In late June, I started dining outdoors at restaurants again (on my personal time—I'm still mostly unemployed as a food and travel journalist). This was a decision I made based on my own health risk factors and the health risk factors for those I come into close contact with, as well as my personal values.
Several years ago, I read Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, a memoir about her family's yearlong effort to eat only locally produced food. Although my suburban town house existence precludes me from raising chickens or growing a massive vegetable garden, I was inspired to buy a chest freezer for our garage.
Last summer, I got an e-mail from a reader named Jess about a place called Grandpa's Ice Cream in Fridley, a northern suburb of Minneapolis. She recommended that I check it out, so I added Grandpa's to my list of restaurants to try—and I finally got around to it a few weeks ago.
As I wrote about in this post, I started a home-based bakery called Tangled Up In Food Bakes at the end of May. I had absolutely no idea where it would lead—maybe it would become an important part of my life, maybe no one would order anything and I'd have enough muffin liners for the next eight years.
Last March, I was not in a very good place. Due to the stress of the pandemic and the loss of my freelance writing work, I felt overwhelmed with hopelessness. Part of how I coped was making a list of small, tangible things to look forward to when the world started to open back up, including three food-related things I wanted to do.