When our Spring issue went to press a year ago, nobody was imagining we would spend much of the next 12 months in some degree of pandemic lockdown. Since that time, home has been the safest place to be. It’s where we have learned how to wait, be patient, and make a better practice of soothing fears and taking care of others. It’s where we have sat and thought long and hard about how to take action on things that matter, which causes to show up for, and how to spend our money for the most good.
And it’s also been a place for letting go, a thought that arose when one of us noticed a forgotten sweet potato had sprouted and was slowly sending its vines out along a windowsill.
Our homes—and our lives, for that matter—have become havens of creativity as we learn to adapt while solving problems we hadn’t met with before, or as we search for new ways to get through the day with lifted spirits. On neighborhood walks, we take extra joy in nature, and our eyes take notice of potentially fertile ground for growing food.
What herbs could I grow? What fruit tree could I plant?
In our home kitchens, we have learned how to cook again—or even for the first time—and we have tried making dishes we used to feel we didn’t have time for.
What will we cook when we can meet again with extended family and friends?
This season in our work at Edible East Bay, we’ve been inspired by several energetic and creative women who have devoted their careers to producing outstanding extra-virgin olive oils. To bring that appreciation home, we’ve tracked down numerous recipes for showing off good olive oils, from a sauté with artichokes and fava beans to a carrot cake. We even added a set of olive oil cocktails. No kidding!
Our spirits have been lifted by getting to know several BIPOC winemakers who apply ingenuity and tenacity toward breaking barriers in the world of wine. We look forward to serving their wines to friends in the not-too-distant future.
We found another tale of ingenuity unfolding in Albany, where Ryan Crosbie has been in his garage building a special shopping cart to make our farmers’ market trips easier and protect our produce from getting squashed on the way home. You’ll see that cartoonist Gary Handman could use one!
Since seasonality is a favored subject at Edible East Bay, we were especially delighted to learn how two curious and artistic local architects have depicted that subject. And since we’re always hungry, we ate up a page of musing by our columnist Meredith Pakier on local restaurant dishes she wants to remember from a year we all want to forget.
That’s just a bit of what to look for in this issue. We hope it spikes your curiosity and your creativity, or at the very least, that it adds some bright spring sunshine through your months ahead!
Cheryl Angelina Koehler and Rachel Trachten, editors