2022 In Review

At the end of last year, Julia gave me a stoneware crock, and I decided that I would use it to keep record of the good things and the bad things that happened over the course of the year. Every time something really extraordinary happened, I would put it on an index card, fold it up, and date it. The plan was to open them all at the end of the year, and make a timeline, so I could see the year laid out in front of me on the floor. I had never done this before. I keep a daily journal, as I have since 1996, and the average length of each day’s journaling is three thousand words. This means that I am writing about 4,380 manuscript pages every year in journal alone. I write everything down. It is a compulsion. It is also a lot. Perhaps you are getting an idea of why a handful of index cards sounded pretty great.

This afternoon, I organized and unfolded the cards. In the crock, along with the cards, were also folded menus from memorable meals, Evie’s fourth grade school picture, the little Bee cartoons she draws for me in the margin of my kitchen yellow-pad to do list, the details of one very vivid dream I had, some excellent quotes I had to write down, and the Jill Lepore essay I used to carry in my boot.

I organized everything into a timeline, some of which I will share below.

Here are my two favorite quotes, both attributed to Evie:

15 January 2022: “Your unfortunate wife is meditating.” (Said to Reed, over Discord, while playing Stardew Valley)

29 July 2022: “My boob slots are really wet.” (She had just acquired her first training bras the previous week, and it was 100 degrees out that day.)

Here is my year index cards

1 February: Courtney is dead. My sweet Tenderloin. I am devastated.
April: “Put it on Feeder” (This was the post-it I stuck to the first printed essay in the series that would become “The Liar.” Previously, I had not used the FeederPDX.com website for any personal writing. “The Liar” series was important for me in that it brought me a great feeling of community, and also reminded me that stories need to be shared. After I finished that, I began writing response essays to M.F.K. Fisher’s How to Cook a Wolf and posting them there.)
16 April: I gain a very unexpected reader. It makes my year.
8 June: I find a note on my dashboard from a young woman who has accidentally scraped the bumper of my car. It is so polite and well-written that I telephone her to compliment her on her manners. I decline her offer to cover the cost of repair. The new scratches look nice with the old scratches. I’d rather keep them there and remember her lovely note.

14 June: Evie reads a full-length book in one sitting for the first time.
20 June: Sasha (whom I have never met in person) texts me out of the blue. We say the same thing and she jinxes me. I Venmo her $2.50 for a Coke.
27 June – 2 July: I take Evie to Hawaii for the first time.
14 July: I win sole custody of Evie.
16 July: Evie gives me material to write “WAR CAKE.”
17 July: I buy Evie her first training bras.
30 July: Evie gets her first covid-19 vaccine. (See 14 July.) We adopt a bunny.

27 September: I am asked to write a cookbook.
4 October: Sarah Pliner is killed.
13 October: I spend five hours working on the language to use to ask my crush to dinner in a text. Leah makes the final decision. I send the message.
14 October: I fly to Rome to work on my book for a week, eat pasta, eat the best pizza of my life, and run many miles while exploring the city.
24 October: Evie sits in the empty bathtub and shaves her legs for the first time.
30 October: There is a book, and it is food writing, waiting for me on the table when I arrive to dinner. At every dinner out after that, there is a new book. It is all food writing.
12 November: Evie is 10. I fly to California to eat at Manresa.

27 November: I read the Jill Lepore essay out loud for the last time. I do not put it back in my boot.

16 December: Covid. Damn it.
25 December: “Would now be a good time for me to ask if I can start referring to you as my girlfriend?” Yes. And yes.


Favorite Things This Year

Breakfast Sandwich: Nem Nuong Burger at Matta tied with whatever that lamb sandwich I had at GFY was. Amazing.
Pasta: Fettuccine with chicken heart, liver, and lungs at Armando al Pantheon in Rome. …but also the duck liver ragù tagliatelle here in town at Arden.
Pizza: Bonci, in Rome.
Offal: Trotter at St. Jack. “Is that a pig’s foot in portrait mode?” —Instagram caption, 13 April.
New Restaurant in Portland: Heavenly Creatures. It has filled the hole in my heart left by Bistro Agnes.
New Restaurant Hard Stop: ōkta.
Top Five Restaurants: ōkta, Nodoguro, Arden, Heavenly Creatures, Coquine.
Pop-up: The Roadhouses’s Lil’ Nashi brunch. Second place: Astral at Han Oak.
Unexpected Meal: Corndogs at The World Famous Kenton Club.
Concert: Gregory Alan Isakov at Topaz Farm.
Hike: Koko Head in Hawaii.
Art: My best friend Ryan has a framed photo of the best thing he ever put in his mouth, which was ahi Benedict. It is hanging in his kitchen. Even writing this now, ten months later, I am giggling about it.
Trip: Rome.
Culinary Tourism: Flying to San Francisco to eat a Mission burrito with my best friend Chris. Bonus points for getting trapped in a driverless car that wouldn’t stop driving in circles around my hotel. Even more bonus points because the driverless cars are all named after food items.
Baking Project: Croissants.
Cookbook: Prune, by Gabrielle Hamilton. This is not new. I read it like a bedtime story.
Book Recommended to Me: The Second Mountain by David Brooks.  
Book Given to Me: The cookbook from my childhood containing the recipe I have always used for biscuits.
Favorite Essay I Wrote This Year: “Butter,” followed by “WAR CAKE,” and “The Puzzle.”
Favorite Essay I Didn’t Write: “Close to the Bone” by Amy Irvine.
Project (my own): The Portland Restaurant Genealogy Project. Bonus: I now know how to spell “genealogy.”
Evie Moment: Watching her lead the game Werewolf at Family Supper.
Parenting Moment: Winning custody.
Reconnection: Spending Thanksgiving with Syd, who also asked me to be in her wedding next year.
Instant-Classic Quote: “The problem is that a lot of humanity has learned manners instead of respect.” — Julia
Word to Say: décolletage.
Word to Hear: Burgundian.
Moment: “Is it spelled like this?” (30 September.)

Current Fridge List: Ryan, Reed, Chris, Justin, Leah.

Text of the Year:

Author: `aqaq`

Tasia Bernie is an essayist, and editor of FeederPDX.com.  She enjoys used bookstores, offal, and hard laughter.  She is a very good eater.  She lives with her daughter and two orange cats in Portland, Oregon.


v3 2024