Lets (not) get down to busy-ness


Lets (not) get down to busy-ness

We live in a culture of credentially busy; it means something to have a full daytimer and fuller yet inbox. A culture that eats in our cars + at our desks and fills evenings with meetings + practices and doesn’t know where the morning went to get there — but could if we stopped for a moment to look up at the sky while we grab another coffee...to go?

Our ceramic mug game has thrown some people off, and altered others, reminding them that they do in fact have ten minutes for coffee if they choose it...and they usually stay for twenty. This is not lazy. Or indulgent. Or irresponsible. It is not even the paradoxically hyped up “self care” -- it is, just, taking time for the sweet + quiet parts of life.

Stop + smell the roses, if you will.

And the process in making time, is too, similar to a rose garden. Dead heading flowers \\ trimming plant leaves so the healthy ones can grow is the very metaphor for reorganizing your life to create space and time. Reorganize priorities \\ re-evaluate preferences. This allows you to collect your energy and distribute it into the things that matter most rather than many withering blooms.

Which of your projects are half dead. Do you have one toe dipped into so many different pools that your foot can not ground in any, let alone your body steep in the richness of one?

Like plants we thrive when we hone in on the few. When we do not disperse ourselves so as to dilute ourselves. Ain't nobody like no thin slick of butter or pb or marmite for you Aussies out there reading up on Biggie....lay that on thick. Lay yourself on thick to what you love.

There is no glory in ambition or multitasking. There is so much in disciplined presense and attuned care for those + what you lend yourself + time to.

And too, like plants, and humans, so does food love to be gathered in the fewest and simplest of ways.

We preach simple food at the shop not because we are chintzing out on sammys, but because when you work with quality ingredients, you want them to sing, not be strangled with complication.

Keeping food simple not only allows you to really taste the characteristics of a component, but it makes cooking less daunting and time consuming. It means that an onion + a clove of garlic + thick carrots + a sprig of lemon thyme + a sprig of your own time makes a whole pot of comfort. That Sprout bread + fine dairy and time under the broiler while you grab a beer is a snack worth sitting down ten or even twenty minutes for.

You don't need much to make it count. Only a reverence for the quality of what you are putting in – just like you with your time + efforts + gifts. So give more into less, and stay awhile.

Thanks for supporting my writing.



Tis the Season


Tis the Season

Its not quite Christmas yet. There is still a month left, hopefully, of golden leaves and glossy if not glaring pumpkins with seeds in their bellies for roasting, or a candle to light their smirk. Still fields of other squashes and gourds, shaped with their long necks or impossible to peel rivets...

So don't peel them. 

Roast them skin on – some will turn tender enough to eat, like Aunt Thelma : a white acorn of clean sweet taste; some you can spoon from their hardened crusts. Still too, some tomatoes, sheltered by their own now wilted leaf cloak. All the roots pulled from the cold earth. And from some innovative farms : delicate salad greens grown in tunnels to keep them from frost bite. No, this is not yet the season of excusable cookies + lacing your coffee with Baileys for breakfast. Not quite time for stollen + gingerbread + all other glutony traditions while caroling or knitting gifts. It is the season of wither and deciding whether or not you can still be grateful for the growing season here. 

Tis the season where many of us revert to big box tomatoes + raspberries because heaven forbid we go a handful of months without them.

We challenge you to go a handful of months without them.

Because then when the season comes to have them again, you will appreciate their full fruity tang. Their softness in the summer sun's warm hands. Their smell before you even taste them. 

If we had Christmas every day we would not appreciate it. There are kinda funny movies to prove this in theme.. 

If we had summer everyday we would not appreciate it's abundance. 

And how can we learn to appreciate this colder season if not to cuddle up with its offerings. Eat a bowl of roasted potatoes tossed while still hot in a bit of creme fraiche + mustard and call it lunch. Put a soup on. Roast carrots halved lengthwise, pile em up, fry an egg to top + shave raw aged gouda or a thick cut of Upper Bench Brie for a benny that needs no hollandaise. Not willing to let go of the raw crunch of cold salads? Try shaving kholrabi + celery root paper thin and tossing with lemon juice + olive oil + salt. And if you are a tomatos all year kinda person, then take what is left in these next few days cook them to store as sauce. 

Just as there are seasonal holidays + vegetables, so we are seasonal animals. We relate to the cold by eating what can be sustained through it. We relate to the stored roots, cabining ourselves in our homes + turning the oven on. We relate to the earth and so we come to respect it. We respect it and so we may see many more seasons to come. 

You'll see a lot more roots on the menu at OBT, come chat about how to keep yourself excitedly well fed + especially grateful this season.