Sometimes Food Just Doesn’t Matter

On the Rhine


In the grand scheme of things, all that happened is that a friend and I had a meal of fruit, cheese, and crackers by a river on an overcast Tuesday afternoon. Painted by these words, the moment seems a bit mundane, even hackneyed.

Let’s take a moment to dress it up a bit. The river was the Rhine, and the location was found in a stretch of road certified by UNESCO as being a World Heritage site. The scenery was beautiful with castles overlooking the river from high atop of hills that seemingly run straight down into the river’s valley. Barges laden with products from north and south lazily found their way around the many twists and turns. Senior Citizens traveled with purpose either upon bicycles or within RV’s. Green was everywhere. The hills were peppered with grape vines and deciduous trees just on the verge of changing their colors for the annual autumn explosion. No one seemed in a hurry, including Andrea and myself, who, on a whim, ventured into a small grocery store to pick up a lunch.

Here’s where I had an epiphany. The food purchased was nothing more than a bit of apple, some cheap crackers, and some cheese that can best be described as “workman-like”. It was good, but not great.

It didn’t matter one bit. I was sitting on the shores of the Rhine, watching the world go by, and sharing the moment with a  friend. It was as perfect of a moment as one can get on this planet, and the size of the grins on our faces was all the evidence I needed to prove this fact.

We who are passionate about food sometimes forget that there is more to life than what we are eating. There are times when what’s on one’s plate does not matter one iota. The law of diminishing returns kicks in, and if everything else is near perfect, the quality of the food does not need to be considered. Sometimes, in the quest to get the best out of life, we forget that some moments do not need micro managed. Fussing over food in moments like these are a horrible waste of energy.

Simply put, sometimes the best way to enjoy a moment is to let it be exactly the way it appears.

(Originally published on Accidental Hedonist on October 7th, 2009)

Why I Vanquished My Post Archives

When rebooting this site, I intentionally removed posts from Accidental Hedonist’s previous incarnation. It seems counter intuitive, doesn’t it? After all, it removed all relevant traffic from Google for posts that were (up to) ten years old. Why break that connection? Why lose that access to things previously written?

I did it for a couple of reasons. For one, the archives were a mess. When I migrated to WordPress back in 2012, it played havoc with my 3000+ posts including the tags and categories attached to the posts, and I had neither the time nor inclination to clean it up.

Secondly, they were collectively disjointed. Having 3000+ posts meant there was no cohesiveness to them. Sure, at first glance (and first approach), Accidental Hedonist was a food blog, but at some point it moved beyond that, as my interests and approach to blogging changed. This only increased my perception of the archives as being a chaotic mess.

Finally, and most importantly, I felt beholden to them in a way that was illogical.  The fact was, I felt proud that I was part of the initial introduction of food blogs upon the internet, and the small role I played in publicizing the and advocating the medium.  But at some point, I moved beyond food blogs. Or rather, I moved in a different direction from what food blogging had become. Food blogs, as they became known, rarely talked food politics, rarely discussed food history, and became less and less inspiring to me. As food blogs became its own genre, I found myself less and less motivated by the characteristics that defined food blogging.

If you talk to parents for any extended times, they will eventually tell you an anecdote relating how they spent hundreds of dollars on a gift for one of their children, only to have themselves exasperated when the child shows more interest in the box and wrapping paper that the gift came in. I am that child. While the gift is all well and good, I am more fascinated by, not just the box, but the history of the box, the influences that the discovery of boxes had upon a culture, and who garnered social benefits from said box discovery. How this manifested itself upon my blog is that, while at one point it would have been enough for me to write about going to a restaurant, or tasting the latest food-craze-du-jour, at some point, I became interested in something else.

The archives, however, reminded me of my interests of 2004.  And every time I sat in front of my monitor, I felt the necessity to connect my writing to the archives in some manner.  And as I evolved AH into its last incarnation back in 2012, it showed little connection in ways of themes and approach that defined AH’s previous incarnations. This certainly relates to my second point above, but it’s more than that. The archives became to represent the divergence from myself and food blogs. Having the blog hold that divergence became similar to a small gnat by my ear drum, namely, an annoyance that only I could hear. Regardless of the size of the annoyance, it still needed to be addressed.

I collected the posts I liked, and set free the rest. I will post the ones I saved from time to time, but the others are gone to the great bit bucket in the sky.  In essence, I gave myself a clean slate. I have no idea what I will draw upon this new easel, but it will be for me, first and foremost.

I will say this. Expect liquor, art, and soccer. Especially liquor.

Leave it to me…

Yes, I started out interested in food and ended up passionate about history.

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