The Last Post

Hello to all of my readers.

First–I want to thank all of you not only for sending emails and posting comments of concern here after I dropped off the face of the Internet again. You all have and still do mean a great deal to me–having so many friendly readers and a community of folks who post incisive, interesting comments that spark discussion is like having a huge extended family that spans the globe. The joy I have taken from writing with you–because I do think of this blog as a collaborative effort–you ask questions, start discussions, suggest topics–has been a huge part of my life for over five years, and I will never, ever forget it. The love I have felt from all of you has buoyed me up on many a dark day or even darker night when despair has threatened to cast a pall that even the sun cannot lift.

But, the truth is this–I cannot write Tigers & Strawberries anymore.

Not because i don’t love my readers, and not because I don’t love food.

It’s because of this–I am tired of lying. Or, rather, I am tired of not telling the whole truth. The truth should not be a burden, it should be a lodestar to our lives, but in my case, it had become something of which I was ashamed, so I avoided it.

The simple truth is this–the way I have portrayed my childhood and experiences on this blog, while true, only show a part of the experiences that make up my existence. Yes, my grandparents had a farm, and yes, I grew up learning all of the food-growing and preparing skills that people commonly learned in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Yes, I loved my grandparents and they loved me. Yes, the story about my father and the cow is 100 percent true, and yes, I went to culinary school and was a caterer, and was a chef and all of that. Everything I have written here is true.

But, I ignored the other half of my truth. I ignored the fact that I grew up in an extremely dysfunctional family situation which continued until my mid-twenties, one which continued to affect my life deeply until a few months ago when I started intensive therapy to deal with all of the rage, fear and horror I had repressed that had to do with this background.

Having a really good therapist listen to the other side of things, to the darkness that lay hidden in my heart and mind which poisoned my very body with ill-health and which threatened my life, cracked open the walls I had built around myself, and made me look objectively at how I had molded myself and contorted my true personality in order to not only repress that truth, but also to conform to what my family, and later, everyone else, expected of me.

When light poured through the cracks in the wall and illuminated my understanding of my past, present and future, I realized that I didn’t really know myself anymore. I had been so busy crafting a personality of perfection, a woman who was in strict control of her emotions, whose childhood and early adulthood had been scrubbed of all unpleasantness (it isn’t that I forgot the unpleasantness, I simply ignored it and never spoke of it to anyone) that I lost sight of the genuine person who I had been trying to protect behind that carefully crafted facade.

Unfortunately, I am now trying to figure out who and what I am! And because so much of Tigers & Strawberries is tied up with that image of a farm girl who had a nearly idyllic life in the country, I find I cannot keep writing here.

And, frankly, I’m kind of tired of taking pictures of every dinner I make! Sometimes, I just want to cook and eat, and that is okay.

But, truly–I do miss you all. And I want to keep writing, but I just cannot keep writing only about food. I just can’t right now.

So, it is time to stop writing here and start writing somewhere else.

I will keep T&S up and active here so folks can still get the recipes, and post comments asking questions. I will still monitor the site for questions and answer them when I see them. I still want folks to be able to use this site as a great cooking resource, because the truth is, I am proud of what i have created here and I don’t want it to disappear.

I am going to start a new blog, probably on Blogger, which is not my first choice of venue, but which is convenient. It will be a much more general blog, though, you know me, there will be recipes and pictures of food! We can’t get around that! But the topics I write about will range from ruminations of fiction writing, news on various projects I am working on (yes, including books, hopefully), my adventures with fabric, news on how the Kat is growing and tales of the adventures of various members of my household. There will probably also be tales that are from the darker, sadder part of my life, because, well, that truth deserves to be told. There is no way to appreciate light if we ignore the darkness.

So, I will post one more time here to give a link to the new blog, which is likely to be called, “Summoning the Muse,” because that is what I am trying to do. I am trying to find my inner self, the one who is full of inspiration and courage, the one who has kept me alive all of these years. She’s been waiting a very long time to get out and see the sun, and I think she deserves a chance to stretch her wings and tell her tale for a bit.

Thank you all again. I can never, ever articulate how much all of you have meant to me. I hope that some of you at least follow my new adventures in the new blog, but I understand very much that many of you only really want to read about cooking. For those of you, I wish you all a fond and loving farewell.

For the others–thanks for coming along with me into uncharted territory.

I appreciate the company,

114 Comments

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  1. I am sending you SO much love right now. I wish you and yours all the best.
    Most of all, I hope when you get to the other side, you can say to yourself, “This is *exactly* where I want to be.”
    Love,
    Sue

    Comment by Sue — February 21, 2010 #

  2. Good luck with figuring your life out. I think it takes a lot of courage and determination to go back and confront the truth when it is unpleasant, and I salute you.

    I have rarely (if ever) commented here, but I’ve read this blog for a few years now, and it has provided much inspiration and help. In fact, at this very moment I have a pot of pinto beans simmering on the stove, which will become refried beans inspired by your recipe. I have never really cooked with beans before, so I am excited. And later I intend to make a batch of chicken enchiladas to go with the beans, also inspired by your recipe.

    So I wish you all the best with your new endeavors, and thank you for what you have accomplished so far. You have been an inspiration and a resource!

    Comment by Ruth — February 21, 2010 #

  3. Hugs & Love headed your way!

    I wish you nothing but the best on your journey and I know this will make you an even BETTER Mom to little Kat.

