Here’s the thing about food.
For lunch, I had a fresh Cavatelli pasta with goat cheese, sauteed kale, and toasted almond slices.
For dinner, I scooped tuna fish out of a can with Ritz crackers.
And they were both good.
I’m thinking a lot about food these days. The theater and art and work and projects have stopped. What I have instead is food. So all the tools I have for the creative work are coming down on the process of making food.
Much of what makes a good theater experience isn’t what is seen onstage. The show changes based on who you’re seeing it with, how your day went, whether you hit traffic on the way to the theater, how the show was advertised, whether you got a drink before you went in…
Art is context. And so is food.
I’ve eaten plenty of sourdough before. I’ve thought it was good. But I never thought it was miraculous. Until recently.
I, like so many others, grew my own starter to bake sourdough in quarantine. I had to look into options, pick a technique, compare notes with friends and family. I had to check in on my own little yeast culture in a jar and feed it like a pet. I spent four hours kneading and proving and flipping and proving and baking my loaf of sourdough. And only at the end of all those weeks, when I saw to my surprise that it had worked, did I embrace how cool homemade sourdough is. And I enjoyed the heck out of that bread.
Good food isn’t just excellent preparation. It’s connection. Sometimes the food is good because it’s fulfilling a specific nutritional need. Sometimes it’s providing nostalgic comfort. Sometimes it’s supplying a time intensive project. A way to provide for someone else. To spend time with friends. Sometimes it’s a surprising new way to get rid of that weird bag of vegetables from the back of your freezer. Good food changes you from what you experienced along the journey.
Food is just a story that you can eat. Goodnight.