With that in mind, I started thinking about a project for my 38th birthday. (For 37, I chronicled 365 days on Facebook. Each day I noted a position of strength, and these included publication credits, the birth of my nephew, a new dress, and a road trip to Nashville. On particularly gruesome days, I noted the pleasure of basic hygiene or the taste of bacon. I encourage people to note the strength in their lives as a regular practice. It can be illuminating, and the discipline to do something for 365 consecutive days is good. It can lead to discipline in other aspects of life, I promise.)
For 38, I plan to combine this blog's professional advice with my love of cooking and my unyielding Maine identity. (See above: kitchen conversations.) For those of you with connections to the state, you may be familiar with Marjorie Standish. She is, in a phrase, Maine's Julia Child. Her Cooking Down East is a staple in Maine kitchens, and I remember my mother's handwritten Marjorie Standish recipes on little pink index cards in a metal recipe box. Molasses doughnuts. Clam chowder. Tomato aspic. (Ass-pick. It's true.) Iconic, homestyle food prepared with little fuss and pretention, all accompanied by Marjorie Standish's reflections and occasional moralizing. I loved thumbing through those recipe cards, and I loved it even more when Trav's Aunt Arvilla gave us the cook books on our wedding day ten years ago.
So for this, my 38th year, I will cook my way through my stained and dog-eared copy of the original Cooking Down East. (With apologies to the publisher, but not the new version of the book. While I appreciate the publisher's offerings, to include my own little novel, Marjorie Standish is an icon that needs no embellishment and to modernize her world view is, in my opinion, a small heresy.)
With much love from Aunt Arvilla.