    I’m also really happy to hear that you’ll continue to write – I love the Cat & Kat updates. :)

    Comment by Cindy — February 21, 2010 #

  4. Wishing you the very best, Barbara.

    Comment by Kelly @ The Startup Wife — February 21, 2010 #

  5. Barbara,
    You’ve shared generously of yourself these years past, and I’m so grateful. I wish you the very best as you set forth on the next part of your journey.

    Comment by Stacey — February 21, 2010 #

  6. You know we will follow you anywhere on the internet.

    Love to you.

    Comment by persimmon — February 21, 2010 #

  7. i have enjoyed reading this blog alot, i am an avid blog reader and just want you to know that i am happy with whatever you write about and have never felt misled. this blog is about food, and whatever stories or life tidbits you insert are just stories to me. your food pics and recipes don’t lie.

    the internet is a place where you need not show your true self so don’t feel badly about that. i wish you good luck and life and pls post the link for your new blog.

    Comment by zud — February 21, 2010 #

  8. Thank you for sharing so much with us. I wish you the best!

    Comment by jt — February 21, 2010 #

  9. I love your writing. Your recipes are well written, but I always read every post from start to finish whether I want to cook what you’re talking about or not. As a fellow West Virginian I can empathize greatly with the desire to idealize many parts of my childhood (I grew up on a small subsistence farm in Roane Co.), while at the same time glossing over the hurtful parts. Thank you so much for sharing here. I will definitely be interested to see what comes about in your new adventure.

    Hannah

    Comment by Hannah_phi — February 21, 2010 #

  10. You are right to feel very proud of what you have created here. I am glad it will live on.
    Best wishes with the next chapter.

    Comment by Bethia — February 21, 2010 #

  11. Thank you for everything you have shared here. My best wishes to you and your family always.

    Comment by Nupur — February 21, 2010 #

  12. Dear Barbara,

    I find your honesty extremely inspirational. It shows great courage and strength. Thank you for sharing it with us. I wish you the very best in whatever you go on to do, and thank you for sharing all of the wonderful stories about your present, your children, and your cooking. Thank you for the fantastic recipes. Recipes are always true.

    Continue to have courage, and may love be with you always.

    Comment by Kiwi Carlisle — February 21, 2010 #

  13. Barbara – sorry to read of your pain, sorry to see you go, but looking forward to “hearing” your voice again in another venue – food related or not. I still miss reading you on Brainstorms …

    Comment by Jeff — February 21, 2010 #

  14. Dear Barbara:

    I am very glad to hear of your update but saddened to hear about your difficulties.
    I have been so impressed and inspired by your blog whether it is your recipes, arts or family writing.
    I will most definitely follow you as your insights are a gift to we readers.
    All the best to you in your new endeavours.
    Hugs, Aileen from NS Canada

    Comment by Aileen — February 21, 2010 #

  15. I hear you, Ms. Fisher. Wishing you all the best in therapy and where it takes you. I’ll miss this blog but will be pleased to follow you to the next one, when you want to share it with us.

    Take care.

    Comment by Laughingrat — February 21, 2010 #

  16. I wish you luck and strength.

    Comment by Elizabeth — February 21, 2010 #

  17. Be well, Barbara, and thanks for running my favourite cooking blog for so long. Thanks for sharing your story, too – wishing you strength and healing.

    Comment by Martin DeMello — February 21, 2010 #

  18. This was a great blog. Thanks for making it.

    Comment by sgt pepper — February 21, 2010 #

  19. Barbara,

    I know you will find your true self and passion sooner rather than later.

    Thanks for all your hard work here over the years. I will definately check out your new blog.

    Comment by Gordon Austin — February 21, 2010 #

  20. Dear Barbara,

    My heart goes out to you for taking this brave first step. Perhaps that sounds presumptuous of me, but admitting publicly that it is time to make a life change strikes me as a first step of sorts. The pain and trauma you’ve been through comes through in your words, and I hope that you find a good cognitive therapist who can help guide you back to peace of mind.

    Peace of mind is the first platform. From there, I hope you may find your way to the happiness that you deserve. You are a good person and you deserve to be happy.

    I cannot repay you for the effort you have put into this blog. It has opened my eyes and made me a happier person. It isn’t your pain or your denial or your dishonesty that made me happier. Rather, it is the light of your brilliance that is you which brought me joy and illumination. Never forget that.

    Please heal yourself. Your family is counting on you. Your peace of mind and happiness is worth the effort.

    Jimmy

    Comment by Jimmy — February 21, 2010 #

  21. Dear Barbara,

    Thank you very very much for the guidance, the laughs and the lovely writing. I have learned more Indian cooking from you (and I’m Indian!) than I have from mum and I am very privileged to have read your blog and your stories. I look forward to seeing your writing, be it about anything, because I believe in you.

    Thank you.

    Comment by Huda — February 22, 2010 #

  22. What an honest and open post. Thank you for sharing this with us. I wish you healing and peace in your journey.

    Thank you also so much for all the wonderful work on the blog over the years. I cannot adequately tell you how inspirational it has been to me. I look forward to whatever you may do in future, but even if nothing I am so happy just to have been able to have experienced and shared T&S.

