Relish.

When the world goes my way, my Sunday morning ritual is to sit in a clean, quiet kitchen, drinking coffee and reading, sometimes with background music, sometimes with silence. It is my favorite ritual.

Yes, you might say that I relish Sunday mornings, that unfettered and restorative time that helps me feel balanced and renewed.

It’s a good word, isn’t it? It feels good saying it. R-E-L-I-S-H.

It’s a delicious word, and rightly so. Derived from Old French relaisser, it’s a different kind of word from, say, “enjoy.” Relish implies aftertaste, something remaining, a lingering enjoyment.

In the language of food, relish is a condiment, an add-on that enhances another, more important item. Think pungent and punchy: Sweet pepper relish; hot pepper relish; mustard relish. And let us not forget olive relish, whether or not we call it tapenade.

In the South, of course, we have chow chow relish, which is probably being made, right now, today, in a kitchen (or dozens) near me, because green tomatoes are in their second summer season.

Relish is also the name of the website/service/company that most closely matches the idea I had, years ago, when I started the Dinner Prompt blog, curating and aggregating recipes from other sites to make an easily searchable resource to support making dinner at home. Every time I put it out in the universe that I’m going to resuscitate that concept, something big happens — not in a good way. You’ll note, if you visit the site, that the most recent post is dated March 3, 2020. Ah, that naïve and ignorant bliss of early 2020….

Why is that important to me? Because I RELISH time spent reading, writing, and thinking about food and cooking, about how the shared experience of a meal can feed a relationship. I relish doing research that leads to insights and discovery about food and cooking.

This Sunday morning, and on into the day, I’m going to dig back into my David Tanis collection, including going through the catalog on his website.

Why Tanis? His approach to food and cooking and communal eating is the right combination of interesting and accessible, to me. I like the way he writes about food, and I’ve had good success with his recipes.

Also, it’s fig season here. What better time to pull out A Platter of Figs?

All things I enjoy, long after I’ve finished the active part of the activity.

The question for you, this Sunday morning (or whenever you make your way to and through this post) is this: What do you relish, and why?

12 thoughts on “Relish.

  1. I relish quiet mornings reading Father Richard Rohr’s daily contemplation and listening to the squirrelly sounds of two yayas home from college giving one other rations of shit and love in mostly equal parts. And this morning, reading your words, which sooth and comfort like a favorite sweater on a chilly night.
    Good stuff, Jennifer.

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