Oh, it's the new year again! Gosh, I've seen a lot of these, but I never get tired of celebrating the chance to say goodbye to the old and to wholeheartedly welcome the new! The New Year to me is starting again on a new slate. And who doesn't like that? Who doesn't want to forget about the mistakes, the roads not taken, the regrets, the goals not met. It isn't that I want to berate myself, I don't. I just simply look forward to a clean plate. I mean slate. Well, really I mean a full plate!
Gathering around a table with friends and family is one of my favorite things. Sharing incredible food grown from organic farmers and prepared by talented and slow food loving chefs- or artisan crafted foods- there are so many made here and around the country. You know I am partial to my local farmers and vendors, but I traveled to Chattanooga for a workshop and I tasted a blue cheese ( my favorite) and I couldn't believe the artistry and ingenuity of flavors... like a beautiful Shakerag Blue cheese wrapped in fig leaves soaked in Chattanooga whiskey ( yes, i really did have this in Chattanooga from the masterful cheese makers from Sequatchie Cove Cheese). Oh yes, and dribbled with lavender honey. Oh gosh. More of this for 2016 please...
My favorite tables are the ones laid simply with love and dishes and linens that have been in families for a time, sometimes long times, and are lovingly placed on tables and surfaces that we know and have loved raw surrounded by family or dear friends. These are the times that my heart longs for and for that i vow, hear that God! I vow to have more of these for 2016!
Sparkles. I want more sparkles too!
Yeah, who doesn't, right?
Food is very important to me. I want my food to be local and delicious and grown by our local farmers. I know that isn't always possible, but I can try right? It's better for the environment and better for me too. I love to imagine that I can taste the terroir from my local food; the sunshine that snakes across the hills of Northern Michigan, the minerals from long decomposing soil from the bones of animals and the ever shifting sand dunes, the sweetness from the old and sentient apple and cherry trees. mmmmm... And I want to cook like that too. Taking into consideration everything that I care deeply about. Slowly. Lovingly. With great affection for my food.
I learned so much about slow and vibration and plants talking to people (because they can) and people deriving goodness, no, not goodness- but greatness! from the essences of good plants, green and living herbs from Lauren at Wooden Spoon Herbs. Her emphasis on listening quietly to the "vibration" of the plant and ingesting it's magic made quite an impression on me. We distilled the essences from flowers, then bottled them up to take them home for later. OK. I admit to being a bit of a skeptic about this, but for some things I am quite sure. And that is, that good and wholesome foods, locally grown are healthier, full of more complete vitamins and of course all of the mystery of vibrant life.
What if I could bottle up the goodness of life and put it in an amber bottle to savor a little at a time? A spoonful of sugar, dew from a full moon Christmas with a spoonful of sunlit skies, a teaspoon of tender tears and a tablespoon of heartwarming goodness made from little boys and little girls... And then added to some tea! Wow. Well, you get the picture! Yummm!
Thanks Lauren, I learned a lot. And I'll take that into the new year. Thankyou Asheville Family for lubricating my heart with Christmas joy.
Dear friends, let's meet again in the new year, share a slowly brewed cup of tea and savor the goodness of life.