    Blessings, Diane

    Comment by Diane — February 22, 2010 #

  23. Wishing you and yours all the happiness in the world. I have loved this blog and thank you for all recipes.

    Dolores Jones

    Comment by Dolores Jones — February 22, 2010 #

  24. Your Chinese cooking lessons really helped me down a path that I am still on now. The explanations were so well written with that personal touch that always seems missing in books. For that and all the other great posts….Thank you. I hope all works out for you and hope to read you again soon! ;)

    Comment by Jeff — February 22, 2010 #

  25. I am sad you are going but happy to hear you are working through your problems. Hope you find contentment and peace of mind.

    Comment by soupmaker — February 22, 2010 #

  26. Barbara, I wish you all the best on your journey. It has been a true pleasure getting to know you over the years through your posts and I’m (selfishly) relieved that you intend to continue in some form. Your recipes and kitchen wisdom are priceless, but it is also the personality that shines through behind them that keeps us all coming back.

    Big hugs to you and yours!

    Comment by Meg — February 22, 2010 #

  27. My heart sunk when I saw the title ‘The Last Post’. I will definitely follow Summoning the Muse. Which, incidentally, I haven’t been able to Google. Can you give us the link, please? Thanks!

    I really appreciate all you’ve done here. It is a fantastic resource that you should be proud of.

    As for ‘the lie’, I completely understand that you didn’t tell us about everything. Honestly. It takes time to tell friends, nevermind telling the strangers. People always tend to keep some things private, and in a blog, or any other public medium, this is almost implied, normal even. I think you have been incredibly honest with us during this time, actually. And I often admired you for it, for revealing parts of you at all. Hug!

    Comment by Maninas — February 22, 2010 #

  28. Good for you! Looking forward to reading your new blog.

    Comment by Adam — February 22, 2010 #

  29. Sorry, I’ve misread the bit about the new link. I’ll come back for it when you’ve posted it.

    Comment by Maninas — February 22, 2010 #

  30. Of course you have to do what you must to be who you are. Thank you for everything.

    Especial thanks for leaving your archives available.

    I hope to see you on your new blog.

    Comment by Fernmonkey — February 22, 2010 #

  31. Have been reading you for a while Barbara, and T&S has become my go-to site for dinner inspiration and plain old good reading. But am happy you are starting a new phase in your journey.much strength to you..
    Thank you very much for both keeping this site alive, and for sharing your next blog with us. looking forward to it!

    Comment by chicu — February 22, 2010 #

  32. Barbara, although I have rarely commented on your posts, I have visited your site countless times. I love reading your posts, be they about food or anything else. I am Indian and as another reader commented- I learnt more about Indian food from your posts than anywhere else. And you inspired me to seek out unfamiliar Thai and Chinese groceries and learn to try and love those cuisines. Thank you.
    I wish you all the very best in life. Hope that you find peace and happiness, and that you continue sharing your writing with us as you have over the years.

    Comment by Sprite — February 22, 2010 #

  33. Dear Barbara
    I also was saddened to see the words “Last Posting”. You have been like a distant dear friend that I enjoyed keeping up with thru your postings. Thanks to you I have a wonderful pantry filled with inticing ingredients and the exploration for these items have been a delight for my husband and me. You have a gift in communicating your passions in food, meals, preparation, gardening, quilting, sewing, and everyday life. You have been such an inspiration. I look forward to your new blog. I think alot of people go thru life avoiding things and don’t know why. Your evolution and discoveries are sure to be insightful to many of us as a kindred soul.
    “Finish each day & be done with it. U have done what you could. Some blunders & absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as u can.Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well & serenely & with too much high spirit to be cumbered by your old nonsense”. Ralph Waldo Emerson
    I send you a big hug and lot’s of encouragement.
    Peggy

    Comment by Peggy — February 22, 2010 #

  34. YOU are stronger than you know…and I won’t be sappy and all that shit, becuase, let me tell you: thoe of us who “blog” is like making a journal that is often the image of life we’d like to present. I say on my tag line 30. single. professional. I don’t say.
    often lonely. often disappointed. often worried about being “sinful” or out of control. I often eat lackluster food and have lackluster dinner parties. A shirt I buy doesn’t fit right. A run I go on is more punishing than rewarding. My yoga practice is harried with should I or don’t forget tos.
    So, honoring who you are, an trying to figure that out? Well, I think I will die first. But here’s to more authentically accepting the middle ground that is being human.
    Okay! Maybe I should post about that, huh? See, you inspired me!

    Comment by Special K — February 22, 2010 #

  35. Dear Barbara,

    I’m a longtime reader and infrequent commenter. I’ve enjoyed your writing here and will gladly follow you to the new blog, whatever it ends up being.

    I know people who could benefit from psychotherapy but can’t bring themselves to take that step. You’re brave for doing it and braver still for sharing this with us. I hope the process you are going through will help you become the person you want to be.

    M

    Comment by Meri — February 22, 2010 #

  36. You picked a good time to end and begin again…. the year of the Iron Tiger.

    I’ve always sensed a missing side to your stories.

    Happy trails (or trials)

    m

    Comment by mac — February 22, 2010 #

  37. Dear Barbara,
    Thank you for so many wonderful recipes, techniques and stories! I’ve learned a lot. I wish you lots of strength confronting the other side of things. We all have it, and it’s hard; you are brave to look directly at it. I look forward to reading your rich prose elsewhere someday.
    Olga

    Comment by Olga — February 22, 2010 #

  38. Barbara: Best wishes to you and your family in whatever you choose to do next. I will miss your wonderful blog, where I learned so much about food and ingredients. Thanks for all that you taught me over the years. May God grand you healing and peace.

