The cold, stillness of February seems to have swept in and quieted our already too quiet town, but there is a beauty to the stillness - the sun which seems more present these past few weeks floods our normally dark North facing home and branches coated with moisture twinkle in its warmth.
Despite the quiet streets, I'm always surprised when arriving at the shop to a low buzz of shoppers chatting about their latest bakes and cooking adventures. Let me tell you, there is no one thing, no trend, that we can point to locally. While the latest TikTok viral sensation recipe has everyone baking feta and it's Finnish creator Jenni Häyrinen enjoying it's third wave of popularity - you, my dear Bloomingtonians, cook EVERYTHING.
It has been challenging to settle this week as we are busy planning a year of virtual events for the shop, creating content, and unpacking even more delightful finds. We are never happier than when we are rearranging, setting new displays for you to explore, and chatting amongst ourselves about our own meals. A lot of that discussion centered around this weekend's 'big game", the Super Bowl.
Admittedly, not everyone at the shop are sports fans, but none of us ever miss an excuse to cook a celebratory meal. For my family it presents yet another chance to see if our yoga practice has beneficial effects on our blood pressure. You see, our beloved Kansas City Chiefs play Tampa Bay and there will be lots of pacing about nervously because. . . Tom Brady tends to ruin everything (ha!). Luckily though, there will be cooking. The pork shoulder is already in the oven and we are dying to turn out a batch of Peri Peri Chicken Wings. Tiffany pointed us in the direction of her and her husband Phil's favorite buffalo mac 'n' cheese recipe and to comfort our nervous stomachs and keep our hands busy, Alton Brown's soft pretzels will be our afternoon meditation.
The stillness of February also ushers in an opportunity to delve deeper into Black History - and there is such depth and wonder to behold. Black history, heritage, culture, and foodways are American history. Carve out some time to explore the different ways contributions of black heritage in the culinary arts are being brought to light, honored, and preserved. We've done some legwork to get you started: listen to a myriad of black historians and culinary influencers with the help of a currated list of talks or dive deeper into the experience of regional cuisines, ingredients, and lessons live with historian Michael W. Twitty's Shared Soul course.
Finally, we would be remiss in not noting our gratitude once again for each of you and to that end, we're having a little sale next week in preparation for Valentine's day. Starting Monday and running through Sunday, enjoy 25% off cotton aprons, Portland Syrup Co. beverage syrups, all Viski Brand bar and glassware, Mosser pressed glass tableware and cake stands, and any remaining, in-stock All-Clad pieces.
Have a wonderful week,
Sam. . . and go Chiefs
Join James Beard Award–winning culinary historian Michael W. Twitty on a cultural journey from West and Central Africa to the American South, exploring the deep and enduring connections across the Atlantic world. Drawing from Michael’s research and gastronomic experiences across West Africa and the American South, each session will trace the histories of regional cuisines, ingredients, and dishes, complete with a Q&A segment and sample recipes for you to try on your own. By the end of the course, you’ll have a richer appreciation of the culinary contributions of Africa and her Diaspora and a fuller understanding of American food.
Black Culinary History is a space dedicated to the thoughtful preservation of black heritage in the culinary arts throughout the African diaspora. This wonderful resource includes access to 26 podcast interviews with black chefs and culinary influencers.
Culinary Historian and author of The Cooking Gene, Michael W. Twitty speaks eloquently to his passion for illuminating traditions of African-disporic foodways, becoming the first colonial antebellum black chef in 150 years, and culinary justice.
"TikTok, this year’s great arbiter of food trends (the first being hot chocolate bombs), strikes again, launching a new recipe into the viral stratosphere. The newest installment to the pantheon of internet recipe stardom, however, took an unlikely path to arrive at its current A-list position." Read on. . .
Valentine's Week Sale
We believe anyone can cook.
We believe in welcoming everyone to the table.
We believe some tools are timeless.
We believe high quality isn't always expensive.
We believe in making things from scratch when possible.
We believe in gathering & connecting with one another.