Food matches mood, place, and time of life.
Corn ice cream and blueberry tarragon jam is making every moment count before you say goodbyes
Plum, cheese, plum is: July, New Orleans, Sigur Ros, distraction from missing someone.
Lemon ice cubes is above it all.
Artichokes are mom and dad and laughing and Dan Rather on the news and clay-salt-marsh smell of Delmarva.
Grilled cheese cut in triangles, sort of burned: Dad. Reubens and Rachels: Mom. Ribs: girlhood.
Nancy Drew makes dishes that stick to your bones in the thin Denver air. Family sticks to my bones and also stretches my insides out and puts them back together again. Martha Rose Shulman’s tapenades are making do and finding magic; Amanda Hesser’s chocolate toasts with salt are slowing down and saying why not. Sometimes I make the right food for the mood and the place in such a way that new possibilities about the day or a problem start to feel…like they’ve entered the room. It sounds crazy, but cooking good food that hits where I’m at emotionally and physically seems to sorta help me focus happy-better. Feeling and knowing instead of figuring and stressing.
Pulling ingredients together and combining them in different ways reminds me that there is not just one way to do things, and that sometimes the method is way more important than the end goal, because the end goal of anything–career goal, relationship goal, recipe goal–is a lot about what you tell yourself, not really what you know to be accurate. And if the method by way of getting somewhere feels right and good and true, then maybe when you get there you will cohere. Am I still talking about food? Yes, in a way, I still am.