What’s Now

November 30, 2012

I feel like I haven’t had many moments to sit still in the last few months. I’ve spent the time mostly in the cacophony of the Delfina kitchen–long hours spent stuffing and tying up ducks, whisking aioli, and learning how switching from 11 cent napkins to 16 cent napkins can have a big impact on your bottom line for any given month. It’s been incredible. I learn new things every few minutes, the curve is quick, and mostly I just feel grateful. It’s fun to be around food for so much of the day, and people who love delicious things, but there haven’t been many quiet moments, and I’m having one of those now.

It’s pouring outside, droplets plunking on our skylight and pooling on our little balcony. It’s the right kind of day for drinking coffee and actually looking at my computer, something I’ve been doing for only glancing amounts of time here and there over the last several weeks. I know I should be tackling my Napa Valley column, it’s been seriously neglected this month (did you like that plug?), but I keep thinking about where I am now, what I’m doing, and where I thought I would be.

It’s funny how plans change, right? I ignored the fact that I loved preparing food and even more so bringing people together around it for so long. I spent years thinking that I would spend much more time living in remote places, trying to understand the needs of people who could probably help themselves a million times better than my best efforts at making their lives better would (not that I don’t believe in aid and philanthropy, I do). I had notions of what ‘better,’ meant, that got turned on their head in Brazil and graduate school. I had notions of what social responsibility looked like, and I still do, but I think it’s different than I originally thought and I’m still working out how.

For now I’m pausing in this space. I never anticipated actually moving to California with someone that I truly, deeply love, working as a chef in a restaurant kitchen, and I look forward to whenever the right time in the future comes to call upon the rest of the things that I’ve learned and crafted along the way, whether it’s writing (maybe stay tuned for a newly focused blog? maybe eventually a book? who knows), or a resurfacing of something that builds community? Or something that marries food with beautiful things, a la this place, my new inspiration for the next step, after I do this thing now for as long as they possibly let me stay. I am grateful.

 

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