I have to wonder, sometimes, why it seems like I talk about food and cooking so often. From a conversation with a coworker about making sausage (which segued into how much we love our Kitchenaid mixers), to a moment spent teaching a millennial how to make vanilla extract… Yes, that last was standing at the checkout in the grocery store. He’d asked for my ID for the vodka and wine I was buying, which to a woman of a certain age is more flattering than annoying, and I’d commented while he was entering my birthdate that it was funny to be carded for alcohol I wasn’t going to drink. He looked at me with wide eyes. “You’re not going to drink the vodka?” No, I told him, I’m going to make vanilla extract. He’d never heard of such a thing, so I gave him a thumbnail sketch of how to make vanilla, and lemon, extracts. I went on my merry way, and he’ll probably never use his newfound knowledge, but he was very interested in the concept.
I do this all the time. Get into a conversation with someone, and the topic turns to food. Whether it’s actual discussion of recipes, or just talking about methods of cooking, or… it’s a universal. Far more interesting than the weather, usually, and fascinating in the diversity of sub-topics. We’ve had far-ranging conversations about fruit cake, for goodness sakes, which veered into anthropology and discussing poverty and food preservation. Also, C-ration fruit cakes, which some of us actually liked… but I digress, as I so often do.
It’s not like we’re all obsessed with food. It’s simply that there are a few things in life we must all do, and some aren’t polite to discuss in company. We all eat. And more of us care what we’re putting in our mouth than the few who simply consume fuel and don’t care. So when we converse, it’s perhaps inevitable that we wind up talking about food.
Which is, in a way, why I do food on the blog so often. Not only is it a frequent topic in my everyday life, it’s an easy topic here – I have to cook, after all. While I don’t cook as often as I’d like, in reality, when I do it’s fun to prepare something I can photograph and use here – killing two birds with one stone, as it were. I’ve been lax on that for a few months, with the move, and all the turmoil that it entailed. Now that my kitchen is taking shape again, I’m looking forward to finding the time to bake and cook and take pictures to share.
And in person, I look forward to many years more of talking about food, and learning from friends, family, and even complete strangers about new and different ways to do things.