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Why We Are Obsessed With Nostalgia

I am thrilled to announce my sister's book, "Southern Ground," hits bookstores on April 27. Published by Ten Speed Press, which also publishes cookbooks by acclaimed London restaurateur Yotam Ottolenghi, "Southern Ground" is a great read about regional milling. It has 75 highly curated recipes by 20 craft bakers who use her flour, including Little Tart Bakeshop, Evergreen Butcher + Baker and Osono Bread here in Atlanta.

Kvelling!! More on that to come...

I mention it now because, according to her agent, there's been a trend toward consumers reading older books. And it got me thinking how so much of the content we're consuming is, well -- old school.

If my current bedside library is an indicator, "Educated," is Tara Westover's 2018 memoir about her quest for an education while growing up off the grid. Spoiler alert: she earned a PhD from Cambridge. I'm also listening to Ann Patchett's "The Dutch House," 2019's fictional account of the indelible bond between two siblings.

Both books were best sellers, but I missed them the first time around.

And it's not just books. A recent report indicates 2020 marked the first year since 1986 that vinyl outsold CDs. Streaming continues to grow, and now accounts for more than 80% of revenues for the entire music industry, but vinyl sales are up 30%.

In TV news, MTV's "The Real World" is coming back. MTV's "The Real World Homecoming: New York" will reunite the original cast of the groundbreaking show that set the stage for the reality TV that is ubiquitous today. Waaaaay back in 1992, seven aspiring artists and performers moved into a SoHo loft with the eyes of the world on their every move.

Indeed, last year's two most streamed shows on Netflix were "The Office" and "Grey's Anatomy," both of which debuted in 2005.

Watching the Golden Globes on Sunday night, I couldn't help thinking they overlooked so many of our latest binge watches. Then it occurred to me that "Call My Agent" premiered in 2015 and "Broadchurch" first hit the small screen in 2013. In fact, I didn't hop on 2008's breakout series, "Breaking Bad," until after it was already off the air. Don't get me started on "Gilmore Girls," which went off the air in 2007, but now keeps me company while I do yoga.

So, what is it with our obsession with that past? Are we all just craving pre-pandemic better times?

With more than half of Americans 65+ having received at least one dose of the vaccine, the end is in sight. Time will tell when and if we get back to normal. Until then, we can watch, listen and read about life before quarantines, Zoom fatigue and masks.

In the meantime, get ready to start baking, because I have a feeling a book that links the ancient collaborative of farmers and bakers in a new light could help build a more sustainable food system yielding baked goods far tastier than those made with industrial commodity flour. Want to see for yourself? Pre-order "Southern Ground" and check out Jen's mill, Carolina Ground to order her flour and try it yourself.

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