By Kim Dannies
I recently dined at a restaurant where an old Basque saying “Nola jan jakitea, nahikoa jakitea da” graced the menu: “to know how to eat is to know enough.” I am smitten by that word, enough. I feel my belly and my head and my heart come together with a satisfied sigh of pleasure and relief every time I hear it. Enoughness. It’s that countless place of comfort where basic needs are more than met, where contentment with simple means and accomplishment allows us to experience the elegance of satisfaction.
After nearly 300 Everyday Gourmet columns, it’s time to for me to say “enough.” It’s been a wonderfully satisfying experience to share cooking knowledge and stories with my community and I am grateful to the Observer, and to my readers, for all of the loving support and enthusiasm you have shown me. I have just published my first book, “Everyday Gourmet,” a collection of my favorite Observer columns since 2003. I started writing the column as a way of sharing culinary knowledge with my community, and it also served as a kind of family food journal as we raised our three daughters.
“Rashomon” is a generic term for “same story different memory.” One can share a whole life with others and all are going to tell a radically different story about what that life was like. As a parent and a wife, it was a treat for me to witness and publish my version of our story as it unfolded. I dedicate this book to my family as a way of saying thank you for allowing me to write about the intimacies and humor we experienced during the caviar of the childhood years.
When we feel we have enough, our definition of satisfaction and standards releases the pressure for “bigger, better, more” and allows us to operate in a sweet flow. “Everyday Gourmet” is a modest book, but it is enough for me. My Observer departure is an opportunity to reboot my inner navigation system and risk some new writing projects. This is my symphony moving forward: that I have enough, that I am enough, that I live in the sweet spot of enoughness.
Farewell dear readers, and pots full of love.
Kim Dannies is a graduate of La Varenne Cooking School in France. She lives in Williston with her husband, Jeff; they have three twenty-something daughters who come and go. For archived Everyday Gourmet columns go to kimdannies.com.