Ganesha, remover of obstacles, has been hovering around the Edible East Bay mobile office throughout the summer. I believe he arrived in April, but it was not until late June that I was certain of his beneficent presence. Contributors Jillian Steinberger (Homemade Food Act ) and K. Ruby Blume (Fall Harvest Recipes) can attest to the Hindu god’s most obvious appearance, since it occurred when the three of us—along with seven other spry older folks—were driving up a forest road in the Sierra hoping to explore an aspen grove containing Basque sheepherder arborglyphs. (See Edible East Bay Spring 2007 The Saga of Burning Lamb for more on that word.) About a half-mile before reaching the grove, the cars were brought to a sudden halt by a sizable dead pine tree reclining across the road. We got out, stared at the barrier for a few minutes, and with hardly a word, simply removed the tree and continued on our way. The rottenness of the wood had much to do with the achievability of this feat, but so did our determination. It struck me immediately that the large elephant-headed god had been there encouraging us to continue toward our goal.
I understand that in India it is commonplace for business people to ask Ganesha to give his blessings to their endeavors, but I suspect that the blessings are effective only if the humans are willing to do the actual work toward accomplishing their goals, including the identification and removal of obstacles. Common impediments might be resistance to taking on yet another task or a belief that a goal isn’t achievable or worth the effort. This is precisely where I was up until May with Edible East Bay’s social media. I was so dug into my resistance to tweeting or posting to Facebook that these opportunities languished. When I asked an underemployed young friend, Sam Tillis, if he might want to try helping us enter the 21st century, I soon found I had put the task in good hands: This was someone who saw no barrier and simply did the work. If you are interested in seeing what Sam is up to, please friend us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.
Another initiative I had been wanting to take up but had doubted was within our reach was the launch and upkeep of a biweekly Edible East Bay e-newsletter. In the first week of June, Sam helped us set up a template on MailChimp, Kristina Sepetys and I wrote up copy and rounded up images, and Helen Krayenhoff created the logo and design. We liked the results so much that we have now sent out four more editions of our new East Bay Appetizer, which turns out to be a fun and fantastic way to broadcast updates on fast-breaking East Bay food-related events. We also include reviews of spanking new cookbooks, recipes appropriate for the moment, and other special surprise treats to reward our e-newsletter subscribers for playing in our sandbox. East Bay Appetizer is free, and to receive it, you have only to sign up at edibleeastbay.com.
Yet another reason to visit our website would be to read a letter to the editor from a reader who took issue with aspects of “It Takes a Grandmother,” an article in our Summer 2013 issue. Notably, according to website visitation analytics, that article has been the most widely read (online) of all the pieces in that issue, so the letter may be of interest as well. You can find it by clicking on “Current Issue” on the left side of the homepage and then on “Letter to the Editor” in the Fall Harvest 2013 table of contents.
In closing, I want to send out a word of thanks to everyone who participates in the Edible East Bay community: contributors, editors, advertisers, readers, and subscribers. Together, we are Ganesha and we have ample force to, at the very least, move a big log off of the road!
Happy harvest season!
Cheryl Angelina Koehler
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