“Do you want vanilla or chocolate?” I ask my nineteen-month-old son, Caleb, as we wait in line at Bridgehampton Candy Kitchen for his first-ever ice cream cone. Both the location and the moment are sacred to me. Like so many of our neighbors, I’ve been coming to Bridgehampton Candy Kitchen since I was a little girl; and like so many parents, my husband and I spent the entirety of my pregnancy dreaming of ‘firsts’ like this one. Last summer, Caleb had his first lobster roll; this summer, we figured he was ready for his first taste of ice cream.
Caleb looks at me and then at my husband. “Yeah, yeah,” he says.
It is a perfectly ‘Caleb’ answer—and one we should have predicted, as he has not yet learned the word ‘no.’ As a result, Caleb lives in a world of yeses. And today, he lives in a world of two ice cream cones.
We take both of Caleb’s cones to go and walk to a nearby bench where the three of us share them under the warm spring sun. “What do you think?” says my husband. “Do you like it?”
Caleb is messy now, with melted ice cream all over his hands, his chin, his corn silk blonde hair. “Yeah, yeah,” he says. “Yeah!”
My husband and I marvel at our son’s triple-yeah enthusiasm the entire ride home. How much better would our world be, we wonder, if we could all find and nourish in ourselves—and honor in others—the things that activate our own messy, magical triple-yeah?
For me, something that always ignites that wonder—and that ‘yeah, yeah, yeah’ enthusiasm—is the privilege of putting together this magazine. From start to finish, every issue of Edible East End appears to me, essentially, as a connect-the-dots puzzle of passion and possibility. On these pages you will meet farmers, chefs, artists and winemakers, all of whom operate in notoriously ‘no’-heavy worlds. But these farmers, chefs, artists and winemakers? They say ‘yes’ anyway, and their stories certainly show that.
Here, you will see the work of writers, photographers and designers. Imagine how many rejection letters they have received over the course of their careers and then quadruple it—but ‘yeah, yeah, yeah,’ here they are.
My hope is that in reading these stories, seeing these images, and meeting these people, that same prevailing sense of passion and possibility will ignite within you, too. Because I know that I could write forever about the light out here, the land out here, the people out here and still never capture the full extent of the beauty; that we could publish 77 more issues of Edible East End and still never bottle the magic of summer on these shimmering shores.
But saying ‘yeah, yeah, yeah’ to an either/or question? Now, that tells a complete story. That betrays an overwhelming abundance. That is all I wish for you this summer and more.
Yours in ‘yeahs’ this summer and always,