Yesterday two good things happened: I spotted the first pea blossoms in the garden, and my new book, The Fresh & Green Table, was chosen as one of NPR’s Top Ten Cookbooks for Summer, 2012. You might wonder that I put those two things in the same sentence, that I seem to weight them equally on the make-your-day meter.
Honestly, I did dance around my office when I saw the NPR list—I was very excited. Two years ago, Fast, Fresh & Green received this same honor, and I couldn’t believe my second book would also get a nod. I have tremendous respect for the reviewer, who is very thorough, so this is something to be proud of. (For anyone wanting to write a cookbook—or another cookbook—you’d be well-advised to read the list of 7 questions she asks herself when considering new books.) She had a ginormous stack of books to look at and to cook from this season, too.
I didn’t dance around the garden when I saw the pea blossoms. But my heart sang. Sheer beauty. It’s hard to describe—the complex emotions that come from pausing on a quiet, foggy morning to witness this crazy miracle of nature. There’s an element of relief, too, knowing you’ve managed to coax something along, that you’re actually growing food that you can eat and feed to others, too.
There’s a much less romantic reason to be grateful for good reviews and pea blossoms in the same breath. Quite simply, I know if I can sell books and sell peas (though neither actually makes me much money and both take an enormous amount of energy), then I can continue to get away with calling what I do a career, or a job, or something official. Ha! When really I’m just having fun. Some time back I decided that life is too short not to enjoy what you do every day. Sure, there are tradeoffs, but as long as I can keep this (old) roof over my head, I’m good.
The farm stand opens tomorrow!