I love Thanksgiving and I will readily admit that I love it for one sole reason. That reason is this, it is an excuse to break the rigidity of routine, to step outside the confines of our everydayness and shirk gleefully those habits we practice, mostly out of necessity and for the sake of efficiency, every other day of the year. It is an excuse to make those familiar routines take a back seat – if only for one day and only for one meal. At its core, Thanksgiving is the simplest of holidays – no strings attached, no pressure around gifts or the like. It is a day reserved simply to step outside the familiar and celebrate the everydayness of the everyday : one table, one meal and perhaps a few (or many) guests to share it with however and with whatever food feels the most appropriate in that moment. And the meal can be one as complex or elementary as one chooses and need not conform to any rules or practices (other than the fact that I do very much like to think about those things I am grateful for and thankful for and practice kindness – but ideally that is everyday not just one) -so for the love and poetry of food and gatherings, we celebrate Thanksgiving. continue reading
Between the dark and light of the early morning, in slippered feet I stood; flour jar and batter bowl at hand. A warm pine floor dark beneath me and cool stone countertops reflecting back the first bits of daylight. I slipped the heavy linen apron from its hook and over my head, smoothing its front, ritually pushing my hands into each of its pockets before beginning my task. Into the bowl I measured, sifted, pinched & stirred together what will, with any luck, become the start of a dark sourdough bread. It will be coaxed into existence over the next 5 days through a common sort magic, simple but deeply seeded.
On this morning and for the last few, I have been feeling an overwhelming sense of calm. I can only think that it is coming from a place of general contentedness, a feeling of some form of happiness which I have not felt for a time. What I know to be different is how good it feels to finally be back standing in a kitchen of my own after so long.
The thought that the two are connected, this contented calm and having a kitchen of my own again, hadn’t dawned on me until recently. Spurred by the comment of a friend under my image on Instagram, she wrote “one thing about being away is that you miss your own kitchen”.
And this feeling of missing ones own kitchen is something I have known rather poignantly recently. As you may know, a few months ago we, my husband and i, packed up our London life. It was sent one way around the world as we went the other. It was a great adventure, perhaps one of a life time, thought I rather hope not, but the one thing I perpetually missed, that I longed for in this unmoored period was my kitchen. I did my best to mimic some daily rhythm which felt natural to me but how well can one accomplish this in the kitchens of strangers? continue reading