Testing. Test 1, 2, 3. Hello? Hello! Anyone home?
So, the blog got all big in my mind while I was gone. What could I possibly have to say to fill its vast, empty space? I got a new job which requires, um, rather a lot of attention. And time on email. And time on planes. Because of which, I went to a whole bunch of places. There was also some pleasurable gallivanting around the southwest in an old VW van packed with kids and dog and an increasing amount of desert sand. None of which has much to do with food, although some good food happened along the way (elk! Utah goat cheese! Indian food in Vancouver!).
In the food department, I made a lot of bread in the weekend cracks of time. I got better and better at making chicken broth from the once a month chicken carcasses subsequent to devouring an Old Pine Farm chicken. I tried my hand at sole meuniere and learned that it’s true that mushrooms are better cooked at very high heat. I mined the freezer for pesto and tomato sauce lingering from last summer. But writing about any of these seemed like tossing pebbles down the well. The most I could hope for was to catch the echo back a few pings from the big, quiet darkness.
But, you know, it’s spring. There are flowers and puppies and new beginnings and all that. There also seem to be any number of babies around, born to friends and colleagues and all alive with that densely compacted promise intrinsic to newborns, and soon to be toddlers thinking about trying out their amusing and intriguing legs. So, in the spirit of spring and of first, fumbling steps, I’ve been trying to note the potential inherent in small things: the spindly stems on the ugly plant in the back yard I suddenly realize is rhubarb, the fat, fleshy mushrooms growing in my compost, my son’s awkward fingers on his guitar strings that now and then suggest real music, the plain swath of dough that blossoms with heat into sweet and fragrant pastry.
And so, back to some words here and there about what goes on in my own kitchen and all the other kitchens of this pleasant Midwestern town. Since I’ve been gone we’ve gained Cecelia’s pastries and Tomuken Noodle Bar and locally made Grapenuts at the Farmer’s Market and lord knows what else I’ve failed to notice while my eyes have been glued to the computer screen and my shoulders have been hunched up around my ears.
So I’m pulling my head up, looking around and taking a baby step. Perhaps from small posts, great blogs grow. Tonight for dinner there was spinach salad with radishes and lardons and a plate of asparagus on the side, with a board of bread (see cracks of weekend time above) and two kinds of Michigan cheese (and some frankly and deliciously imported salami from the Zingerman’s warehouse sale). Tonight the air was heavy with the scent of lilac. Tomorrow, there’s dinner at Pot and Box. Next week this food blog might even have a real recipe. It’s spring. Everything is possible.