Seasons change, as they say. But in this past few months when the leaves were turning colors and frost was putting an end to the gardening season, I was going through a lot of changes of my own. The political consulting firm I worked for shut its doors and I found myself not just looking for work, but also looking for answers to some questions brewing in my mind. Do I want to keep working in politics? Or maybe do something a little different? Do I want to stay in DC? Try out some new city? Or maybe go back to my native Pacific Northwest?
True to my want-it-all generation, I found myself answering “yes” to all of those seemingly mutually exclusive questions. And then I received a terrific opportunity that let me have it all. I’m moving to Portland, Oregon, for eight months to work on post-Census redistricting, which will keep me connected to politics but let me develop a lot of new skills in statistics and demography (and form my own consulting LLC in the process). But I’ll be back in DC on a regular basis, and will return to my lovely (now subletted) Dupont Circle apartment after this is all over. Relevant to this blog, I’m going to keep my garden plot (but make it really minimalist this year), and will remain actively involved in planning the next DC State Fair.
So as with the past few months, 2011 will be a bit of a hibernation for this blog. I’ll post a few garden updates in the spring and summer, do a a tiny bit of posting about Portland, and help advertise DC State Fair events and deadlines. And if I take this round-the-world tour of the world’s street food capitals next Oct/Nov that I’ve been dreaming about, I’ll post my culinary adventures here as well. Expect a return to full DC gardening glory in 2012.
But for now, let me show you the last thing I made with my garden’s 2010 bounty. Just before I left DC on December 21, I went out one last time to my garden plot, which was blanketed by an inch of snow. But under the icy crust there were carrots, leeks, and the sweetest kale you can imagine. I combined these ingredients with rich stock, cannellini beans, sweet Italian sausage, and bacon to make a Tuscan soup that fed me for three solid meals. It was the perfect way to close out my garden, and a satisfying way to leave DC for my 2011 adventure. Happy New Year!