A blog of hopeful, inspired living: cooking & baking & growing & harvesting & preserving & gleaning & eating & sharing food... while bringing positive change to my kitchen and our food system.

Monday, January 9, 2012

taking the world into my arms

My blog is a year old! My resolutions last year were to start this blog, to experiment with photography, and adventure into new cooking realms.... and other little things like being an all around kinder, patient-er, happier person. I'm pretty darn happy with the year. 2011, thank you.

The title of this post is from a poem by my favorite poet, Mary Oliver. I think of her words when I am on the threshold of something new, when I am gathering courage, when I need reminding of what's important. Perfect for reflecting on the anniversary of my blog. Perfect for starting 2012.

Today's post is an ode to all that has come to pass, a cheers to looking back, to remembering the moments and savoring memories, to the spark of joy (and fear?) in pondering the mystery of what 2012 holds... and to taking all that as inspiration for keeping on keeping on. 

2011: Glimpses of some of the world in my arms:

Some of my favorite food experiments at home:
 Fresh blackberries in Blackberry Swirl Frozen Yogurt ... I know cravings for smooth, creamy, cold ice cream don't come often this time of year (unless you are in the crazy hot spell northern California's had these past couple weeks), but this recipe was one of my all-time favorites. Picking our own blackberries could have had something to do with it, too.

I loved making and eating these energy bars... and experimenting with vegan, gluten free baking. My cousin's girlfriend doesn't eat gluten, and I have her to thank for my range of gluten-free experiments. The range = utterly delectable (pictured here) to wadding up failed Babycakes donuts and throwing them at the wall.

...and great tastes at restaurants:

 A flying biscuit, grits and eggs at The Flying Biscuit, Atlanta. I loved, loved, loved my time in Atlanta and Decatur

The amazing pickle plate at Kenny & Zukes Delicatessen in Portland, OR. I'm so happy pickles are making a come back. Portlandia rightfully grabs onto the pickling fever that's taking us over. Yes, you can pickle just about everything.

A drink or two... 

A nice, spicy chai -- perfect for this time of year.

Strawberry daiquiris -- Bill whipped this up after a morning of strawberry picking. Ok, not perfect for this time of year, but I love dreaming of the return of strawberry season... oh, wait, I live in the Bay Area where it's always strawberry season! (Sorry, Mom, I really do love Michigan, too)

The magic of growing food...

We had our first seedling sale at work and packed the greenhouse full of beautiful and delicious heirloom vegetables, herbs and flowers.

And caring for chickens

I love our chickens dearly. And I'm happy to put sweet photos of them on my blog. Having chickens took up a lot more of my life than I ever imagined. This year we raised adorable silkies (first chicken photo, above) and a mix of 15 other types of chickens. They crack me up, entertain me for hours and lay beautiful eggs full of rich orange yolks. Chickens were also at or near the top of my 'Things I Worried About in 2011' list (or I'm sure they would be if I made that list). Just let me know if you want to chat about sick chickens, quarantined chickens, molting chickens, chicken eye enucleation, chicken vitamins, chicken hierarchies, chicken coop or tractor design, broodiness or chicken burritos.

Appreciating all that our parks have to offer
Hiking the Boy Scout Tree trail, Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park
Natural Bridges State Beach, Santa Cruz, CA
Beautiful Botanicals (and bugs)...

I really enjoyed getting & getting to know my camera this year. The macro photography class I took with Aperature Academy in Campbell helped me tremendously. We went to the UCSC Arboretum where they have a striking collection of Australian and South African plants -- a sweet, tucked away gem that I recommend just for a stroll, too. 

Tasty tasters at some great breweries
Did you know I like beer? I surely have never given that impression.

... and a few other good brews

...and some other craftiness

...and most exciting and fulfilling of all: getting engaged to the kind, patient, adventurous, curious, funny, supportive love of my life! How awesome to be with someone who encourages me to be... me.

Looking back inspires me -- so much happens in a year. So much is possible. Crazy how the moments turn into a year. 
It's week two of 2012 -- and things look pretty darn good on this side!

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
- Mary Oliver 


  1. Eron, You're incredible! Here's to an even better 2012 with more adventures to come ;) Keep up the great work. I've so enjoyed reading your posts and viewing your beautiful photos.

  2. you're lovely. simply lovely. xoxo