“If you really want to make a friend, go to someone’s house and eat with them… the people who give you their food give you their heart.” – Cesar Chavez
The food we cook has a story. From the sandy loam soil of Capay, where sweet potatoes are harvested from the earth and hand packed in wax boxes that are loaded onto a truck and driven down a dirt road. That road becomes a paved, two-way highway that winds its way through golden hills and oak trees, through small towns, where the land opens up and Walnut groves, and Wheat fields adorn the valley floor. Soon agricultural land gives way to stop signs and street lights that guide the truck to our store where the boxes are unloaded, then stacked in the back. There, produce staff sort and arrange the orange tubers so they can be snatched one by one or by the handful, into the carts and into our homes. In the kitchen, we are fueled by craft, history, and innovation, where we attempt our recipes committed to memory or printed on the partially smeared index card tucked carefully away for such occasions.
Whether it’s a family favorite or a new recipe that ignites conversation between new friends, this shared experience of food is at the center of our meals. It’s incredible what we’re willing to make time for if we’re motivated. Although we often end up just a bit too hurried to make it to the gym in the morning, we can still find time to go to the movies after work. Perhaps we should view eating together not as another appointment on a busy schedule, but rather as an opportunity to de-stress, a chance to catch up with those whom we love. Food is the main ingredient that binds us together; the food that we prepare and put on the table are notes of our culinary symphony. So, let us be thankful for one another, for our friends, for our family, for our food. May your Winter feasts and gatherings be full of love and good cheer, as you sip from the harvest moon.