Saturday, May 26, 2007

Humble Pie

What is it about those local, small-scale farmers that makes me utterly gawky and tongue-tied? Every week I'm like a child meeting a superhero, full of awe and admiration, but with the added self-consciousness of ignorance that comes with years. I can just put that tomato on a plate and look like a culinary wonder-woman, but they were the ones that gently harnessed nature in order to produce the masterpiece in my kitchen. The food I eat and serve to family and friends still feels like a gift, and a steal if I don't at least try to understand how it got to my table. So what do I do? I return to the farmers week after week to purchase and listen. Even when my questions are embarrassingly ignorant and the words that come out of my mouth are incredible even to me, they share their knowledge. They share their knowledge with me, they share with those around me, and I try to absorb it. At some point I'll get organized enough to volunteer some time at a local farm or garden (a practicum). Someday, I'll be able to look at that tomato on my plate and really feel like a culinary wonder-woman. In the meantime, I'll keep eating the world's best humble pie.

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