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Grateful For Growth?

Brushing off the old blog here... pardon the dust bunnies.

It's a rainy gross day here in Charlotte and I have the day off. I started thinking about what I do when I'm not working like a Doozer. (Sidebar: I tried to find the Fraggle Rock "Work Your Cares Away" song to link to but I nearly fell down a YouTube rabbit hole. If you're a proper child of the '80s you shouldn't need the link anyway.)

I miss writing but I think I've shied away from it due to an aversion to more time looking at a glowing screen. I get plenty of that in my daily schedule and with these smartphones we're all addicted to now. I thought about maybe going old school and writing with pen and paper. But I remembered this blog, and the other I started with very nice intentions a few years ago, and so here I am.

It wasn't until I cancelled my subscription to Bon Appetit and started getting annoyed by all the food photos in my Facebook and Twitter feed that I realized my attitudes towards food might be... evolving? This sounds like totally sanctimonious bullshit, I'm sure, but I'm not a big fan anymore of making food a fetish.

I'm tired of seeing sustainability, seasonal eating and cooking, and the precious "farm to table" image so many restaurants are shilling being marketed as a new lifestyle we all need to get on board with. It's been around a long time in a lot of places, y'all. Quit making your restaurants virtual darling Pinterest boards and get honest about what you're selling. And stop with the Mason jar decor already.

In recent months I stopped taking photos of food when dining out. Sure I take photos of some of the stuff I cook at home, like applesauce I canned over the weekend. But when I'm in a restaurant, I need  to put the phone down and pay more attention to my people at the table.

I sound like an old crusty curmudgeon. So be it. I just want to get real about what's important, and I'm not so sure that documenting everything we consume is healthy.

And speaking of healthy, I've had a medical issue lately. It's a little painful and weird and I have to pay attention to what I eat. Or I just say "forget it" and eat whatever, but I should eat better. So post-Thanksgiving after the pie, I aim to do it. Just let me have some pie first.

Rounding the corner to the biggest food day of the year tomorrow, I hope I can be true to what I'm feeling. What's the most honest way to care about food and share the pleasures of cooking and eating?  I'll try to figure it out here.

On a more positive note, here are some food-related things I'm thankful for this year:

  • My husband's green thumb in the garden this fall and winter. While I find the recipes, Scott's fertilizing our two plots at Winterfield Community Garden, remembering to water, and cramming our fridge full of greens this time of year. Swiss chard, collards, Brussels sprouts leaves, bok choy... let's just say we have the Brassicas covered. We've met some lovely people who also garden there, and they've shared what they grow (see cabbage and broccoli in photo above).
  • We have what we need, and then some. I got on my preachy soapbox in the paragraphs above, but while some tweet their meal, others wonder what they'll eat for dinner tonight. I give thanks that I'm never truly hungry
  • A Chef's Life on PBS. I don't watch a lot of TV but I sit down at 7:30 every Sunday to see Chef Vivian Howard of Kinston, NC talk about the ingredients she uses in her kitchen and where they come from. She's doing real food right and sharing the food culture of our state in a true way.
  • Oysters. The season is reportedly not great this year, but I hope to enjoy some Varnamtown oysters later this week down in Brunswick County. A post-Thanksgiving Day oyster roast is a tradition on my mom's side of the family and fingers crossed, we'll have some to shuck this year. 

I hope you and yours have a wonderful & safe Thanksgiving!


  1. Oh my dear, you just made my day....I'm down here baking pies and boiling eggs for Scott's awesome cornbread dressing, and you remind me that I must not forget that I have never been hungry, truly, gut-wrenching hungry, in my long life! Oh yes, I am grateful also; I'll be ever so grateful for those fresh greens you bring my way! Mom


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