Birthday Cake!

October 06, 20115 Comments

FALL 2011. HAPPY 1ST BIRTHDAY, WEEKLY GREENS! 10.07.11

One year, 46 feature ingredients and 368 recipes ago, Weekly Greens was born. Happy birthday! Those with kids know the first year is marked by high highs and a few desperate valleys, all tied together with noteworthy milestones and hopefully more joyful moments than tearful ones. This celebration is no different. I’ve joked that Weekly Greens is my third child. I’ve likened it to a newborn and this analogy is so fitting. It started as a tiny seed and took months in the making. The process of its birth was long, exhausting and at times, painful. There is even a scar. But what emerged was worth the wait. And then there were the long nights. Oh boy, were there long, sleepless nights. And the constant feedings. This is the hungriest “baby” I’ve ever had the pleasure of feeding, actually. At a rate of roughly one new recipe per day for a year, it’s no wonder I am tired. Come to think of it, I bet you’re tired, too. I’ve tossed a lot of information your way, perhaps too much to digest (literally and figuratively).

Last fall, I began writing into the ether. I wrote to no one in particular, aimlessly allowing words to fill a page but uncertain whose eyes they’d ultimately find. My commentaries were either ingredient-specific or apropos of nothing. If you weren’t around back then, you can read my very first post here.  I wasn’t sure who would come to this little space I’ve created and I can honestly say I’m so happy it’s you. You are what has made this year fun. You are what has kept me coming back week after week. You’ve challenged me to think outside the (cake) box, take some risks and put myself out there in ways I didn’t think possible. You held my hand as I left stability and comfort to wander into the unknown. You fretted along with me as I self-soothed with cheese-making, waiting to find out whether my child was indeed the Energizer bunny. You laughed with me when I made fun of our country’s love affair with one particularly over-produced crop. You wondered right along with me if my picky child would ever wake up and smell the asparagus (pee). And for those of you who I see at the farmer’s market or the school auction or the grocery store, you made my husband say “Huh?” when it became clear you read your RSS faster than he.  Yes, honey, now everybody knows you love yourself a mountain of pasta topped with Ragu right from the jar.

These days, I am writing very specifically to you. And for you. I’ve had the pleasure of learning who you are. You’ve generously shared feedback for better or worse, you’ve shared your own stories, you’ve asked questions, Facebooked with me and Tweeted and re-Tweeted. Thank you. How many times over can I say thank you? Surely not enough.

First birthdays can be bittersweet. On one hand, it’s exciting to check a box “complete” and look ahead to a new phase. But I’ve known a few moms (or more accurately, I’ve been that mom…twice, actually) with tears behind the smile, as their baby – be it the first or the last – blows out the candle. Changes are inevitably ahead. First steps and words are right around the corner, and the world never looks quite the same again. It’s about time I made some changes around here, too. This “baby” is still very hungry and it’s still keeping me up at night despite frantic attempts at sleep training. My two real babies slept through the night when I was still counting their ages in weeks, a secret I kept close to the vest out of respect for my dark-under-eye-circled peers and out of abject fear of hexing my good fortune by being boastful. Needless to say, I’m ready for some sleep, people! Please.

It’s no coincidence that Weekly Greens was born in the fall. I am always itchy this time of year. I get into a predictable funk and resolve to make changes of one sort or another. It happens every year around the start of the school year and by Thanksgiving, I’ve got a plan in place. So, it’s time to let you know what’s up my sleeve as we begin year two. Last week was the final feature ingredient/menus/shopping list post. I know what you are thinking and I have answers…

Have you run finally run out of produce items to feature?
No! I’ve barely scratched the surface, friends. We never got to onions or rutabaga or bok choy or persimmon or an entire family of fall squash I just love. It’s not for a lack of vegetables and fruits to love. There are so many more to explore and don’t you worry your pretty little head. We will. In due time.

But what about my shopping list?
I’ve planned 46 weeks of menus and left you with 46 shopping lists. They are all still here and you can visit them anytime you want. But by now, I imagine you have a sense for what you like, how you cook and what you actually need from one week to the next. Right? I break my list down into sections of the store – produce, dry goods, dairy/refrigerator and meats/fish. I suggest you do the same. Use a list, don’t go shopping when you are hungry and stick to the perimeter of the store. Keep a well-stocked pantry, and this task will be easy as pie.

Will you still post new recipes?
Of course I will! But I won’t be posting them at the rate of one per day. This rapid-fire pace couldn’t go on forever and frankly, I suspect it’s too much for you, too. I will continue to post a new recipe or two each week and rather than give you everything as a large bolus of information on Friday, I will sprinkle my posts throughout the week a little at a time for easier…um…digestion. One day you might find a new recipe, the next you might find the latest edition of The Guest Kitchen. Or a post along the lines of new breakfast ideas.  In fact, you are probably wondering if I’m ever going to share the recipe for these damn cupcakes after making you look at a zillion pictures of them. Yes, that recipe is right here.

And what about the photos? Tell me you aren’t getting tired of taking photos…
Oh, heavens no. I’m so happy you enjoy my photos, dear readers. That really makes me proud. As I look at the early, early posts, I realize I know a few more things about photographing food and I’ve started to re-shoot some of the recipes to more accurately reflect the finished product or to illustrate a process more clearly. Here is my latest example. More to come soon. In addition, posting recipes at a slower pace will allow me to take a bit more time in my photography, which will ultimately deliver better photos for you to enjoy.

So what’s next?
Great question! I will continue to highlight seasonal produce. I will still emphasize fresh, healthy cooking for the whole family. With a more measured pace, I’ll have the ability to develop more original recipes. I’ll let you know what I’m cooking, eating, reading and discovering. Expect to see more guests featured, stories relevant to food (or not) and musings on life, love, community and raising a family in an era of wanting to be and do everything.

Keep an eye out for a slightly new look, a new tagline (taking suggestions now!) and some other minor updates. Is there something you want to see here? Now’s the time to tell me. It’ll be fun, I swear! Last but not least, thank you for being who you are and making this site what it is. It is nothing without you.

5 responses to “Birthday Cake!”

  1. APS says:

    Long time lurker, first time commenter. Great birthday post. Warm hearted congrats!

  2. Lynda says:

    Congratulations Alicia! I can’t wait to read the next year.

  3. Jill says:

    Wow – one year already? Happy Birthday, Weekly Greens! Congrats on much success, Alicia!

    Best,
    Jill

  4. Amy Murphy says:

    Happy late birthday, Weekly Greens! I look forward to the next year.

  5. Maryse says:

    Hello Alicia,
    I just discovered your blog last night and after reading through a few of your post and recipes, I must say that I am totally hooked! I LOVE your blog and your healthy recipes! I have spent a couple hours tonight looking through your recipe list to plan our menu for rhis week and have selected a few that looked awesome. I can’t wait to try them. Keep up the good work!

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