I ran out the back door and down the hill at full speed, jumping over the sandbox and straight for the cherry tree. Pulling ripe fruit off the lowest hanging branches before shoving them into my mouth and running toward the swings, I smiled. My sister and I played in our backyard for hours stopping only for snacks from the cherry tree. My mother, wide-mouthed basket in hand approached the cherry tree at a slower gait before selecting fruit for cherry crisp. The kitchen looked like a murder scene when she removed the pits, slicing each cherry in half before baking them with brown sugar, oatmeal and butter, so much butter. Continue reading
Long before I went to culinary school, I perfected my Julia Child impression. I took an improv class in junior high and my friend Cassie and I would improvise skits featuring Julia Child and a random celebrity: Robert DeNiro, Holly Hunter, the Queen of England. They all got the chance to cook with Julia. Continue reading
I can’t recall the first time I ever had a scone. It was probably the summer after high school in London. I was on a European choir tour and while friends were interested in buying clothes you couldn’t find at the mall in Iowa, I was fascinated by the food. My mom commented on how I didn’t bring home many souvenirs from that 3 week trip and except for the cartilage piercing I acquired, I spent most of my Euros on food. Continue reading
I was halfway through a blog post about a recent wine tasting when I started to ponder how trivial a blog post about wine tasting is. I’ve wanted to be a writer for years and I’d like to think I have something to say worth listening to. But when writing about crowds of drunk people at a recent wine tasting and I how I had to carry a swag bag so I didn’t have a hand free to take any notes about the wine I was tasting, I was struck with the sudden realization that I’m a whiney white girl complaining about having to carry a bag of coupons.
This begs the question: can I write about wine and still be a writer of consequence? Can I write about the plight of not liking oaked chardonnay and not come off like a spoiled rich girl? Can I learn everything I can about wine and feel like I’m having a positive impact on the world?
I suppose the first step is to actually do the writing and worry about the aftermath later. You can’t be a writer of consequence if you aren’t writing anything.
Or I could just embrace the whiney white girl thing and write about how my biggest complaint at the wine tasting I went to last week was that my purse wasn’t big enough to hold my swag bag and it started to hurt my hand after several hours. What is that?
And does Robert Parker ever have doubts about his career choices? Does he stop to think about how in another life he could have been the U.S. Attorney General but instead he rates wine on a 100 point scale? Or does he fall asleep completely happy knowing he followed his bliss?
I grew up a part of the generation raised on the notion we could grow up to be whatever we wanted. We were told to dream big and follow our hearts. But as I get older, I watch my friends and former colleagues making an impact on the world. Becoming doctors, joining the Peace Corps, starting their own businesses and what am I doing? I drink wine and talk about the mouth feel and terroir. Is that important? Can that have an impact?
Can the impact simply be it makes my life better, happier, more worthwhile? If I value that, does that make this work valuable?
I don’t have the answers to these questions. But I do have a bottle of nonvintage Gruet Blanc de Noirs and I’m more than happy to sip on that while I figure this stuff out.