Friday, April 4, 2014

And I thought I was the only one...

She’s like the anti-Martha Stewart. It’s not about perfection.
- Ruth Reichl

You may remember that I wrote of my devotion to Laurie Colwin in a post last fall. I sang the praises of her collection of food essays in Home Cooking: A Writer in the Kitchen and More Home Cooking: A Writer Returns to the Kitchen. Ms. Colwin died (way to young) more than 20 years ago and I (wrongly) assumed that I was the only non-family/friends-person who still remembered her and reread her essays over and over again.

Yesterday morning my friend Karen sent me a link to a New York Times story about a new "cultishly devoted generation of readers." The article read, in part:

During her life, she gained a reputation first and foremost as a novelist and a composer of delicately calibrated short stories. But in the years since her death, at the age of 48, her following has only grown, and her highly personal food writing... has attracted a new, cultishly devoted generation of readers. Her musings, anecdotes and quirkily imprecise, not-altogether-reliable recipes show up with regularity on food blogs. Which only makes sense, because even though Ms. Colwin expressed wariness about technology and cranked out her essays (most of them for Gourmet magazine) on a mint-green Hermes Rocket typewriter, there is something about her voice, conveyed in conversational prose, that comes across as a harbinger of the blog boom that would follow.

I would agree, her writings come across as conversational, often-times funny and idiosyncratic. In fact, in one of her essays in More Home Cooking she talks about her love of roasted beets. Back when I first read this essay (1980-something) I had never tasted a beet. Her writing about them gave me the courage to try one – and I never looked back. I love beets: roasted, pickled, raw. Not only did I want to try one, I wanted to grow one. And that perhaps is the seed of an idea that made me want to move to a farm. Yes, I wanted to grow, and roast, and eat beets – just like Laurie. So, I thank you, Laurie, for my life today here on Farm Dover. May generations to come find your passionate writings...and learn to love beets. 

Beets from Farm Dover garden, summer 2013

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