Letter from the Editor
During fall and winter—which fling leaves from the branches of trees and spit snow across our windshields with abandon—efficiency is happening underground, preparing the soil for protection from the cold and working things over to the beat of a very ancient, fertile drum. It’s this discipline, that may seem limiting in its state of hibernation between October and March, that produces the glorious, inventive results that justify a new title for the times: Spring.
I bring up practicality and its disguised role in creativity as we enter what seems to be the season for a conglomeration of planning and innovation. After months of storing, burrowing, and isolating, we’re dusting off old habits that didn’t get rolled into our New Year resolutions because the change in weather beckons our imaginations up and out, but for many of us, not without a bit of preparation. This issue is meant to emphasize a balance that myself and perhaps others seek; if the devil is in the details, but planning is inevitable for productivity, how much attention to the details is too much, without sacrificing the necessary latitude that coaxes creativity?
I’d like to think that I can satisfy both sides without sacrificing either. If planning doesn’t come naturally to you, you may find that Survival Gardening offers just the right amount of how-to bravado to kick your procrastination tendencies aside without taking the fun out of a green thumb experience. You may also take notes from Sips, which encourages particularity during your spring farmers’ market strolls to avoid over-buying while also trying seasonal produce in a nontraditional way.
Artisan walks us through the history of charcuterie, a dish that competes today for diners' attention with its placement, colors, variety, and flavor complements, but that was founded to fulfill a much more practical need for food preservation before refrigeration existed. And finally, a story of mother and daughter is told in Cooking at Home, where the pair plays off of one another's flexible moods and history within the familiar confines of an organized and methodical kitchen.
Whatever your inspiration, enjoy an end to the long, bitter cold months and breathe in the fresh air of this spring season.