This time of year is filled with celebrations—from Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, to New Year’s and even, at the other end of winter, that favorite Hallmark holiday: Valentine’s Day. It seems we pile on the holidays like layers of cotton and wool to shield us from the cold, dark months of winter.
And yet, under all the twinkling lights, mounds of cards and candy and drifts of snow, there is something quietly magical happening deep in the hardened winter soil. Hearty vegetables like potatoes, beets and parsnips are nestled below the blustery surface, finding plenty to nourish them where others might only see barren, cold fields.
This winter we chose our theme “Roots” because we wanted our stories to explore beyond the usual gift-wrapped seasonal fare, toward traditions that anchor us like late-season vegetables in our fields and hoop houses. Whether the story is about farming grain, running a restaurant, teaching cooking techniques or inviting friends for a meal, we invite you to consider the root of it all.
Those who don’t think much about food, and even a few who do, often see winter as a barren season. But winter isn’t unproductive at all. It’s the season of preparation.
Our gardens have been “put to bed” so that the soil can rest and rejuvenate. Farmers plan their next season, and we all reflect on the lessons learned from the year we’ve lived. From drought to blackout, each of us had an opportunity to gain perspective on the importance of food in our lives and the resources needed to ensure it is fresh, healthy and accessible.
As a hearty handful of farmers and artisans make their way to our winter markets and their offerings find their way to our tables in the form of delicious comfort foods and precious preserved flavors, we hope this issue of Edible
Cleveland gives you plenty to dig into while you sit fireside after dinner. May your winter, and the new year it heralds, be abundant—and may you find ways to share that delicious abundance with those you love.