THIS BLOG originated as a birthday gift, a nudge for me to document and share my thoughts, experiments and adventures in the world of food. It came with a name, Prospect: The Pantry, so I decided to explore how it might work for me. Both words have meaningful provenance as well as relevance, so at least I can start the soup with good bones.
PROSPECT — in addition to being literally the place where we live — means vista as a noun (as in view of the farmland), forward-looking in its adjectival form (think prospective picnic), and mining or harvesting as a verb (as in prospecting for gold, or maybe leeks?). A positive and versatile word, visionary even.
PANTRY– in addition to being literally the place where I write — traditionally was the place where bread was stored (the word comes from pain, French for bread, which in my view is better than the alternative larder, from lard, the animal fat). It has typically been associated with tableware, as it was the zone between kitchen and dining room where service was readied. In today’s parlance, the pantry has also become the place where foodstuffs are stored.
The pantry for me, in addition to provisioning, connects farm to kitchen to table. It balances bounty and frugality. It’s the place where I keep the tomatoes that I can every summer, the preserves that I put up as I transform the proceeds of farm or farmers’ market, the vanilla extract or preserved lemons that are curing, the sauerkraut that’s fermenting, the ingredients that I stockpile — for winter days with family, the office summer picnic, soccer outings, or any gatherings where I can prospect the pantry for something that I made with respect for the earth and love for my family and friends. As a place for tableware, it is a repository for the beautiful objects that I use to present flowers and compose food on plate or platter and present for all to share as we gather around the table. And since my own pantry contains my writing desk, it’s where I ruminate and churn and cure my ideas.
SO WELCOME. This will be an adventure.