Duck Fat and Politics

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New Year reflections

Wed, 01/01/2020 - 7:37pm
Happy New Year! When I wrote my first blog post in 2007 I was interested in gardening, the way we thought about food, how and where it was produced, the culture of dinnertime, and the role it played in fostering community.  I loved writing while observing my own family and circle of friends as we raised our children, but over the years ended up feeling marginalized and too amateurish to continue. It seemed that overnight everyone became a foodie and blogs and television food shows became increasingly competitive, and the aspects I love most about food were diminished. I lost heart and confidence and over time the blog withered.

As this new decade begins, I can see how my own life has changed since the last one, especially since 2012, when we moved from Minnesota to Vermont.  A job change means I now travel to Asia four or more times every year, and the perspective I’ve developed wandering through markets and neighborhoods from Japan to India has deepened my appreciation for the central role that food plays in our lives and its importance in shaping cultures and economies. Sitting at the dinner table and talking long into the night is as relevant today as it was when our kids were kids, and a bowl of chicken soup or a thick slice of crusty sourdough bread continues to nourish my spirit as well as my body. And, more than ever, the need for community compels me to pick up my pen and write again, even though I’m not always sure who or where my community is. It feels a little disorienting - or maybe disheartening - that I can feel at home in the wet markets of Seoul and Bangkok but out of place in the co-op around the corner from our home. I continue to believe that sitting down with people and sharing a meal is one of the simplest and most important ways to build community but rarely manage to do it with the friends I’ve made here in Vermont.

You who are my friends know that I can get excited when I talk, and what I hope to continue with here is a mixture of that excitement and passion for a grilled cheese sandwich or a profound bottle of wine as well as more thoughtful, reflective pieces about things that matter to me – food, family, culture, politics and, of course, God.
Categories: Citizens