Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Once Bitten: A Foodie's Year-End Reflection on Happiness

In three hours the calendar rolls over to the year 2014.

Two thousand and fourteen.

In my childhood, I had a hard time imagining the year 2000.  And, yet, tonight—tonight, 2013 is ending.  An entire year gone.  An entire year lived, breathed, consumed, exhausted.

That's how I want to live every year of my life.

True, tonight I sat at dinner alone, eating a rib-eye steak pan-roasted in bacon fat, accompanied by baby kale sauteed with garlic and lemon and a glass of 49er Blend red wine.

But as I ate my dinner, I reminisced.  I thought about my recent trip to PA to visit family for the holidays.  I smiled as I remembered the grin of my new baby nephew.  I conjured the face of my husband and felt my heart swell then melt at the thought of him.  My eyes wandered over the Christmas cards scattered rather haphazardly over the bookshelf, and a myriad of memories and wishes leapt to mind.

I am so happy, I thought.  I am happier than I've ever been in my life.

I want it to always stay that way.

Life is for living and giving and growing.  And for a long time, I did none of that. (An unpublished blog would give you an earful...)  But then entered two things.  First: Food.  Food that relentlessly caused me to fail, accept failure, and try again.  Food that made me want to not shrug my shoulders and accept Life for what I thought it was, but to yell, "Damn it! NO!" and make it what I wanted it to be, even if I had to try again.  And again.  And again.

Soon I learned something about myself.  I could cook.  And I had grown such a thing called Confidence.

It is that confidence that landed me in a seat beside a pilot deadheading to Boston and a flight that changed my life.  Enter thing number two: Chef Reiton.  My foodie soulmate.

I guess it is also that confidence that drives this blog, and, I hope, not arrogantly so. It's just that I see so many people checkout at the grocery store with carts of processed, frozen, boxed, shrink-wrapped,  expensive, tasteless food, and I want to take them by the hand and lead them to the produce section.  I want to educate them on how easy it is to eat like a snob and still be healthy and feel good to boot.

 Maybe that happens with this blog.  I would love to hear it if it is so.  But in truth, the creation and sharing of food brings me happiness, and writing about it even more so.  And that, my dear readers, is something that I want to continue and develop as long as I have a kitchen to cook in.  No, I take that back.  As long as I have anything to cook on.  Who knows what the future may bring.  All I know is this: five years ago I was bitten by the food bug, and there is no going back on the food love.

And so, dear reader, here is my wish for you: I hope this year finds you growing more in love with yourself and your food, and that you find yourself a better person for it.

Cheers to 2014!

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