I’m feeling trepidatious. I was awake for a good part of the night worrying about you. Actually not so much about you personally, but about how you, the people of Lincoln County, will receive my column.
I’ve been writing one for almost 2 1/2 years, but this is the first in The Lincoln County News. I feel like the new kid on the block. Scary.
The column is mostly about food, but I have a tendency to go off on tangents and get into all manner of trivial and not-so-trivial stuff, including my penchant for a good Manhattan. I’ve been told by some (who know me well) that I suffer from attention deficit disorder (ADD).
Oh geez, I just Googled it. Verywellmind.com defines it: “a neurological disorder that causes a range of behavior problems such as difficulty attending to instruction, focusing … keeping up with assignments, following instructions, completing tasks, and social interaction.
“ADD may also involve hyperactivity with behavior problems.”
I hope my new editor, J.W. Oliver, doesn’t read this. Just kidding. He already did.
Over the past couple years I’ve shared stories and recipes about some of my favorite foods – from old recipe boxes of my mother’s, some that I’ve come to love over the years, some that I’ve been recently introduced to, either at a restaurant or by a friend who happens to be a gourmet chef or just a great cook, and some that just happen to come to me in my travels.
I am not a chef. This column is really going to focus on great and good food, though not necessarily gourmet, foodie-style, snobby, upscale-restaurant kinds of food. Unless, of course, I get wind of one of those dishes that simply cannot be ignored. I love food. Period.
In my first column a couple years ago, I talked about that love. I said that nary an hour goes by without at least a thought of food. But I have guidelines. I’ll only eat it if it’s delicious, if it’s served to me and I don’t want to insult the cook, or if I’m starving. Generally, if it doesn’t make me happy, I’ll pass.
I also love looking at food, reading about it, watching people eat it in movies, and watching people eat something that they obviously can’t get enough of, whether or not I share that particular taste.
Take oysters. Who doesn’t covet a raw oyster? I don’t. Judging by the way so many obviously savor them, I think I’m in the minority when I say I don’t get the appeal. Sorry. My father loved them, and I loved watching him eat them.
In Ernest Hemingway’s novel “A Moveable Feast,” he had this to say about oysters: “As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.”
I don’t know. I’d rather wash down a great slice of pizza with the crisp taste of wine.
So I promise to tell you about some fabulously ridiculous food next week. Knowing me, I’ll probably tell you something about the origins of the particular food or dish, and give you the details, whether you want them or not, of my experience cooking it, while sipping a Manhattan. Because a Manhattan makes cooking, and everything else, more fun.
I might embellish a little too, if I feel like I’m boring you. But I have a thing about lying; it’s the old tangled web/guilt thing, so I’ll probably admit that I lied.
Anyway, bear with me and I’ll do my darndest to hold your interest and hopefully entertain you for a few minutes each week.
OK. Phew. I’m glad that’s over. Now I’m going to make a Manhattan and celebrate my first column in LCN. And hopefully I can sleep tonight.
See ya next week!
(Suzi Thayer paints, feeds stray cats, eats good food, and drinks Manhattans. She’d love to hear from you with ideas and recipes for the column. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.)