Bill Buford

Then he exploded. “No!” he said. That familiar injunction. I’d heard it so many times. “No. I cannot take this steel. It would not be correct.” He opened his knife drawer. “It goes here,” he said, “until you return.”(That’s how you leave: by never saying good-bye.)And I learned that: to return. I came back the following year and the year after that. I hope to return every year (after all, I may never have the chance to learn so much), until I have no one to return to. (301)

A white truffle, which elsewhere might sell for hundreds of dollars, seemed easier to come by than something fresh and green. What could be got from the woods was free and amounted to a diurnal dining diary that everyone kept in their heads. May was wild asparagus, arugula, and artichokes. June was wild lettuce and stinging nettles. July was cherries and wild strawberries. August was forest berries. September was porcini.