Here is another year to give us all a new beginning.
I am grateful to live in a beautiful state, where despite long cold winters and short hot summers we still manage to get enough for all of us to eat. Well, yes, even if that means trucking in some of it from other states.
I have long thought that eating locally meant eating only foods produced within a reasonable distance from home. But after receiving an unexpected bounty of oranges and lemons from California, I have revised my thinking. These precious citrus gifts were grown locally where my friends picked them and found their way to me with a minimum of effort.
A Los Angeles friend enclosed lemons from the tree by her back door with a Christmas gift, and a Montana friend, who had driven to San Diego to visit relatives, brought back oranges and lemons from the relatives' yard.
So technically, this is not local food, but I eat it with joy and gratitude, thinking of the generous people who share their bounty.
To make the transition to the new year a bit brighter, I also sipped some Grand Marnier I bought to use in making fortune cookies. The cookies were somewhat of a flop, but I learned that they are not difficult to make even if you are doing it late at night in a kitchen with bad lighting and iffy equipment. (Parchment paper is adequate -- it wrinkles when you reuse it, creating wavy cookies -- but a silicone baking mat would be perfect.) And it was fun to search for and even create fortunes to stuff them with. So I will try again.
Here is a toast to a joyous new year filled with all good things . . . whether they look perfect or not!