    Comment by Grace — February 22, 2010 #

  39. Oh, it’s so good to hear for you! I respect your honesty and will follow you on your journey. Somebody -was it Jung – said that In the Gospel of St Thomas, it is written:
    That which you have within you will save you
    if you bring it forth from yourself.
    It serves no purpose to conceal who we are – knowing ourselves and being willing to stand for who we are makes life authentic. You are on the path toward a more authentic self and that means acknowledging the shadow. But know that you are not alone. My friendship, along with many others, goes with you on your way. I’ve walked that dark journey and came out the other side a better, stronger person. You will to.
    namaste! SF Nancy

    Comment by Nancy — February 22, 2010 #

  40. I look forward to hearing your words on your new blog. Everyone has different facets of their person that they like to share and others that they keep quiet about so I dont think you’ve been dishonest.

    The only normal people/families are the ones that we dont really know.

    I hope you find some peace now that you’ve confronted the things that were haunting you.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Comment by jenny — February 22, 2010 #

  41. Barbara, I wish you and your family the best, and thank you thank you thank you for this site. (Although I will read you in whatever incarnation your blog ends up taking, whether it’s food or not.)

    Besides, if you this site down, I would have to spend the greater part of today and tomorrow printing your recipes :) You can’t expect me to remember the recipe for char siu can you? (It’s delicious by the way, my Cantonese friend was impressed.)

    Good luck to you on all your journeys. Please know that we are cheering you on.

    Comment by Christine — February 22, 2010 #

  42. I agree with Special K. There are many things people just don’t talk about. It doesn’t mean they’re lying by omission. It’s how you just get on with it.

    I love your blog, and I’m glad you’ll keep it on line in case I lose any of your recipes I’ve printed out!

    Good luck! I’ll check out Muse as soon as it’s up.

    Comment by Maria in Oregon — February 22, 2010 #

  43. I definitely miss your blog. I wish you the best on your journey. I wish that I could find someone to help me break that facade open. I feel that it needs to happen, I just don’t know how to do it. I’ll be thinking of you.

    Comment by Zebe912 — February 22, 2010 #

  44. Thank you, Barbara, for sharing this with us. I haven’t commented much here, but your recipes and posts have been my guide to improving my cooking techniques (especially with stir frying and with Thai food), and for that I will always be thankful. I have sent many of my friends here to learn from your posts as well, so I am glad that you will keep this site up.

    It is interesting that in cooking food, we all lie to an extent – by adding a spice to a food, by peeling or chopping it, we present it as something it would never have been without our interference. Perhaps a bit of dishonesty is necessary in cooking. But it is also apparent that one must be able to be true to themselves, and I empathize with your explanation for why you will not continue.

    So thank you, Barbara, for all you have done here and for all the people you have inspired. Best wishes!

    Comment by Sabrina — February 22, 2010 #

  45. Barbara,

    Thanks so much for your blog, especially today’s post. I’ve enjoyed reading the blog and hope to follow you on the new one.

    Best wishes,
    Nancy

    Comment by Nancy — February 22, 2010 #

  46. Wishing you peace and thanking you for all you’ve done here.

    Best wishes,
    Stephanie

    Comment by Stephanie — February 22, 2010 #

  47. Dear Barbara,

    Wishing you health and luck :) Will follow you on your new blog. I have learned so much from you these last many years, and I want to thank you for the many hundreds of hours of cooking and pleasure that reading your blog has given me. You are a wonderful teacher.

    much love
    Aarti

    Comment by Aarti — February 23, 2010 #

  48. Barbara: I, too, have been paying attention, mostly without comment, and will gladly follow you to your new blog (have you looked at WordPress, btw?).

    And: being selective about what you show us isn’t lying; it’s what we all must do, some more than most but that’s no shame. You need not worry about putting one foot forward here, and another foot forward somewhere else, and sometimes just putting both feet up on the coffee table for a rest. At least as far as I’m concerned. You are worthy.

    APS

    Comment by Alan P. Scott — February 23, 2010 #

  49. Thanks for deciding to keep T&S up, it’s a tremendous resource.

    All good people grow, and sometimes a clean break is necessary. Will definitely stay a groupie, just let us know where the afterparty is, OK?

    Comment by Wouter — February 23, 2010 #

  50. My sorrow at hearing you’re done with this blog is mitigated by 1) knowing that you’re leaving it up–so I can still pull up all your wonderful recipes!– and 2) anticipation of your new one.

    I came to this blog only recently, a few months ago, but your cooking tastes are so similar to mine that it’s been a standby ever since. Thank you very much for all the time and effort you’ve put into it.

    I am sorry that your move forward has been precipitated by some difficult emotional times. But it does sound like a real step forward into new health and happiness. I hope healing comes soon, and wish you all the best.

    Comment by Laurel — February 23, 2010 #

  51. I’m very glad you’re leaving this blog up so I can continue to use it as a recipe resource! And for what it’s worth, the image I’ve always had tied to this blog is “woman who truly appreciates food, experimentation with food, and authenticity with a twist in her recipes.” Knowing that your life hasn’t been as idyllic as you may have described isn’t a letdown in any way. Do what you need to do. I will pop over to your Blogger blog and check that out from time to time, as I have done this one. :)

    Good luck!

