Thursday, February 3, 2011

Talk to me about food!

I absolutely love good food. I imagine the way a sublimely ripe tomato feels warm and full when I pick it off the vine. I dream about beautifully striated treviso or radicchio piled high at the farmers market. The pale green, deep wine colored red, and stark white mingling together on imperfect leaves. I strive to cook homemade pasta till its just al dente and I can still taste the exact blend of the simplest ingredients... flour and egg.

Lately I've been head over heals for anything green. I can't get enough broccoli rabe, escarole, spinach, and even frozen peas (they make a pretty fresh 'spring' pea soup). I think its due to the complete absence of green this time of year. The landscape here on the Cape is bleak. Winter has scoured this surface down to its most elemental and left us all blinking, adjusting to the harsh surroundings.

My strong sentiment comes from a longing for great food and, even more, for foodie folks.

I feel a bit like an alien from another planet. On my planet, food is everything. Who grows it? Where is it from? How can it be prepared? Let's discuss any and all applications in depth. Let's refer to an expert. Lets grow and cook and eat and talk about growing and cooking and eating. On that planet I learned something new every day. I was inspired.

A bit scary, but that's the gist of it. That's where I 'grew up'. That's where my passion began and was fostered. For the past ten years, without any effort, I was surrounded by friends, co-workers and guests who's interests were like mine. I was spoiled.

Here on the Cape, I have met some extraordinary food folks, had wonderful conversations and eaten delicious local fare. I know the same food minded people are out there. I know there are fantastic products being grown and prepared skillfully by creative chefs and cooks. It just seems to take so much more effort to find them, to connect, to stay connected.

I've been lazy. Its easy to have a passion when you have to do very little to feed it. I'm not giving up my love of food. I've just got to put my money, or maybe some delicious local shellfish, where my mouth is. I have to reach out in many directions and learn to communicate in different ways.

Like the little birds outside our window that have managed to survive this winter of all winters, I have to forage a bit farther afield.