A friend recently asked if I would like to contribute an image to an online gallery she’s launching in the new year. Among the themes to mull over was the idea of feasting. It felt good to think about that, this time of year, when we spend a month diving headlong into rich foods and sometimes forget the significance of having all that richness. Or how lucky we are, or how wholesome feasting can be, and how nourishing, if we take a step back from overeating and gluttony and a moment of thanks for our bounty.
And I love the bounty of foods available this time of year. The abundance of our seasonal seafood, especially Dungeness crab on the west coast, is a thing of joy indeed. And the riotous colors of citrus at the markets, and those hearty winter squashes, and leafy greens with substance like kale and radicchio, and quiet pears and the last of the apples and pomegranates and persimmons, and nuts and even kiwis and mangoes. These things make me happy.
And I love darkness, in the sense that this is a season of long, dark nights, quiet, rest, hibernation. There’s merit to embracing it rather than fighting it and I try my best to do so each year. Perhaps easier said and done from the mild coast of California than in the thick of a midwest winter. But that season of rest is here, nonetheless: the fallow land, the bare trees, the grey skies, the long nights, the snowy mountains off to the east and north. Let’s embrace it, friends.
Hope you’ve had a wonderful holiday.