    Comment by Laura — February 23, 2010 #

  52. Barbara,

    Thank you for sharing your reasons with us, and for letting us know where your writing will live in the future. I’ve been going through a similar year myself, so I definitely understand where you’re coming from. I’ve been checking in and hoping that you and your family are doing well despite the health issues I know you said you were having. What I have missed most is not the recipes but hearing your voice, which is uniquely yours and powerful and refreshing. I look forward to reading your new blog, and thank you for inviting your internet friends to come with you on your journey!

    Comment by Julia — February 23, 2010 #

  53. Barbara, I don’t think I’ve ever commented before, but I wanted to let you know how much I’ve enjoyed, appreciated, and learned from Tigers & Strawberries over the years. I’m sure that I will continue to come back to it often as a well-used and well-loved resource, and look forward to following you into your new blogging venture. And as my lurker-dom is likely to continue there, know that I wish you the best of luck, and all the good wishes and support one can offer.

    Comment by Claire — February 23, 2010 #

  54. You are incredibly brave. Sending you positive thoughts and lots of love. Looking forward to your new blog. Best wishes on your journey of self discovery!

    Comment by Aurora — February 24, 2010 #

  55. Best wishes to you in everything, Barbara. As someone who recently went through a fairly intense therapeutic experience and is in many ways still getting to know myself post-that, I can very much relate to what you write here.

    I believe that the self you discover will be wonderful, because one thing that has always been clear from T&S is that you have a great heart. And I am so glad T&S will continue to be a resource, because it is a truly wonderful one.

    Comment by Alexis — February 25, 2010 #

  56. It’s ironic because I just decided to start up a new blog, because I wanted to present a more positive side of myself and just blog about cooking and gardening and birdwatching and sustainability, and try not to focus on the unpleasent things in life like my own struggle with clinical depression and a dysfunctional family.

    I don’t think it’s dishonest, it’s just being choosy about what you want to put out in public and what you want to keep private. Do whatever you think is best for yourself. There’s not requirement for you to put every single aspect of your life out there on the internet for all the world to see.

    I’m really glad you’ll be keeping this blog up (I was just here looking up some recipes now that I finally got around to going to an Asian market and picking up some of the ingredients you mentioned here), and I’ll certainly follow your new blog. I love your writing style, no matter what topic you’re writing about.

    Good luck!

    Comment by Neohippie — February 25, 2010 #

  57. Hey, good on you for taking that step. I’ve loved your blog. Thanks for writing thus far, and good luck with whatever you choose to write or cook in the future.

    Comment by amoredilibri — February 25, 2010 #

  58. Thank you so much for all the recipes and advice. And I’ll definitely be watching for the new site.

    Sending much love and support from sunny Seattle!

    -starrrie

    Comment by starrie — February 25, 2010 #

  59. Wow, this is such an amazing and courageous thing to do, Barbara. Though I’ll miss Tigers and Strawberries, I’m so glad you’re doing this.

    Comment by Christy — February 25, 2010 #

  60. I SO appreciate your translucency! I have only recently found your blog (chicken stock entry is the one I am studying currently). I just added you to my bookmarks and I am really looking forward to diving into the archives. I wish you well in your new journey in life…and I hope to catch up with you on your new blog. Any woman who decides to be real and deal with her pain is a WARRIOR PRINCESS. Sending love and hugs, sister! :)

    Comment by Emily — February 25, 2010 #

  61. Thanks for everything. I’m cooking more Indian food all the time. You’ll be missed.

    Comment by Jumper — February 25, 2010 #

  62. Joining the choir of voices who wish you love and peace and who look forward to following you to your new blog home. :)

    Comment by Elizabeth — February 26, 2010 #

  63. Dear Barbara,
    I have been reading “Tigers and Strawberries” for about four years, and have learned so very much from you. The Chinese Cooking Lessons were amazing! I have learned about many herbs and spices and other ingredients that I knew little or nothing about; and have tried some of your recipes. Your website was always my favorite place to go on the web, just to relax and enjoy myself and learn. I grew up on a farm in NC and could identify with your life on your grandparents’ farm. I will truly miss your blog, and wish you much success and happiness as you go onto another chapter of your life!

    Comment by Janet — February 26, 2010 #

  64. My horror at seeing the title of this post has been relieved by knowing that you’ll continue blogging. :) There’s no shame in having a less-than-perfect history, either. Good luck with everything! Cheers from Thailand!

    Comment by Maria P. — February 27, 2010 #

  65. Dear Barbara, i’ve been following your site for years, but this is the first time i’m leaving a comment :)

    Your site made a big difference in my life when I was a poor student living away from my parents and having to learn the basics of cooking myself. I learnt the joy of creating a perfect stir-fry (and i’m Chinese!) and the logic and secrets behind so many cooking techniques.

    I hope that you ride through this rough patch and continue spreading your passion for cooking, because I love your writing.

    All the best in your new journey, and thank you for making a difference in mine!

    Comment by lr — February 27, 2010 #

  66. Dear Barbara,

    Thank you for keeping up such a wonderful blog. Every post has been full of wonderful things, even if some of them are a bit long for me!

    This post strikes me deeply because I chiefly learnt how to cook for myself – real cooking, like the food that the parent who took care of me made – starting from your Wok series. Reading food blogs like yours helped me through my own recent therapeutic experience – and so I’d like to express how much this blog has meant to me, in its own way, and thank you profusely for it. I hope that your passions will still carry you on when it gets tough, and hope that you can feel some of the love from your readers that we can feel through your posts.

