With the year waning, I can’t help but reflect on the 12 months that were.
I contemplate all aspects of life as Dec. 31 nears, career especially. My finances are always a close second. I’m one of those geeks who has been fretting about retirement since I was 19.
As I look ahead to the opportunity that seems to come with the changing of the calendar, I have all these ideas about what I hope to achieve. I find myself pondering what’s worth pursuing, what’s worth taking the risk, what’s better left to brew for a while.
Fortunately, I always have this website as a diversion. And reflecting on the year that was in food is a welcome distraction from the other heavies.
In 2011, I had a long list of experiences to whittle down to my absolute favourite and most memorable moments in food. This year, however, was decidedly more low-key for me when it came to dining excursions. A big reason for it was focusing more of my time on the Garden of Eating — Niagara, the residential fruit picking program I run that harvests unwanted fruit and donates it to local social organizations.
Sometimes I also had the sinking feeling that some food-focused events were getting away from being moments to build community, share knowledge and nourishment, and merely becoming places to be seen. And, well, that’s not my scene.
At times, it felt more like competitive eating and left me longing to get back to what food really means to me. Nourishment for the soul, body and community.
So rather than particular moments, this year I’m reflecting on the people who inspired me in 2012 — many have inspired me for much longer — and helped keep me grounded, brought me great joy with their company, generosity and kindness, and fed me well.