September… How did that happen?

Hello, Internet, it’s Friday, September 2nd (WTF??) and I’ve been thinking about things.

I’ve been thinking: it’s so EASY to fall behind on blogging. Especially when you have a job that’s at least 6 days/week and suddenly, at the end of a day just like every other day (in that it’s completely different from each day and when you go to bed you don’t really know exactly what’s going to happen tomorrow), you realise that everyone is out to supper or out at the bar or out lighting fires on the beach because it’s FRIDAY and you’ve already had 3 glasses of wine “with supper” or you’re like, “Holy $&!%, I have to write a blog post!”

I’ve also been thinking: This is the first time I’ve been in Fogo Island in… oh… YEARS… when I wasn’t in charge of people. And I have to say, it is incredibly relaxing. I have been in Fogo Island since Sunday night, and the vast majority of my work here has been the gathering of stuff to the newly renovated Anglican Church in Barr’d Islands so that a giant workshop can take place there for the next 3 weeks.

But that’s boring. Or, at least, until next week, when the workshop is actually in progress, it’ll be boring. Until then, it’ll be full of moving stuff from here to there. And trips to Canadian Tire and… (shudder) Walmart.

But what I want to talk about is eating risotto at Margaret Decker’s kitchen table.

The first thing that’s remarkable about this is that Margaret Decker maintains what I consider to be the “hub” of Joe Batt’s Arm. I have spent a great deal of time in her kitchen in the past, and in my experience, Margaret may feed 9 or 10 people on any given day (and substantially more than that at Christmas time). This ability to feed the masses is not bestowed on just any human being facing an oven and a grill; Margaret has a way of knowing if someone’s going to need a lunch (mainlanders: “lunch” is any meal, regardless of the time of day) the next day or if a crowd of strangers will pop in unannounced just after supper’s cooked. And after everyone in her care has eaten their fill, she always has leftovers… just enough to make sure that everyone has something to eat for dinner (mainlanders: “dinner” is the name of the midday meal. You have breakfast, dinner, and then supper.).

The next remarkable thing is that when I first met Margaret Decker, she had never heard of risotto. That was 2007. Now, she makes the best risotto I’ve ever tasted (sorry, chefs who’ve fed me risotto dishes. Margaret is really awesome. Shaun, I know you understand). What changed? Ingredients? No. Time cooked? no.

The world came to Fogo Island. And Margaret, who for my purposes this evening pretty much embodies Fogo Island, has met the world half-way. And this is very exciting.

More to come in coming weeks…