Year Two: There Was A Star Danced
And under that, kthread was born two years ago today.
I gave her birthday presents a little early this year: a refreshed banner image, a new cooking vlog, larger images. They grow up so fast.
Most recently, the kthread kitchen was filled with lemon meringue cupcakes. Before that, though, we rang in the new year with
champagne vorbet (see below) wishes and caviar-on-potato-with-champagne-dressing-and-crème-fraîche dreams.
I definitely spotted a Viking milling about, and the cheese board indicated Beyoncé made an appearance.
Dana smiled enigmatically in a fabulous, dramatic dress; Ben radiated health;
my dreamy Facebook husband Stewart matched the Gerbers, upholding a pink tie dress code and kissing me in my favorite Bowie wig.
Together, we four evangelized “vorbet,” the happy result of softening Dana’s pomegranate sorbet with vodka,
and the reason New Year’s Day recovery stretched out lazily over hoppin’ Jonatha (my variation on the traditional Southern Hoppin’ John with black-eyed pea cakes, stewed collards, aioli, and red peppers shaped like question marks symbolizing the surprises ahead in the new year) studded with Jordan’s multiple pork product contributions.
We sprinkled some of my favorite Christmas gifts from my mother, pink and red Peruvian, Bolivian, Hawaiian, and French finishing salts,
over local eggs, leftover caviar, and brioche toast,
dissecting the party, and reminiscing about the year behind us.
I will remember 2007 as the year I:
Fell deeply in love with Los Angeles—its markets, its vlogger community, its energy.
Wrapped a Cinderella pumpkin from the Dupont Farmers’ Market in three layers of bubble wrap, crossed my fingers, and checked it at the airport,
only to perform emergency surgery in Atlanta on said pumpkin, which did become a vessel bearing vegetable goodness to the
Ball Thanksgiving table.
Obsessed over fractal florets of cauliflower,
Shook off my concern for Kassandra’s new set of raptor dancer friends while watching a San Francisco sunrise,
Spun sugar into caramel threads for Lauren’s birthday gift (see the rest of the gifting ceremony here),
Learned (with Laura and Andrew) to always accept champagne in cans offered by men sitting on their boyfriend’s shoulders at a drag race,
Declared glowing sunchokes things of beauty and joys forever,
Joined forces with Zorro to seek out Waldo (elusive fellow),
Posed Dana and Severine in front of a Halloween beer graveyard,
Stumbled upon artificial cake props sold at the Charlottesville Chocolate Festival, and hurried off to cook real rainbow chard,
Shelled cranberry beans with Dana and Katrina to discover authentic local taste vexingly missing from the Crozet Craft Fair,
Partied with flamingos and other flighty creatures in Palm Desert,
Discovered a chocolate shop below the street,
Considered crafts like a purse hollowed out of the first Nancy Drew book and pins made out of buttons,
Laughed as Dana became Bob Ross,
Swung two hula hoops outside my favorite house in Mount Pleasant,
Reached the highest branches of apple trees,
Welcomed Jane into my life, my purse, and my travel to the Austin City Limits Festival,
Savored fried avocado in that September sea of cowboy hats and indie rock stars,
Xanadid? No, Xanadidn’t. Well, that’s a Xanadon’t.
Picked, destemmed, and pressed chardonnay grapes from old vines,
Toasted summer’s glorious Sunday afternoons,
Cartwheeled through local wineries,
Admired Will and Dana dancing under the tree canopy at Esmont,
Picnicked till the leaves turned,
Shopped Rodeo Drive with Jeannine,
Glimpsed the stars at the Griffith Observatory,
Sampled Kat’s homemade kombucha,
Gawked at a real hipster mullet at Carrboro’s Really, Really Free Market,
Watched Ben boil eighty hot dogs in beer,
Raised a glass to another year of supporting fiercely independent women and women’s causes,
Ordered sautéed grasshoppers with Chris,
Examined Irish embroidery at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival,
Pondered Buddhas at Eastern Market,
Discovered hosting a casual barbecue with a roommate from a cattle farm means twenty pounds of meat in the refrigerator,
Levitated with squash blossoms filled with goat cheese and garlic chives in a crisp beer batter,
Invited brave readers to eat a chive flower whole—the equivalent of swallowing a firecracker,
Accepted a rose on the way out of a bizarrely traditional Dallas restaurant with Lobster Thermidor on the menu,
Submitted an entry for the exciting Public Radio Talent Quest (another step in my personal quest to meet Ira Glass),
Convened the first annual Charlottesville’s Next Top Dogwood competition,
(Stewart styling Sarah, Steph, and Dana)
(the strongest couple image)
(I look askance at Ben’s incorporation of a yoga element in the competition)
(and the vote was close, but the image of Dana below was a clear winner)
Swayed as Dana and Ben finally found “the love of a lifetime,”
Cheered as Kassandra received multiple honors during her graduation from Point Park University, where she processed barefoot and grinned at the Jumbotron,
Perplexed by snow on Easter, made a goat cheese cake and joined Carolyn singing the Bangles at Eric’s Easter-B-Q,
Assumed my secret Wonder Woman identity for the America Day celebration of putt putt, transport, processed food, and John (Captain America).
Giggled with Angela at her delightful baby shower with curious sonogram bookmark favors,
Mixed blood orange juice into mocktails as Ben and I showered our good friend Sean with books for his newborn Benjamin (who, anxious not to miss the fun, attended his own shower),
Froze bacon ice cream for a Chinese New Year of the Pig party where Mica made fortune cookies,
Baked a fish in salt dressed as Lost in Space Piggy,
Squinted as Dana gracefully cracked the fish’s salt crust,
and was endlessly inspired by new friends online, work colleagues that give chocolate letters of the alphabet, work colleagues that practice nasal irrigation, Ben’s ability to wear my jeans, Dana’s thoughtful photography album present, tastespotting, the power of public broadcasting, and all of your supportive comments.
In the year ahead, there may be moments of feistiness—you know how fractious two-year-olds can be—but I hope you will continue to join me as we spelunk hidden foodpaths, frame photographic moments, and shape memories into meaning…
p.s. Favorite moment from the year past? Anything I left out? What shall we do this year on kthread?