On Rich Ground - Meet the Makers
I like to make things. Most of the time that means food — from appetizers and popsicles to dinner and desserts. But I also “make” other things. As a hobby, I knit — mostly scarves, occasionally socks, and once in a while a blanket or sweater.
Among my knitting friends, if you say you are knitting a gift, they always ask, “Are they knit-worthy?” Not showing appreciation or saying thanks for the time spent knitting the gift is what gets someone thrown into the “not knit-worthy” camp.
Fortunately, most of the people I have knit for are appreciative. The many hours seem well spent when the recipient gets joy from the gift. Or, as in the case of one friend, who spent an entire winter seemingly living in the scarf I knit for her, she gave her thanks by wearing that scarf everywhere. I must have seen her with it on 30 times in a single winter. She is considered very “knit-worthy.”
Making anything from scratch involves time, careful selection of materials, and caring…and did I mention time? Anyone can open a can of soup and heat it until it’s edible. Someone who takes the time to sauté onions, make stock, simmer vegetables, pick fresh herbs, chop garlic — they’re putting love into that finished product.
Our farmers put care and time into “making” vegetables, eggs, meat, poultry, cheeses, and a myriad of other things. Chefs, cooks, and bartenders put care and time into making our lunches, dinners, and cocktails. Food artisans put care and time into jellies, breads, wine, spirits, and sweet treats. Other makers put care and time into clothing, quilts, home décor, cleaning products, and tools.
The term “maker” is gaining momentum. Its simplest definition is a person who makes or produces something. My own experience and meeting many makers is that being one involves lots of math, trial and error, sweat, versatility, risk-taking, and lots and lots of heavy lifting. And for that we need to show them the love. This issue is about showing that love — to our friends and strangers alike.
Memphis is full of makers. Some make food, farms and gardens, some make cookbooks, some make music, and some make artisanal products. As you explore, buy, indulge, and try, be appreciative. Be thankful.
And be worthy.