    Wish you best of luck through your journey! No matter who you are post-therapy, I am convinced that you will still be the amazing, intelligent, thoughtful writer we all know. :)

    Comment by Angelina — February 27, 2010 #

  67. *know and love. :)

    Comment by Angelina — February 27, 2010 #

  68. Hey…

    … I’ve been lurking about here since late 2005, maybe. Have always enjoyed it. It’s… good to hear that you’re about bringing forward the self at your core. Lots of folks lose that, and they never know–and it’s awful hard to feel the underlying joy in living unless you’ve got it tight to hand.

    And you should be proud of this–because it’s a damn good site. …and not untrue, I don’t think, if all art (yeah. I think it’s art… in that cool collage-like way that is the unique pleasure of the blog), requires a bit of artifice. Just bits of truth, yeah?–finely polished.

    And I look forward to seeing what you set your hand to next.

    Comment by perry — February 28, 2010 #

  69. Barbara, I just wanted to wish you the best of luck on your journey. Thanks so much for sharing so much on this wonderful blog, as a chinese I actually became more excited in cooking chinese food again through your lessons. You made chinese cooking more accessible than my mother!

    all the best!

    Comment by deanna — February 28, 2010 #

  70. I admire your honesty and wish you all the best in the future. Look forward to more blogging from you when you have worked through things more and feel like writing again.

    Comment by Kalynskitchen — February 28, 2010 #

  71. I’ve been reading your blog for years, though I’m terrible at commenting. I wanted to let you know how much I have enjoyed it and the food you have helped me create. I’ve learned so much. I’m sorry to hear that you have so much to struggle through, but it sounds like ultimately this can be a time of joy and self discovery. I will read your new blog too, should it appear, as I feel that I’ve gotten to know you and will wonder what you are up to (and Kat, just a few months older than my oldest). Best to you and your family.

    Comment by Molly — February 28, 2010 #

  72. Hi Barbara

    I only just found T & S today whilst looking for a recipe for salted chillies. What a pity to find such a good resource only to then discover that you won’t be blogging here any more. Still, you have already created something great.

    Good luck with your new blog and with all your plans for the future.

    Comment by Not Delia — March 1, 2010 #

  73. Wishing you healing and light in your journey. I don’t think you were lying at all, just avoiding the things that were dark and frightening. I hope you find peace as you work through the darker side and find who you are NOW. Betting you find a very strong, very impressive person when you are done looking.

    Comment by Kathy — March 1, 2010 #

  74. good luck moving through the jungle. it’s not endless.

    Comment by ruhlman — March 1, 2010 #

  75. I’m SO glad you’re getting help. I think this is not only your last, but also your best post.

    Comment by mdvlist — March 1, 2010 #

  76. Dear Barbara. I met you in another forum and I appreciated your writing there. Through teh forum I came here and a world of inspiration opened up to me. I have recently redone my house and put a lot of effort in to making my tiny kitchen extremely functional. I so look forward to using your recipes and tips!! I have been living in my MIL’s house while the renovation has been going on, and it is tiresome to eat het same 5 dishes over and over, never a spice as far as the eye can see. So reading your blog, with the passion for the ingredients, the process and the final result sends shivers of pleasure down my spine.
    Though it is a loss for all of us that read your blog that you feel you can’t continue, I knw where it’s coming from and believe me I understand. The need to be true to one self, and how to reconcile this with the reality of ones past…. I wish that all things good and beautiful come your way, and that one day soon you will find peace and that your past will be just that, your past.
    Big hugs!!!
    Becca

    Comment by Rebecca — March 3, 2010 #

  77. Oh and one more thing!

    Thank you for your fearless admission of what the reason is. I decided a few days ago that I will no longer hide my past, because it is not my shame it is hte shame of those that created the madness. Your courage is an inspiraton, and powerful and beautiful as your cooking. You are truly a beacon of light in a foggy world…
    becca

    Comment by Rebecca — March 3, 2010 #

  78. Oh my God! I have been off the net for 6 months, and the changes that happened in that time is awful! But I will miss your posts and presence now that I am back…. I send you all the love, peace, healing and (again) Love! I know dysfunction as well (different, I am sure), but your true passion and HONESTY with food shone thru not matter what! I look forward (and back) to whatever you have to share with all of us that love you! Blessings and peace! Tom

    Comment by Tom Godbold — March 5, 2010 #

  79. Barbara,

    Let it be known that I’ll follow you in the blogosphere where ever you go. And don’t think for a minute that you’re the only one with an awful past that’s been hard to face up to. We’ve all got our own awfulness to deal with. It’s time to set shamefulness free forever and unlock the silence.

    Comment by Roxanne — March 5, 2010 #

  80. I’ve always enjoyed this site and looked forward to the occasional post about Kat and your sewing projects. I’m glad you’ve decided not to stop posting all together but just to start over in a new venue. I look forward to reading your writing again.

    Comment by Beth — March 7, 2010 #

  81. Your blog has been such a rock of sense and sensibility for me ever since I first put finger to keyboard. Not having you on my blogroll will seem very strange. Like missing a member of the family. Keep in touch and all the very best for the future.

    Comment by Aidan Brooks — March 12, 2010 #

  82. Barbara – just thinking of you and sending love and good wishes for a terrific weekend.

    Comment by Maureen — March 12, 2010 #

  83. This has been a regular stop over the years, and I’m sad to see it go. But I am grateful for the parts of yourself you’ve shared with us, and I think you’ve made the right decision and I have great faith in your ability to work through everything. I wish you the best, and of course, will follow you on the internet wherever you end up.

