10 September 2010

Summer 2010

We ended our summer in northern Minnesota, where each year we fish, play cards, swim, and sauna.  One night we sat around a fire and my daughter roasted marshmallows for us.  What a lovely night.

I've written this blog because I love to share food and talk with friends about tomatoes, sauerkraut, chickens and beets.  But one season blends into the next and as this summer progressed I found myself unable to say anything else about the glorious Brandywine tomatoes I was slicing and eating, about the blood red beets we forked from the bowl at dinner time, about the rich yolks of our backyard hens.  Additionally, as I read the 17 million other food blogs that also celebrate confit, ramps, and the ineffability of good zinfandel, I am bowled over by how many good writers and excellent photographers have surpassed my parochial interests and limited writing skills.  Food is such a hot topic that I'm seeing some of the writing moving toward the competitiveness we see in sports, fashion and other interests and I wonder if we're all really and truly interested in piment d'esplette peppers or if we're searching them out because no one else has written about them yet?  Do we enjoy slaughtering animals or are we trying to outdo the next writer who merely bought his sow's belly at a butcher's market?  Me?  I got my piment d'esplette seeds from a guy in Vancouver because I had read about the pepper for years and met a fellow blogger who is from the region in France where they're grown, and she knew the guy with the seeds.  So while there may be a back story to the things we cook and eat and write about, it's easy to seem like a carpetbagger.  So, all summer I've avoided writing, spending the time instead with family and friends, doing the things I usually do, and eating delightful things.  I still have to figure out how to move past this awkward stage of my blog, where I've written about the foods and traditions I care about and don't want to be too repetitive.  At the same time, I've missed writing and sharing the stories of food and the way it connects us as a family and as part of a community.  


  1. Patrick: I agree that the current food world--particularly in the blogs--seems to be a lot about chasing after trends. I think we call this...human nature? For what it's worth, I think you've brought a unique perspective to "Duck Fat...", interesting dishes, excellent writing. I hope you'll find a sustaining way to continue.

    All best~ Brett