Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Y'All Come Back Now, Ya Hear?

Were you worried that I gave up the resolution? Threw in the towel? Succumbed to take out?

Don't be.

It was just a temporary reprieve for birthday celebrations. With a modified Shabbat observance of course.

And two weeks of a cooking reprieve as well.

I guess I ought to be thankful for that. After all, the weekly cooking responsibility, not to mention the shopping, cleaning, chopping, prepping, broiling, basting, baking, wining, dining, candle lighting that has been my life for nearly half a year can be a wee bit arduous.

But truth be told ... I missed it.

And now, I'm a tad bit petrified of having to jump back in again this week. Particularly after reading Julie and Julia on a (way) too long flight back from the south. For months people have been telling me to read this book. (Apparently I'm the only one who hadn't.) And it's a good thing that was the case because I'm pretty sure I would've thought a little longer about the prospect of cooking and writing about each meal. But now that I'm on the hook, I can all but assure you that I will NOT be cooking anything French for the next six months.

Especially not aspic.

I missed the structure of planning and preparing our weekly meal. The way the shopping, table setting and cooking neatly tied down each day of my life all but eliminating the feeling that things could spin out of control.

I missed seeing the table set for company Thursday night. The chairs filled with friends on Friday. The empty candlesticks, weepy flowers and wayward serving pieces that still needed to be put away on Saturday. And Sunday.

I missed picking up all of the inside toys that migrated outside and the outside toys that got in. Returning the dress-up clothes to the trunk. And the sidewalk chalk to the tattered box. Tucking in two tired little people who now assume that every Friday includes candle lighting, challah and lots of playmates.

I missed running with no other purpose than to contemplate the Friday gathering. What we had learned. What I would write. Miles where the worries that still weigh heavy did not slow me down.

And I missed writing. Putting to paper a feeling. And then moving on to deal with the next. Reminding myself and the people I love that this too shall pass. That good far outweighs bad.

And I really missed sharing it on this blog.

Julie and Julia was originally a blog. It was called The Julie/Julia Project. A true story. But as I read it I wasn't thinking about Julie Powell -- the person who was actually living through a year of Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I was swept into the story she told. In my mind's eye I imagined her in vintage blouses and comfortable shoes. A tired looking kitchen in her small New York apartment. And her husband who had to eat aspic, maim lobsters and otherwise support his wife as she plodded through 500+ French recipes with emotion ranging from vigor to defeat.

Is my perception of Julie Powell remotely accurate? Who knows. It is primarily a function of my own imagination and experience. My interpretation of her words.

I won't be so presumptive to believe that anyone who reads this blog spends much time conjuring up images of me plodding through a Year of Shabbats. And, frankly, after last year I don't spend much time worrying about my image either.

But I think about you. Of course I have no idea who you are. Sometimes I can see what time you visit. Or where you (or maybe your server) is located. (Who are you in Uruguay?)

But you are more than just numbers to me. You are people from all over the country. And the world. Places that I have never been. And may never go. And I wonder how you found me. And whether something that I wrote sounded familiar. Or made you laugh.

But mostly I just like that you visited. Even if only for the Chocolate Bread Pudding with Rum Sauce recipe. Because somehow it makes me feel like you are rooting for us.

And that feels good.

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