I have, to put it rather mildly, an appetite. I savor my food and relish my drink. (If I’ve an extra bit of curve to my frame, I can assure you I’ve enjoyed putting on every last ounce of it.) I spend rather a lot of time thinking about eating, too: my shelves are littered with memoirs by urban homesteaders and food critics and romantic culinary figures. I worry over farm subsidies and industrialized agriculture, I read everything Michael Pollan puts into print. Entire vacation itineraries are organized around where and what and when to eat.
And in between the eating and the thinking about eating, there’s plenty of flipping through recipes, lots of cooking and baking, the occasional pickling or canning project, and (perhaps my favorite part) sitting down at tables and breaking the proverbial bread with the man I love, with my friends and my family. If you add it all up, all this food business constitutes a pretty sizeable hunk of my day.
So imagine, if you will, a fairy godmother alights on your back porch one evening and offers you a job at Omnivore Books on Food. It’s a sunlit little jewel box of a place, she explains, as if you hadn’t been stalking the position since the shop opened. The proprietor is a gem, the customers are unusually sweet-tempered and polite, and you can spend as much time as you like thumbing through antiquarian culinary treatises and adding stacks of memoirs and monographs to your must-read queue. You’ll attend thought-provoking events and meet interesting people and a few of your heroes. Oh, and did I mention you’ll get a discount on cookbooks?
You accept, of course. And it’s lovely. You stroll to work through your charming, leafy neighborhood to get to your charming, sunny place of work in a quaint former butcher shop, you turn on the lights and somebody pays you to talk and think about food all day. So one question, Fairy Godmother: Cinderella had her pumpkins and a curfew to contend with. What’s the catch?
Well, dear, she says, sighing, I forgot to mention that you’ll spend your entire shift in a state of acute, gnawing hunger. What do you expect, with all that gorgeous food photography, the conversations about pasta? You’ll have to bring snacks. Fruit, nuts, anything to take the edge off. Still in?
You betcha. And if you’re ever in San Francisco, dear reader, come on by the shop for a visit. I’ll have snacks.
Kate’s Trail Mix
makes enough for a few work days
- 1 C dried apricots, diced
- 1/2 C dried sweet cherries, diced
- 1/2 C raisins
- 1 C salted cashews or peanuts
- 1/2 C raw almonds
- 1/2 C dark chocolate, chopped
- 1/2 C dry-roasted pumpkin seeds
Sift the chocolate to remove any “dust” and mix the remaining ingredients to combine. Keeps well, tightly sealed, for several weeks.