Grist for the Mill
Autumn knocked on the door this week, making itself known as the mornings required slippers on my feet. A friend has suggested despondent as the word of the year. Autumn is knocking, but it’s too early for debate about words of the year. Still, I suggest persimmon.
There’s just one persimmon in this fall magazine, but I found myself wondering if I could substitute persimmons for apples in Sadie Krueger’s recipe for Apple Clafoutis, the dessert offered in her Fall Family Sunday Supper, on the Cooking Fresh pages here. If it’s not quite time to substitute persimmons for apples in desserts, and not quite time to substitute them for summer tomatoes in dinner salads, soon it will be, once the last of the tomatoes have been put up for winter use and once the persimmons are ripe.
Despondent was offered as word of the year after I noted how many of my friends tear up about the Dixie fire. I didn’t mean because of the suffocating smoke, though there’s that. They tear up about the forest animals, the forest-bathing and mushroom-gathering places it has devoured, the lives and wedding plans it has scorched and displaced. And not just the Dixie fire, the Dixie and the Caldor, the Monument and McFarland, and so many other northstate fires that didn’t reach or haven’t yet reached six figures of acreage burned. With the tears, hopelessness and helplessness rise up.
And so I turn to persimmons. Like most of the tricks of denial that serve me, this one flips the page, and though I don’t like the selfishness served, neither do I find another escape. We do this, don’t we, turn to planting garlic, perfecting home kitchen bagels, tending the nursery, testing the recipe for Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic, sending the kids off to school masked, diving into the next project, hopeful and helpful.
I’ve begun looking for the next publisher of Edible Shasta-Butte magazine. It’s time. Younger voices will manage the content of this magazine, and I’m excited to see where they take it. The Women’s Business Center at JEDI, the Jefferson Economic Development Institute in Mt. Shasta connected me with a fellow who appraises businesses and who looked at the magazine’s financials. He helped me set an asking price, and I’ve approached people who can help me get the word out, Edible Shasta-Butte is for sale. Perhaps you, too, the magazine’s readers, will help get the word out. Perhaps you (singular or plural!) would like to make the magazine your next project. It won’t disappoint you. If you’re interested, email or phone me. My contact info is in the column to the right.
Meanwhile, I’m not going anywhere.
Candace Byrne, Publisher
Cover artist: In 2002, Dolores Mitchell retired after teaching art history at CSUC for thirty years. She then co-founded Avenue 9 Gallery with Maria Phillips. She began to paint every day, with rice fields in all seasons as a favorite subject. She has paintings at the Vagabond Rose Gallery, located at 3rd Street and Main, and at the “Flora, Fauna and Fields” exhibit (together with Eva Farley and Candy Matthews) at The Red Tavern, located at 3rd Avenue and The Esplanade in Chico.
Dolores Mitchell says: “I’ve been painting rice fields for fifteen years and each season still offers visual surprises that stimulate my imagination.”
The paintings of rice fields, rice silos, and rice farmers—on the cover and this page—use very different techniques, but all three illustrate the effects of these vistas on Dolores Mitchell’s imagination.