Bless this table

In her article In Praise of Locavores, Andrea Palm-Porter asks, “Do you ever stop to think about what you’re eating and where it came from?”

I do. Although unseemly haste is among my flaws, I try to allow space at the beginning of each meal for a moment of gratitude. Food and drink, in all their astonishing forms, are truly blessings.

Last summer, when my grandson Sam asked me what God looked like, I said that I thought that the spirit of God was present in seeds. Isn’t it a miracle that something so tiny and humble can create flowers, fruits and grain? Without anyone having to teach it a thing?

I also wonder how many of our everyday culinary delights came to be invented. Who was the first person to be seized with the notion of eating the well-armored artichoke? Or to decide that a stalk of brussels sprouts looked edible? How did anyone happen to invent yeast-rising bread?

My hat is off to the cooks who grace these pages: Linda Romero Criswell, the godmother of Carbondale’s community bread oven. Amazing chef Jimmy Nadell (who catered this magazine’s first birthday party). Not to mention the confectioners whose work you will find at Grand Avenue Sweets, and master distillers like Connie Baker of Marble Distilling Company.

I offer this issue of Roaring Fork Lifestyle as a toast not only to those who prepare our food, but also to the local farmers and ranchers who produce it. They aren’t “unsung” heroes and sheroes, because there are hundreds of songs about food. I’m not much of a singer, so I offer the verse of Ogden Nash as a tribute to those whose labors grace our tables:

…Though custom call me crude,
I prefer to sing in praise of food…
Just any old kind of food.
Pheasant is pleasant, of course,
And terrapin, too, is tasty,
Lobster I freely endorse,
In pate or patty or pasty.

There’s nothing the matter with butter,
And nothing the matter with jam,
And the warmest greetings I utter
To the ham and the yam and the clam.
For they’re food,
All food…
When I ponder my mind
I consistently find
It is glued
On food!