I'll come right out and say it: I've been trying to write this post for a long while now. How long? Embarassingly long. Twelve re-writes long. At least. Let's forget I just said that and all yell apple cobbler. That's better. I've been drinking a lot of mint tea and watching bad television and listening to a lot of good music, most notably Sarah Harmer and David Gray. Also, it's fall now. That happened. All around me people are getting sick and asking, "Where did August go?" Nevermind August. What happened to July? I'm still stuck in July. Maybe I'll quit this blog and take up a cigar habit and write a book called May and Everything After. It'll be a quick read.
That's what's new with me. What's new with you? I haven't heard from you in ages.
I haven't been writing much these days. It began innocently enough back in June when I was too busy to breathe and fold my laundry, let alone cook anything more elaborate than fried eggs. I fell out of the habit of documenting my life and fell into the lives of other people -- celebrating 21st birthdays, for instance, or hearing a woman wax on happily about a savoury panna cotta made with boursin cheese and served over mixed greens. I spent a morning pulling weeds out of a garden on the outskirts of the city as a group of guys plucked crabapples from tree limbs, and a stranger walked by and exclaimed, "Too bad there are more weeds there than grass."
I sat on a porch stoop drinking unsweetened iced tea with the owner of a local pizza chain, and later washed my purple-stained hands after picking mulberries. I ate amazingly delicious food and drank ridiculously delicious cocktails in New York City, walked Central Park and the Brooklyn Bridge with one of the loveliest women I know. I met C., a lady who introduced me to the guys at ChocoSol and to their little-known but much-loved mysterious elixir, the drinking chocolate, that I swear to you will make you deliriously happy the moment you sip on it. I spent a lot of time canning and preserving and, inevitably, making a pile of dirty dishes. I went to baseball games and dinner parties and concerts and sat on as many patios as possible. Now I'm ready to write again.
I've also decided to commit to a bit of a challenge -- to incorporate as many local foods into my diet as possible. I've been interested in eating locally for a good while, so really this is not such a steep departure from where I left of. But too often I resort to the same dishes, cycle through the same meals -- poached egg on top of brown rice pasta, some version of rice and lentils. It's not a bad thing, but I think there's a lot of experimentation left to do and a lot of unexplored territory that beckons to be discovered. Certainly we're all aware that we live in uncertain times -- haven't we always? -- sudden deaths, job losses, budget cuts, poor crop yields. No matter where I am or what anxieties arise, I like to think that a few friends can sit down around a table -- even if it "sitting down" means hanging out on the floor -- and, with the magic of a bit of food and a good glass of wine, feel that everything is right in the world. Cheers to more of that.