Gosh, we've been gone a long time.
The last few weeks have felt like a beautiful blur, a whirl of images and great meals, pork sandwiches in San Francisco, prosciutto eaten in the car on the way to a book signing, a late-night meal with friends on a warm evening, sitting on the sidewalk waiting for the next excellent dish to arrive.
You know those dreams you have just after you have fallen asleep? Those dreams that feel more vivid than real life, intensified in color and sensation, everything hugely important and gracefully easy at the same time? Sometimes I involuntarily flinch myself awake from those dreams — wake up running in the bed — and I always feel sad to let them go. These past few weeks? They have been like those dreams. Only, there has been no flinching or shrugging. Only long hugs and laughter, bacon next to buckwheat groats and another cup of coffee.
These past few weeks have been the best days that Danny and I have ever lived.
The only regret? We couldn't write here. In our nine days of book tour in New York, I realized just how frustrating a smart phone could be. Thinking I could take photographs of everything and make up posts on the spot, I found nothing but frustration with the cramped keys on the phone and the spotty coverage where we were staying in Queens. I didn't update us once, even though there were amazing meals.
We were home for five days, and on four of them, we had public appearances for our cookbook. Exhaustion set in. I could barely lift the mail out of the box, much less process photos and write something akin to sensible.
And then, San Francisco. Five glorious days in one of our favorite cities in the world, including two days at the BlogHer Food conference. I spoke on a panel and gave the final keynote address with two writers I respect deeply. Dazed by the experience, and the intense connections I experienced with at least a hundred people who came to thank me for what I said, Danny and I went to the fabulous after-party. (So did our toddler. She danced more than anyone.) The entire event was sponsored by the Pork Board. At least 20 little dishes for people to sample and nibble, along with bacon martinis. Everything was gluten-free.
And since we have been home from San Francisco, Danny and I both have been overwhelmed. By the emails. By the kind offers. By the new work. By the lack of sleep with a darling girl suffering with molars coming in. By the state of the house. By the lack of space and time to really reflect on what has happened, and how much this time has changed us.
Today, however, I decided to start small.
This was the breakfast Danny made us the morning after we returned home. (We're going to be gone again in November, with a week in Colorado, but it won't be as packed as this past month was.) The night before, we stopped at the store on our way home from the airport. Eggs, salad greens, potatoes, avocadoes, apples for Lu. “Ham?” he said to me.
“Yes,” I said. It's about the only pork product we had not eaten in the past few weeks. There's something homey about ham. Solid and dependable, never on the menu of avant garde restaurants. It's mom cooking. It's Easter Sunday. It's long strips nuzzled against fried eggs. It's breakfast.
In the morning, we pulled the coffee table away from the couch. (The dining room table was covered in books and gifts from swag bags, which we later gave away.) All three of us sat on the floor and dug our forks into the first cooked-in-our-home we had eaten that week. That ham, the salty meatiness of it, the familiar flavor, felt welcoming.
We are home now.
Since we've been gone so long, Danny and I will be posting up something five days a week for awhile here, to catch you up on meals we have experienced, new recipes we've imagined, links to crazy and interesting blog posts from other people, and even the debut of a new video series we are going to be doing called Pork 101.
We can't wait to share this with you. We've missed you. There's so much to share.
We are back here now.