Gosh, is this the best time of year? The very best? It’s a push and pull between gluttony and refinement, satisfaction and yearning, hope and despair. Well, not despair, but lack of hope.
The background noise is Andrew Solomon’s poignant and thoughtful op-ed in today’s NYT; a fascinating and new biography of Walther Rathenau; the puzzle of how to promote my new book, “Back of the House”; and, lingering doubts about why some towns emphasize “creativity” in their restaurants while others place the best ingredients at the center.
I know it’s not useful to focus on the incredibly second-rate ingredients showing up on menus of certain incredibly expensive restaurants: Lebanese olive oil rather than French, Italian, or Californian; black truffles from Tennessee rather than France; supermarket bread rather than stuff baked in-house.
But are those observations keeping with the Christmas spirit? I mean: What would Jesus do? Would Jesus complain about bad food in expensive restaurants? I think not.
So isn’t it better just to focus on the delicious Challah French toast and Tracklement’s bacon and wonderful Northeast Kingdom maple syrup I served this morning?