Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Writing and Food

What better combination could there be than a smart writer who is creatively and philosophically involved with food? Do you really trust or believe those writers who claim to become so immersed in their writing that they forget to eat for a couple of days? Too cerebral for me.

For the last month I have been dancing with food, playing with it, plotting, dreaming. I have read Barbara Kingsolver's ANIMAL, VEGETABLE, MIRACLE. Twice. Summer has exploded--and so have the stalls at the local farmer's market. I am in love.

Kingsolver punches all my childhood food buttons in her premise that food should be local whenever possible, that shipping basic staples of the American diet such as eggs, milk, and vegetables long distances uses oil unnecessarily. We should rediscover where food comes from, how it is grown, she says. Make your own cheese, she urges, from local milk. I am ready, BK. But right now I'm too infatuated with the first local peaches, basil, parsley, new potatoes, baby green beans, and all those tender varieties of squash, those gorgeous yard-long bunches of sweet onions with their luxuriant green tops for gumbos and ratatouilles. And is there anything, anywhere more delicious than those first cherries and organic blueberries?

Last night turned cool at the river so that the screened porch this morning felt chilly as April. But earlier in the evening had been a different story. After a hot day, we were tired and in no mood for a heavy meal. We pulled out the White Mountain ice cream freezer (our second, we've already worn out one), some local milk, and a pint or so of dark sweet cherries. By the time the sun had set and the night sounds of insects came alive in the canopy of trees, we opened the metal cannister from the salty ice and carefully removed the dasher.

Sweet frozen cream with a hint of vanilla mixed with hunks of tangy cherries, frozen al dente (to the tooth, to the bite,remember). These are the memories that sustain a writer in the cold, dark days of Februaries to come.


ChinaKatSunflower said...

I am soooooo jealous!!

Anita Miller Garner said...

No you're not, baby. You can do this anytime you please. Just show up and we'll crank up the White Mountain. On the screened porch. And you can invite all your friends.

How's that blog of yours coming?