    Comment by Alexis E — March 13, 2010 #

  84. Gonna miss you!, but hey, gotta look on the bright side of all this.
    You’re terrific and don’t forget it!!!
    We all have our problems and you are the strong one to admit it!!!
    Congratulations on your new adventure!!!
    Just remember, there is a God!
    Love you!

    Comment by Bettye — March 14, 2010 #

  85. Barbara, I will miss your food blogging, but you gotta do what you gotta do! I hope you find peace and your muse in all kinds of places. I’ll keep an eye out here for that new URL. :)

    Comment by Steph — March 14, 2010 #

  86. I’ll miss your posts, but I understand your need to put things behind you. I hope someday you will find the peace you seek.

    Comment by Maven Koesler — March 22, 2010 #

  87. I sure am going to miss your blog. Several of your recipes have become regulars in our house (dal with greens and shitake mushrooms, imam biyaldi, sweet potatoes with panch phoran just to name just a few) and you even inspired my to buy a preethi mixer and a cast iron wok from the Wok Shop (love, love, love them both!) Hopefully, I will be reading your writings again at your new blog site soon. Please take care.

    Comment by Amy Davies — March 23, 2010 #

  88. Hey, I just found you and You are normal, just like the rest of us. I cannot write just about food either. I. like you, am a complex individual with ups and downs and I write about them on my blog, too. Good stories, dark days, food, art, reviews, opinions, because we were made to be complex. It’s how we stay involved, grow and are interesting to others. I recommend you write, right here and keep your readers with you because friends are forged here in cyber space and there’s a lot to be said for their faith in us. Keep posting, don’t fence yourself in and stop being nervous we won’t find out you aren’t perfect. Together we can just be free to be ourselves and damn the torpedos.

    “Theresa H Hall
    “Sleeping Kitten – Dancing Dog!”

    I expect a visit and please, if you do as I suggest, please submit your blog to:
    BlogCatalog dot com because there is a home just waiting for you to move in. My user name is: Theresa111

    Please do give us more of YOU! Cheers!

    Comment by Theresa111 — March 26, 2010 #

  89. I’m quite the latecomer here, I’ve been spending my time in so many different ways, both on and off the computer, than I used to that I’m not checking in on my fave blogs very much.

    And I knew something was up. And that you wouldn’t be posting much. I’m glad to hear that you’re going in a new direction very consciously and intentionally. I’m glad to hear that you’re proud of what you’ve done here, because it is, in fact, wonderful. And I’m glad to hear that, when you’re ready, you’ll be online in a different blog, because I’m still interested in your life and your family, and hearing about your new journey of discovery. I’ve been on quite a journey myself this past year, and it’s about to get a little more wild as my parents, whom I have not lived near for 20 years, are moving to be 3 miles away from us. My family, too, was wildly dysfunctional, and since I began my new journey I’ve been wanting to write or blog about it but also feeling like I don’t really know how. Maybe we can help each other find the ways that are right for each of us. Maybe not. :) But I hope we can share a bit of the ride together.

    Best wishes, and I’ll be watching for that link to your new blog!

    Comment by Kristi — March 26, 2010 #

  90. I just found your blog today while googling fish sauce. I enjoyed your musings on that so much I thought I’d take a look at what else was going on only to find this. It seems the boat has sailed. Bon voyage.

    Comment by MuddyG — March 31, 2010 #

  91. I also just stumbled onto the site while looking up kale and eggplant…thanks for all you’ve created and happy trails!

    Comment by Patticakes — April 1, 2010 #

  92. I don’t think just because someone creates a blog they owe us their life story. I am glad you told us the truth only because I think you have gained our respect already and we would love to be with you wherever your journey takes you next. I can understand that to integrate and become whole you may need to leave a piece like this behind but thank you for it. Whatever pain lies behind it,this has been a gift to may of us and hang on to the good parts for yourself-creativity, humor. Thank you and may the angels be with you!

    Comment by SueVS — April 2, 2010 #

  93. Barbara,

    Why not just blog about all that stuff here? I don’t think anyone would object … and it’s *your* blog.

    Comment by Fuzzy Chef — April 6, 2010 #

  94. Yay! You’re going to feel better! Congratulations and take no prisoners. I got your back, so to speak.

    Remember, yours, mines and anyone’s blog should be about themselves. That’s why people come to read what we’re up to. Meathenge doesn’t contain only meat and it chronicles the changes in my life over the last 6+ years. When I started was happily married with 2 children, now there’s one less and my posting path has changed completely. We’re loved.

    xo, Biggles

    Comment by Dr. Biggles — April 9, 2010 #

  95. I just found your recipes today as I was trying fix a dish from my idyllic/dysfunctional childhood. I wish you well on this journey and your new endeavors. Maybe we’ll meet on this road–we’re on the same trip.

    Peace and blessings. Take all the time you need. Feel. And then feel better.

    G.

    Comment by G. — April 12, 2010 #

  96. Barbara, I have loved your blog and your recipes and the entire education on food that you have provided here. It is, hands down, my favorite place to go for food information and recipes. I even have a Preethi, thanks to you. I have never commented before, but I did want to say that I will be excited to embrace the authentic, complete, you in whatever way you choose to share in your new venue. Thank you for what you have provided here; it is a treasure.

    Comment by csj — April 12, 2010 #

  97. Just checking up on this site to see if I ever got the apology I deserved when you accused me of slander and threatened to censor my posts.

