Getting Used To It…

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There are a few reasons I subscribe to Cook’s Illustrated Magazine…One of the main ones is to read Christopher Kimball‘s Editorial first thing when each issue comes in. More than the recipes, more than the test kitchen results, more than the illustrations on the covers…back and front…It was the editorial that made me send in that first check. And it’s the editorials that keep me re-subscribing each year.

The latest issue starts with “Getting Used To It”. Between the stories of neighbors, and deer hunting you come across gems like this…

Growing up in Vermont, I am used to hard work, to days that started before dawn, Saturdays being just another workday and Sundays for church and then hours fixing sanders on pickups, creosoting fence posts, changing oil, stacking wood, cleaning furnaces, or, once in a while, running off to the mall to buy a tree stand on sale or canning supplies…We grew up in brave little towns where trucks didn’t start, tractors got bogged down, and death was everyday, and so was a lucky shot, a potluck dinner, a warm stove, a story retold, and a reliable neighbor attracted our passions.

But the way he ended this editorial, this homage to his neighbors, his town…This is the quote I take to heart…

That is what I am used to most, a place where people are not forgotten even after they are gone. That is the secret of small towns, never letting go. Once you get used to a thing, you stick with it. We know better than to trust in the future, never expecting that something better will be coming soon round the blind curve in the dirt road.

And so Mr. Kimball paints another picture of small town Vermont. His word pictures are a mix of love and admiration, of longing for what was and joy for what is, of memories of youth and the promises of place. Every issue reminds me of what it was that brought me to this magazine to begin with…And it really wasn’t the cooking. Though, I must admit, Cook’s Illustrated has made me a better cook.

2 thoughts on “Getting Used To It…”

  1. I didn’t know the magazine at all, nor Mr. Kimbell. But he reminds me of a Maine woodworker and writer I read – who also proclaims the joy of permanency and detail, in his work and in his life. I just love all those things he said, and you, too. Once upon a time I enjoyed living at Kirby and Westheimer and being an “urban animal”. Those days are gone.

    There were a few cookies on the home page of that magazine that appealed, but I believe I’ll go back and check out the French onion soup!

    1. It’s funny. I wrote this back in 2010…Scheduled it to post and went on about my business. It was just this week that I noticed there was a scheduled post that had missed schedule. I went in and hit the publish button. And went on about my business again…I don’t think I even reread it. Your comment made me really look at it again…Thanks.

      Take a look at one of the pieces I am proudest of…Reviewing Fred First’s book, Slow Road Home, I’d be happy to hear what you think…

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