Lauren Gawthrop of Good Foods Coop on Local Gifts, Cooperative Roots, and Santa Lucia Rolls
To Savoring Kentucky's email subscribers: Sorry Sorry! Soggy wads of used gift wrap paper to us for sending this post to you so late. The good news is that all news in this post is useful today and going forward, just as much as it was last week. Good Foods Coop and its new Marketing Manager, Lauren Gawthrop, are on time all the time!
At Savoring Kentucky we are having growing pains disguised as technical difficulties, of the kind you'd rather not hear about in detail. We are still working out the mechanics of what comes through in your email inboxes, especially when we are including an audio recording ("podcast") with a supposedly useful SoundCloud radio player built right in, as we are today. I apologize for the problems and hope we are on the way to solutions.
I'm headed to Good Foods Coop today, two days before a certain big gift-giving event. Our family chose gifts to each others' favorite causes this year (with books for the children—we're like Literary Iceland in that way). So I don't need gifts, but I'm happy to tell you that Good Foods overflows with beautiful gift options every single day.
At age 44—which is probably like age 150 in natural grocery years—our priceless Coop now enjoys more contemporary media smarts thanks to new Marketing Manager Lauren Gawthrop. Lauren got up at 3 AM every weekday for five years to make news, literally: she organized and anchored new shows at Lexington's ABC36 from early morning through noon. Four hours of news a day, people! So imagine applying all those skills and all that good energy to continuing the long process of bringing all the goodness of Good Foods to our whole region.
Ouita and Chris Michel and I enjoyed getting to know more about Lauren when she joined us on our weekly radio show, Hot Water Cornbread, this week. (Learn more at http://www.savoringkentucky.com/hotwatercornbread/.) Ouita and Lauren described the wonders of giving luxury foods as gifts: a seemingly expensive, elegant bottle of olive oil, for example, costs much less than most people feel compelled to spend for a credible present, and delights its recipient.
And there's the other wonder of giving useful gifts, food instead of future yard sale items. Sorghum! Coffee! Craft beers! Exotic sauces! These and another 1200 items make fine gifts while supporting our neighbors who grow and produce excellent foods for us.
Or be like Lauren and make your own beautiful gifts. She brought homemade Santa Lucia rolls with her to the show: exemplary guest!
Click the red arrow on the player below and enjoy listening. [Email subscribers, we're still learning how to make the embedded players work for you. If you do not see a place to click and listen below, two options: go to https://soundcloud.com/user-623797398/lauren-gawthrop, or click at the top of your email and access this post online.]
Long-time faithful readers of Savoring Kentucky know that each year I re-post a piece about the joy of not giving. This year I took a look and decided it needed a rest. Just before Thanksgiving, I re-read a favorite, challenging Wendell Berry essay on the necessity of limitations: Faustian Economics: Hell Hath No Limits. It doesn't sound like light holiday reading, and it is not. Wendell Berry speaks to our deeper interests, to the choices we can each make to live richly and with contentment within natural limits:
. . . our human and earthly limits, properly understood, are not confinements but rather inducements to formal elaboration and elegance, to fullness of relationship and meaning. Perhaps our most serious cultural loss in recent centuries is the knowledge that some things, though limited, are inexhaustible. For example, an ecosystem, even that of a working forest or farm, so long as it remains ecologically intact, is inexhaustible. A small place, as I know from my own experience, can provide opportunities of work and learning, and a fund of beauty, solace, and pleasure — in addition to its difficulties — that cannot be exhausted in a lifetime or in generations.
Gifts, both giving and receiving, are trickier than they seem at first. All the gift-giving holidays give us the gift of opportunity to think and act in ways that contribute to "a fund of beauty, solace and pleasure." May all these be yours during these sweet days.
Sponsors included in this post: Good Foods Coop.