    Even without any forthcoming apology, its still sad to see this blog shut down.

    Comment by dana — April 19, 2010 #

  98. hello.
    I can relate and I would love to speak with you. I also come from a dysfunctional family…it seems that there are lots of those. But i would love to just have a bit of insight from someone who has overcome obstacles. Please write me if you have the chance.
    Kate

    Comment by Kate — April 19, 2010 #

  99. Hi!

    Unfortunately I only just came by your blog…and only to find that it’s gone! How much did I miss – and I would’ve missed it had it not been for the fact that I googled a recipe for a lentil stew…

    I wish you strength on your road to happiness!!

    Comment by Eva — May 24, 2010 #

  100. You will be missed. I wish you well and hope that someday you can return to the world of food blogging. Your recipes have been some of my favorites. I’d love to see more someday.

    Comment by Barbara — May 30, 2010 #

  101. Just wanted to tell you that I can cook a proper dinner now (recently I cooked a complete meal for 8 persons, and they loved it!), only to find that you have stopped writing the blog….

    Thanks again for teaching me how to stir-fry greens. I will miss you! Please take care of yourself.

    best wishes
    Franklen, Hong Kong

    Comment by Franklen — June 5, 2010 #

  102. I just found your site yesterday and bookmarked so I could read it today. Then I spotted that you are moving on. I do wish you best wishes in your journey. Thanks for sharing.

    Comment by Theresa — June 13, 2010 #

  103. I wish for you everything that you want for yourself, Barbara, with warmest wishes. This blog was so much more food; I really hope you’ll post a link to your new blog when you’re at that point. Thank you so much for being the writer/person/cook you are.

    Comment by Ushma — July 3, 2010 #

  104. Sure miss your posts more than I ever knew!!! Guess I’ll just have to jump into some of the old ones and pretend they are new :-) Hope you and your family are doing well and your basil plants, too! Enjoy your summer.

    Comment by Peggy — July 22, 2010 #

  105. I’m with Peggy. I keep coming back here hoping something has changed. In fact I came by specifically to get the imam bayildi recipe, but still. Hope you’re all well over there! Miss you on this side. :)

    Comment by Christine — July 28, 2010 #

  106. Barbara, I just started following your blog a few months back, and i totally agree with all who support you in what you are doing.

    It takes courage to go back and deal with issues past, but I hope you see the experience of cooking and providing and sharing as a means of bringing people from all over the globe together.It may not rub out the personal experiences but i hope u find comfort in the fact that other troubled souls find solace in your blog !!

    Comment by troglodyte — September 3, 2010 #

  107. From New Zealand, and I just found your blog a couple of hours ago.

    I dont think you should give this up.. there aren’t any lies here. Your life is a process, and this blog is a part of that process. Don’t you think this blog and your community of real friends are part of your healing, and part of who you will be in the future? It’s always nice to be needed, and I get the impression that you are needed and loved through your blog and ideas. Do you believe that if you give this nice sanctuary up, you will be stronger, that the past will be less threatening? I dont think so. You are building your future self here, and this blog is so obviously a labour of love, compassion, and friendship.

    Comment by John D — September 5, 2010 #

  108. Just wanted to tell you that I still miss you blogging. I hope you are finding the muse and that the cracks in the walls are getting wider and wider with more sun shining through

    Comment by ilva — September 6, 2010 #

  109. for a personal research reason, i googled “strawberries and tigers”. your blog came up on the last post.

    wow… integrity plus.

    where do i find you now?

    Comment by ali — September 15, 2010 #

  110. Your words touched me deeply. I grew up with country roots (Belgian), and though not on a farm, we had a large garden in town. Made homemade everything (jam, doughnuts, pickled watermelon, dandelion green salad) and realized one day that nobody I went to school with did this stuff! Despite my mentally ill mother, we 6 children all survived; I was the fortunate one who vowed to escape and I did. Bravo to you, you are already stronger than you know.

    Transforming yourself into the person you want to be is a journey. Your writing is inspiring and so full of love, as are the many comments here. I just found your site and it’s wonderful. I wish you all the luck in the world.

    Comment by Mary in California — September 26, 2010 #

  111. I can’t believe it has been so long since I’ve looked at your site that I didn’t see this post sooner (the last one I saw was the chocolate cherry cookies).

    How brave of you to take this step, and be so honest with the world.

    I’m so very proud of you that you are working on making your mental and emotional life better for yourself and your family.

    I’m hoping that you have (or will soon) start another blog and will share it with us here.

    much love to you,
    ~magpie

    Comment by magpie — October 12, 2010 #

  112. I’m grateful that you left this blog up, since there’s so much good info here. But I most hope that you are finding a good way forward in your life. I miss you and your blogging. Be well.

    Comment by Winslow — October 30, 2010 #

  113. Barbara –
    I have just found your site today through your gorgeous aprons. You created such beauty with amazing diversity for each recipient. Then you gave them to people you love – they are so fortunate to have you in their lives!
    I do not know you but after reading here for a sort while I feel that you are surrounded by so much love. I hope so much that it hasn’t changed for you. I hope you have found the peace and comfort for which you have searched so long.
    Peg

    Comment by Peg — October 31, 2010 #

  114. Barbara – Think of you often and hope all is well with you and your family. Just wanted to wish all of you a happy thanksgiving.

    Comment by Maureen — November 22, 2010 #

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