfers have done. Frustrated, I threw my bag and all my clubs into a pond. It was exhilarating. I’ve never looked back, but I am not throwing away all my pots and pans and favorite knives. I’ll beat this cooking thing.
I live alone with Nellie, my dog, but when I gather with my family we cook a lot and we always eat together as a family. More families are doing that these days and I hope the routine becomes rote and then tradition. Food is healing and it brings people together.
It’s also, obviously, essential.
Many years ago, I read a book about a woman who escaped to an island to heal the wounds of a divorce and to write the book that had always beckoned her.
She kept a journal and the journal became the book, but it was not the novel she envisioned. Mostly she wrote about food and hunting for it.
The island had a limited year-round population and in order to get a full line of groceries a person had to take a ferry boat to a nearby town. She did not have either the time or money to shop like that and so she discovered that much of every day she was thinking of food and where to find it in the wild.
In a northern clime winter and snow presented multiple problems and challenges but she survived. When she was not looking for food and cooking she was trying to stay warm.
Heat also became essential.
On Tuesday, summer arrived in Texas in a hot rush. Goodbye spring. All two weeks of it.
We don’t have to worry about heat but in reverse we need cool air.
When the woman was not simply trying to survive she was reading and writing and thinking – thinking about those things and people who mattered most to her. The island life was far from romantic. You know … the writer solitary at a typewriter or keyboard, looking out at the trees and the ocean from her cabin, being creative and deep, wood stove burning.
Unfortunately, the basics of living got in the way but focusing on the essentials of life and what really matters rejuvenated her and restored her spirits.
Maybe all of us are, in our own way, on that island right now.
– Richard Connor