Even though it’s been raining for days, my mood is much improved. The brief flirtation of springtime warmth a couple of weeks ago was followed by a rude rebuff as unconscionable cold settled back in for far too long. But despite what felt like a giant step backwards, things kept growing. And now that the thermometer is nudging upward, there’s been a burst of verdancy all over the place. In the garden, last year’s spinach, mâche, radicchio, garlic, parsley, celery, and a few random onions are all bursting forth again, along with the first of this year’s plantings. I admire the hell out of these tough-ass vegetables, and the way they can survive exposed to a long, harsh winter and just bounce back like nothing happened as soon as the ground thaws. I show my admiration by eating them.
On the virtual front, there is also some new growth that some of you may have already noticed. Over there to the right, I’ve added a little box for my Twitter feed. If you’re on twitter, follow me for what I promise will be useful and/or interesting links with a minimum of frivolous solipsism. (That’s what Facebook is for, after all). And just above the TwitBox™ is a link to my brand new Etsy page, where I’ve listed a bunch of the ceramic pieces that you’ve seen real live food featured in right here on this very blog.
You may notice that this blog is ad-free. I hate ads. I think they’re ugly, and loud, and they ruin all the work that goes into building an elegant front page. They are also often for products that represent the exact opposite of the sorts of food that the blogs themselves espouse. Having said that, I certainly don’t mean to criticize anybody who monetizes theirs. Hosting isn’t free, and times are tough. But I’m the guy who lunges for the knob if an ad comes on the radio, and I was trigger-quick with the mute button back when I used to watch TV. You’re not going to see an ad on this blog any time soon.
So my concession to the realities of capitalism is that I will shill for products if they are my own. I make my ceramic work for me, not the market. I make the pieces that I want to own, and that will inspire me to cook better and more beautiful food. I like my from-scratch meals to be presented on from-scratch pottery; it’s a wonderful synthesis of the aesthetic and functional and it drills down deep into the DIY ethos to great effect. Other people like them too, which is very gratifying, and sales to readers and friends alike have been good all winter. Inventory is replenished, so if you like what you see, make some your own. I’ll be happy to fill custom orders, too, and requests for other pieces not available in the store. You know you want them.
Tomorrow the compost arrives, and I’m going to get thoroughly sweaty and filthy and bone tired schlepping it to the garden one wheelbarrow at a time, digging the asparagus trench, rebuilding a busted stone wall, ripping out a hedge of brambles to make a new fruit garden, and a hundred other projects that also combine exertion with eventual food. What’s life all about, anyway?