In Our Holiday 2015 Issue
Hops, Spuds, Soup, Nuts, Spice—and Art!
What a fine initial list: Let's all rejoice in going "simple" for the holidays!
As our eighth year in print draws to a close it’s tempting to wax nostalgic about past years and all the changes we have seen since 2008. But what's the sense in looking back, except to help adapt more gracefully to what lies ahead? For English lit. majors the monosyllabic list cited at the top of this page may recall Paradise Lost, but actually it is just all the story subjects for this Holiday issue. (Apologies to John Milton.)
I love this list for its basic-ness: Note it is formed of "prime numbers." All of these elements are best made a part of, or paired with, something else: hops into beer, spuds with cheese, soup and salad, nuts with cream or salt, spice into whatever needs livening up—and art into life! The indivisibility of prime numbers adds to the appeal of these elemental foods: We must work creatively to make full use of them and find the partners with which they share an affinity.
You may well wonder: What does any of this have to do with the holidays? For me, seeking a food's complement is reminiscent of gift giving at its most open-ended, "mix and match" best. And a lot like trying to find just the right entree to satisfy the palates of all guests at a big holiday gathering. Or like the wine or beer or spirit that, when added, puts the "whole" over the top. Indeed, prime numbers can be multiplied, even if they're not divisible.
And what about art? One could make a case that art is to life what spice is to food, the element that transforms the ordinary into a new, memorable experience. The art in this issue is "The Farm to Frame" exhibit at Crooked Tree Arts Center, which can remind us of the range of what food adds to our lives: from simple and basic nourishment to the sublime and transcendent flavors attained both by our best local chefs and by more humble cooks at their home hearth. Speaking of which, we hope you make good use of the many recipes included in this Holiday issue. After all, the least we can do is share all the savory ways you can blend these simplest of story subjects into your holiday celebrations!
Which brings to mind those most cherished of life's pleasures: good health and ample time with loved ones to pause and reflect on all for which we count ourselves grateful. For many of us, life's pretty good—so we can spare the time and energy to help those who are struggling this holiday season, and such help makes it merrier for all, including ourselves. Cheers and best wishes for a peace-filled holiday season from all of us at EGT!
-Charlie Wunsch, Publisher