Closing out 2020: Rest and reset

Plus mudcloth classes and some fun new projects for early 2021

Hi Root friends,

What a month (so far)/what a year!

I’ve handed in the book manuscript for Culture Begins: Fermentation and the History of How we Eat, and am settling in for what will hopefully be a quiet winter. 

What’s coming up:

  • A self-paced, online mini-course on Appalachian food preservation. Like the sowans mini-course this will be free for members and affordable for everyone else.
    (if you have a paid subscription on here, congrats! You’ll be getting the class for free).

  • Virtual mudcloth-making classes with renowned Senegalese mixed media artist Abdala Faye.
    Mudcloth is a traditional dye technique from West Africa, but is not commonly found here in the US. We can’t wait to share this technique with you! Class dates TBA

  • I’ll be hosting another round of Ferment + Chill early next year. If you’d like to join, let me know!

  • I’ll be speaking at the IHR’s Food History Seminar on the history of Scottish ferments. The event is free, but registration is required. RSVP here!

  • As always, paid subscribers get exclusive recipes + stories, plus discounts, plus other goodies like surprise free classes

Food writing

Having just handed in a 434 page book manuscript, I’m taking a bit of a breather from large writing projects for a moment.

BUT! There are some exciting new projects I’m crafting proposals for, including a fermentation-themed oracle deck (which I’ll be building whether or not anyone picks up the project). Fingers crossed!

What I’ve been reading:

There are a lot of amazing food newsletters out there, a few of my favorites are: 

SmartMouth, From the Desk of Alicia Kennedy, and Kitchen Witch. 

This piece on a classic Diwali treat

Hugh Hayden’s compelling art exhibit titled American Food 

What I’m making:

Usually this section would have a fun, simple project or a recipe (next month is pomanders!), but this month I’m encouraging us to take a different tack.

Instead of making something, I’m trying to spend the month making space (emphasis on trying here: I have trouble keeping my hands idle).

Rest is something that we are discouraged from pursuing, urged instead to maximize productivity.
Increasingly, however, we are seeing public dialogue urging us to reframe our relationship to rest: It is not only necessary, it is revolutionary to take what we need to care for our bodies even when the rest of the world tells us not to.

Rest doesn’t just mean naps, it includes whatever fills you up and helps you unplug: Time doing hobbies or being outside, putting away the phone, etc.

Even a few minutes meditating counts too: Here is a good list of virtual meditation resources

Learn more about rest as resistance, particularly centered around Black bodies, through The Nap Ministry.

Another restful idea:

Our holiday meals will be awfully small this year: Why not use this as an excuse to practice rest? If cooking energizes you, then go all out (even just for 1-2 people, seriously).

If holiday food prep feels stressful, what better time to just…not do it? Many local restaurants are offering take and eat holiday meals, and it’s a great way to support them (and leave a big tip) and give yourself permission to rest.


Julia, Root’s founder

Holiday class sale

This has been...a year, and it’s really highlighted the importance of being able to make our own healthy food and use all of our scraps when money and food supplies feel tight.

To that end, I’m giving all my subscribers a 30% discount off any Root classes:
keep them, give them as gifts, or both (just write the gift recipient’s name and email in the order comments).

Use code OK2020 to get your discount!

If you’re a paid subscriber you can combine this with your 10% membership discount (shoot me an email if you need you membership discount code).