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October 01, 2003

It came out of nowhere

One day, I'm happily ensconced in Capitol Hill, thinking to myself, that this is the life. I've finally come to peace with the idea of settling myself on the West Coast and not trying to be a New Yorker again. I've finally made my way to a neighborhood where I feel completely at ease. I've finally got a place I love and could see staying in for years to come.

And then, one day over the summer, on a perfectly innocent trip back from North Bend, a thought entered my head, and it scared the bejeezus out of me. "Hmm...maybe some day I would want a farm." Now the scary thing is that although those were the words in my head, the image of it was absolutely crystal clear and specific--a small sheep and goat dairy farm where I would make artisanal cheeses.


Yeah, I know. I make food. This is what I do. It's what I love. And, well, I've got some fairly complex theories about the spiritual power of cheese that ranks up there with my belief that pork is going to need to be a central ingredient in any recipe for achieving world peace. But I'm also a city girl. I mean, I always thought of Ballard as the country. So this was all just a passing thought, right?

But I felt it, even more strongly, driving back from Eastern Washington back during Labor Day weekend. And was even more scared.

Nowadays I find myself really giving thought to how likely any of this could be. When would be an optimal time to consider starting up a side operation of that nature, and would it be somewhere between my Microsoft job and the Cascade range, or back east, because, well, if I'm not going to live in the city, then I might as well return more to my roots and see my family a bit more.

Not that I'm thinking any of this will happen any time soon. I'm too young still to live outside of the city proper. On the other hand, I've started thinking of living in the city as something that I might not always want to do. Lord, what the hell is happening to me. Are the rest of you recently-turned-30 nonstrangers going through similar crises, beginning to believe that certain things that you had thought were a part of you were only a part you as young person? Help!

Anyway, I intend to post something later today about Amanda Hesser's scathing, and amazing, critique of this Semi-Homade series of cookbooks, but I got stuck reading this article about a sheep farm and artisinal cheesemaking operation in Connecticut and thinking about how I might write to the folks who run it and try to chat them up about the whole thing.

And then I got scared again.

Posted by paulette at October 1, 2003 11:05 AM | TrackBack
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I identify with your sentiments. My turning 30 is not quite so recent... but I have also put off buying the Capitol Hill condo partly because my feelings about getting out to nature somewhere are pretty strong. I have definitely shifted my thoughts from all about how I live now to thinking more about how I want to live in the future (and to that end, I'm moving off the Hill this month).

I, too, think about farms, though I also think about grand gardens in the forest and a retreat center, rural bay-front property somewhere, or large boats. I suppose the ideal would be rural bay-front property with moorage, a large boat, hot springs, and an organic farm.

I also think about returning to my roots—my grandfather's home—near the border between Flemish Brabant and Walloon Brabant outside Brussels, but that requires more investigation before I'll start to daydream about it.

Posted by: Gary on October 1, 2003 01:16 PM

I totally support you. But must observe: this from a woman who knocked Leschi as insufficiently urban? ;)

Posted by: jay on October 1, 2003 01:41 PM

Hmm, I very nearly moved to Leschi. I was drawn by cheap moorage on the lake.

I'd like to add that I went through a period in which I imagined always living on Capitol Hill—that anything less urban would be bizarre and someone should euthanize me if I ever went that far backward.

Now, uh, I don't see it as backward.

Posted by: Gary on October 1, 2003 01:47 PM

I know, I know, Jay. Trust me, no one is more scared or surprised by all of these bad thoughts than I am. On the other hand, how does nonfamous cheesemakers sound as a brand name to you?

Posted by: paulette on October 1, 2003 01:48 PM

Could I order some artisianal velveeta wrapped in those nice little clear plastic packages?

Posted by: Mike on October 1, 2003 02:13 PM

Artisinal velveeta! That the funniest thing I've read all week. Hmmm...

Posted by: jay on October 2, 2003 02:03 PM

Uhm, yeah, I thought that one up to, even before Pops posted the idea. Really. I did. And it's probably got more marketability, I should think, than my idea for Easy Goat Cheese. Or Brie Whiz.

Posted by: paulette on October 2, 2003 02:10 PM
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