Welcoming the new year with simple pleasuresDecember 31, 2018 by Darcie
As the year draws to a close, it’s customary to look back at the previous twelve months and take note of what happened. One word comes to mind for 2018, and that word is tumultuous. We lost a few shining lights, saw the #metoo movement’s effect on restaurant empires, and took note of controversy in cookbook awards.
With all of the depressing news it can be difficult to find things to be thankful for, but 2018’s epic year in cookbook publishing helped. Sometimes it’s the little things that spark a note of hopefulness. For me, it’s finding pleasure in everyday tasks, especially those that revolve around cooking and baking. When you engage in something timeless, like making a loaf of bread or assembling a stew that will bubble away for hours in the oven, it can give you a sense that everything is going to be all right.
Even simple items can trigger this feeling, like the tiny 1/8 cup measure that I use almost daily. I don’t remember how I came to own it, but I’m sure that it was once part of a larger set. Perhaps the original owner found it cumbersome because no recipe ever called for 1/8 cup of anything and discarded it. I’ve had it for decades, and it’s proved itself so useful that despite a cross-country move and several kitchen tool downsizings, it has retained a spot in my limited drawer space. It’s the perfect size for ingredients that are too small for weighing but too large for a measuring spoon. I love the twee cup, and the idea it demonstrates – that even if one person finds something to be of little value it can be indispensable to someone else.
Looking forward, we already know that 2019 will be another great year for cookbooks, but predicting much else is a fool’s errand. I’m not a big resolution person so I don’t have any lofty goals, and there is no diet or exercise regimen in the works. My only ambition is to make something from a cookbook I haven’t used before once a week (or thereabouts). Wish me luck, and Happy New Year!
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