Continuing to count my blessings. Last year I chose as my ‘theme’ word enough How very appropriate that turned out to be. I found I did indeed have enough of everything, and much more than many.
I’ll get round to looking back on the year gone by, but for now I want to focus on the year we’ve moved on to. I’ve decided that focussing on enough was rewarding, so I’m going to continue that theme. Does that mean it wasn’t in fact enough?
In addition, this year I’m going to think about food. With all its connotations: food for the body; food for thought; where does it come from; what do we eat and why.
If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you won’t be surprised by my choice. Food has always interested me, and I enjoy growing, preparing and eating it. Especially eating it. When I reviewed my bookshelves as I was looking through them thinking about enough, I found I have a really large number of books about food. Recipe books. Books about food from different countries and cultures. Books about growing food. Books about food policy.
In the past few years I’ve managed to take part in a conference or workshop looking at food policy at least once. The one I was due to attend in 2020 didn’t happen, but instead I have managed to take in some online presentations and listen to some podcasts. I follow several key food policy figures on social media. I try to be thoughtful about what, where and how I buy food. I know from experience that food can make (and sadly break) communities.
In the past I’ve thought about embarking on some formal course of study about food policy, but I was waylaid when our granddaughter was born – given the choice, I will always choose to see her over almost anything else. Also, I have a fundamentally lazy streak, and I prefer to pick up and drop things at will. I’ve done the formal study thing, and right now I have no need of it.
My food story this week includes making marmalade (pretty much every other year); making kombucha (weekly); making yoghurt (every other week); and baking bread (weekly, using the starter I made in the in-between days of Christmas/New Year 2012/13). As well as making my fair share of the meals Malcolm and I eat together during the week, and shopping for that food.
On reflection, I see that our our days hang on the structure of when and what we eat. Breakfast. Coffee and a snack mid-morning. Lunch. Supper. And don’t get started on the whole debate about what we call our meals (lunch? dinner? tea? supper?).
I’m glad I thought to buy some marmalade oranges on Monday. I was spurred on to buy them as early as possible because I wondered if they would actually arrive here post-Brexit (Seville oranges, from Spain). And then on Monday night our latest lockdown was announced. Making marmalade will be good therapy in an increasingly bleak time.