Everyone seems to be in some stage of de-cluttering, down-sizing, and reorganizing these days. I’m not one to make New Year’s resolutions for many reasons, not only because those imposing promises made to myself on January 1st seem to lose vigour around January 15th. I find that the first two weeks of January are best used to recall the glow of the holiday season while resting with a cup of tea and a good book.
February is an entirely different matter. Spring is around the corner. The hint of colour is rising from the dark earth and a fine mist of rain has come to the West Coast of British Columbia. Now is the time to focus on the task at hand. Yes, I am in the de-accumulation phase of my life-cycle. Every year, I take on a specific project, more of a “bite-size” approach. I have spent years accumulating; so a few years to do the opposite seems only fair. Besides, I enjoy the decision-making process of sorting through my inanimate things that, as we all know, hold precious memories. My current assignment: to tackle my bookshelves filled with cookbooks.
Cookbooks have an enormous storage capacity for every kind of recollection, from birthdays, weddings, anniversaries to farewells and funerals. They travel with us through the course of our lives, accumulating exponentially with the evolution of food preparation.
I have made myself a pot of tea, a blend of rosemary, lavender, ginger, cinnamon and black pepper; and have settled down in my favourite chair with my cookbooks gathered together, some on the floor and others on the coffee table. It will take some time to go through them all, for I expect to recall many “cooking” adventures.
As Ruth Reichl once wrote: “Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Come join us. Life is so endlessly delicious.”