The Kinfolk Cookbook: Small Gatherings You’ll Likely Never Be Invited To
Felicia C. Sullivan
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I was happy and relieved to find this post, as I was operating under the assumption that I was the only person on earth who was hands clenched, red and shaking enraged by the cult of Kinfolk.As someone who lives in the country, I feel I have something to contribute to this discussion. I was late to the Kinfolk “gathering,” but when I finally picked up a copy of the magazine for the first time what struck me immediately was what a complete and utter fantasy it was. Where were the Mexican landscapers that take care of these places? Where was the full time farmer these “homesteads” obviously employed to grow their fruits and vegetables? Where are the full time caretakers that look after the barns, homes, ponds, etc… The small company that keeps their bee hives healthy through the year?

We live in Sonoma where some of the wealthiest people in the world have vacation homes and I see first hand how many millions of dollars it takes to curate that lifestyle. Our neighbors (literal billionaires) have a full time staff of ten to care for an estate and vineyard where they spend no more than two weeks of the year. No couple, however hard working, could achieve what we see in the pages of Kinfolk without a knowledgeable and talented army working behind the scenes.

People who live in the country, who are “living slow” (vomiting whilst writing that) and who do it by themselves have messy, bug-eaten gardens. Our chickens are missing feathers. The distressed wood floors of our mildew scented, non-air tight farmhouses have a perpetual layer of grit on them, not to mention the remnants of duck shit that we track in with our rubber boots (not leather boots, because duh), the ones we bought at a hardware store for $14. They aren’t Hunters. The only people I know who wear hunters live in Brooklyn. We do sometimes have romantic looking outdoor claw foot bathtubs, framed by vinca and lemon verbena, but we fill them with old, shitty looking rubber hoses that we jankily rig up to old, cobweb covered on-demand water heaters. Sometimes (always) we use plastic buckets instead of metal ones. We cover our woodpiles with plastic tarps. We keep extra gasoline on hand in…plastic containers. We do drink out of jam jars, but only because we use the jars for jam and don’t have the cupboard space for proper glasses too. That’s reality, Kinolks!

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