I smear creamed honey on homemade bread and brew coffee beans bought from our local roaster and all around me, sit bowls and baskets full of produce bought a block away at our Farmers’ Market.
I shuck corn and pull the silk away from the yellow and white kernels, my hands doing the work my grandmothers used to do.
I love that each ear is unique, with uneven rows of kernels and patches of the cob peeking through. I’ve learned to see the beauty in the unsightly and so I write in my head,
#1813. Fresh ears of corn, missing kernels.
I slice peaches by the pound, cutting clean through to the pit to find the red flesh sewn in next to the yellow, and I think about God as the master Artist, His mix of colors glorious.
On the hundred year old hutch in the corner of my kitchen, okra and onions and bell peppers fill bowls. Sweet potatoes pile in a wire basket and in the fridge, a 6 pound cabbage is beginning to unfurl its leaves.
A quart of honey on the counter waits to be mixed with yeast and flour.
Hard apple cider in a bottle with a picture of the brewer’s granddaddy on the label, chills in the back of the fridge. I smile at the thought of pouring it into solo cups and enjoying it on the front porch long after the kids have gone to bed.
My kitchen is teeming with the wares of a small life lived in North Carolina, all bought at the Rocky Mount Farmers’ Market.
Tonight, my family will eat a farm to table meal…
Prepared by me, in the smallness of my kitchen, located in a part of town where gardens don’t grow.
We’ll use checked cloth napkins and silverware and our everyday china and we’ll pretend we’re at the best restaurant in town.
And I might even serve dessert, made with local blueberries.
I’m slowing down, y’all.
All the way down.
This morning, I embrace the slow instead of the spinning, trying to match the pulse of this place and I think this is how life should be lived.
I’m bent towards spinning and doing and living faster than God meant for me to live and so today, I light candles to invite the slow…
To make space for breathing and being.
And space to bake bread.
Today, I’m joining a community of writers who are seeking to find all sorts of gems in the places we’ve been called to live. Robin over at Pensieve, has graciously made a spot for us to share about our home towns. I personally love this lady because she has encouraged me in my own journey as a writer and because she made some space for me over at Bloom. She’s a well of encouragement, y’all.
On another note, you need to know that I considered writing about 2 local restaurants, both of which I have already written about here and here. They both deserve the honor of being named my favorite places to visit, but in staying true to my voice, I chose to write in real time. I am in the middle of my own 7 Experiment, the first month being centered around food. I am choosing to eat locally grown real foods, cutting out all processed foods, in order that I may lead our family into more intentional times spent in the kitchen and around our table.
I also believe that the Rocky Mount Farmers’ Market is a restaurant in its own rite. You choose from the vast menu, only pay for what you can eat, and you have the privilege of experiencing the preparation of the food.
You also get to see God’s handiwork all over your kitchen counters.
I say all of that to say this: I think we live too fast to enjoy food the way God designed it to be enjoyed. And I also think we live too fast to enjoy the people around our tables.
I want to encourage you, wherever you live, to find your local farmers’ market. Take the time to prepare a meal in your kitchen and serve it on real dishes and real silverware and use cloth napkins if you have some. We have 8. That is all. Savor the food and the people you love and you make space for God to show up around your table.
For more on the Rocky Mount Farmers’ Market, click here. (It is another story written by a friend of mine, over at Rise, the blog I launched a few weeks ago in order to build some community and find the good in our sleepy little town! This is small town, y’all. The Rocky Mount Farmers’ Market has no official website!)