The holidays were a lot of fun and we had a wonderful time with family visiting. Those last two weeks of the year weren’t entirely relaxing as I still had some work leftover and then more came up late last week, and I’ve been going around the clock to meet those deadlines. But that work signals good things to come and as I tested and photographed and wrote, my thoughts wandered over the last five years of working on this blog and how much life has changed in that time. Last year I wrote about our first four years on the blog and how it wove in with our family life, because this blog is truly about our family as much as it is about food and gardening.
Our fifth year on the blog held quite a few surprises for us, both the good and the challenging. Here’s how 2010 went at the Meyers’ house:
After confirming in 2009 that Top Gun had ADHD plus some other suspected problems, we had more tests done last winter and spring which confirmed that he has gross and fine motor deficits as well as vision and speech deficits, and finally confirmed that he also has dyslexia. My heart broke and I’ve lost many nights of sleep and there have been many tears shed. My time to work on this blog was cut in half as we spent hours each week in therapies and working at home trying everything we could to help him. The work continues, but life is smoothing out a little. And today, after 20 months of trying to get the help he needed, we finally received word that he has a spot with a speech therapist and starts next week. That made me tear up again. He’s such a strong, smart little guy, and we hope that all of this work will give him the best chance in life.
All that made for a challenging year, but last spring had some good surprises, too, and there have been a few more since then.
GoodBite.com invited me to join their cast creating video recipes and participating in sponsored videos series. That has been an amazing experience and I have a lot of fun creating the recipes and videos. I also contributed to their upcoming cookbook, Good Bite’s Weeknight Meals: Delicious Made Easy. Stay tuned for updates on that.
At the end of June I went to Boulder for the Food and Light Workshop, which was fantastic. Jen, Helene, and Todd and Diane put on a great workshop and helped me figure out a lot of things I had been struggling with. Thanks again for all your work on Food and Light!
The garden did pretty well in spite of the unbearably hot weather. Our summer water bill was quite a bit higher than usual, which made us consider digging a well for watering purposes or at least starting a few rain barrels. The garden expanded again as we added a little more space on the south side for bell peppers and rosemary and put in some raspberries and muscadine grape vines. We also added figs and a pomegranate tree and finally got two rosemary bushes to take and live in the cold. If they keep going like they are we’ll finally have a rosemary hedge, something I’ve wanted for years.
In July I got an email from my friend Amie who introduced me to Loralee who wanted to talk about doing something with the new magazine Where Women Cook. A few months later we hosted Jo and Ryne in our home for a photo shoot and had a fantastic time. I can’t say enough how much we love them! We had a German 10th anniversary celebration and they took pics for the new magazine and the upcoming book Where Women Cook Celebrations. More on all of that soon!
In September I spent a weekend learning about portrait photography from MeRa Koh and Brian Tausend, two more people I dearly love. I found that making photos of people isn’t as intimidating as I had thought and they inspired me to continue working on that skill. [Note: I forgot to include my favorite shot from that weekend, but have added it now. He was a precious little guy.]
Then we heard about One Big Table, the new book from Molly O’Neill that made the New York Times Best Cookbooks for 2010. About 18 months ago one of her researchers contacted me about the pickled green tomatoes recipe. After conversing with my sister and me, she said they’d let us know if the recipe was selected for the book. We never heard anything back and I kind of forgot about it. Then last month an email arrived thanking me for the contribution. So my sister and I had our first collaborative recipe published in One Big Table (p. 71, Two Sisters’ Green Tomato Pickles). How cool is that?
September, October, and November were rather painful for me. An 18-year-old spine injury that I incurred from a riding accident reared its ugly head, which isn’t new because it acts up about every 6 years, but this year the diagnosis was troubling and the pain nearly unbearable. Surgery will be required at some point, but I’m hoping for another 6 to 10 years before I have to go down that path. The thought of spine surgery gives me the willies.
November ended on an upbeat note as we hosted my family’s Thanksgiving meal, with 15 of us crowded in here. It’s never a dull moment with my family and we loved having everyone together again. And December brought the usual cookie and Christmas goodie making marathons, and Michael’s parents spent Christmas with us. My favorite moment that month was when Top Gun’s occupational therapist asked him what he wanted for Christmas, and without even skipping a beat he replied, “I don’t know. I’ll be happy with whatever I get.” That boy sure knows how to make his mother cry.
2011 is starting out busy as ever with some new projects and opportunities already in the works. And of course I’ll still be here cooking, photographing, and writing about our adventures in the kitchen and garden. We hope you’ll grab a spot at the table and join us!
Thank you for everything.
And just because I didn’t get this done before New Year’s Eve, here are our favorite recipes and posts from 2010.
February – Mini Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Nutella
March – Toby Train Birthday Cake
September – Muscadine Grape Jam
December – Vaina Cocktail
Top image courtesy of VintageHolidayCrafts.com.