Beginning Again

Like birds flying in a flock, days flew into weeks, into months and soon, years, and the silence on my blog became a nagging, wheedling presence in the back of my mind.

And then came the emails, like rain after a drought.

A trickle here, another there. The trickles merged into a stream, into a dancing cascade that eventually poured into a river.

“Where are you?” you said.

“Are you well?” “What’s happened?” “I hope you’re still cooking.” “Please tell us you and your family are well and happy.”

“What are you doing now?”

And, the one that finally pulled me back.

“We miss you.”

The truth is, I missed all of you, too. More than I can say.

So, I am back, and this post is going to help us all catch up, and the next posts will be about my kitchen experiments.

First–where am I?

I’m still in Athens, Ohio, living with the locavores and loving every minute of it. (Well, maybe not every minute. The crazy derecho storm and power outage during the heatwave was less than charming, but lots of people had it worse than my family, so I’m grateful. And yes, I have my power back. Else, I’d not be writing this post!)

Am I well?

Yes. I am quite well. As longtime readers might remember, I had chronic pain issues for years, and then was diagnosed with a Vitamin D deficiency. That has been mediated with liberal applications of oral supplementation, but then I started having weird neurological symptoms. Tingling and buzzing in hands and feet. Really weird migraines that felt like cascading needles over my head and shoulders. My new GP, whom I absolutely adore, sent me to a neurologist to have that sorted out. Turns out I’m severely low in Vitamin B12, which is probably a genetic thing. So, now I have a shot every two weeks and low and behold the neurological symptoms are gone.

And I feel healthier than I have in years.

Zak is doing well. He did cut his hair off, so now he looks probably ten years younger. Not quite sure how that works, but he’s happy and cute and healthy.

And Morganna is doing well. She’s on the saute station and grill station at a local restaurant: Zoe Fine Dining. She loves it. She took some time off from Ohio University, but she may be returning to finish her history degree in the fall. We’ll see. No need to rush things.

And Kat. Oh, she’s growing and is a joy to us all. She sings all the time–is always making up songs about everything she is doing or seeing or experiencing. She’s going into first grade in the fall, and she’s reading, writing, spelling, doing math and drawing beautifully. I can’t begin to explain how proud I am of her and how much I enjoy helping her grow up.

What happened?

Lots of stuff. The weird neurological things, I got tired of photographing dinner before I ate it and was burned out on writing.

Oh, and I started a new project. More on that in a moment.

Yes, I’m still cooking. I could never give up on cooking. Though, with a five year old, it’s sometimes hard to keep making up new recipes. Kids like their favorite foods and are not as tolerant of Mom having to cook up three to five new recipes a week when they’d really just like their matzo ball soup or spaghetti and meatballs or penne alla pesto or ma po tofu, thank you very much. But yes, I am cooking, and have started some really fun experiments in fermentation in the kitchen.

Yes, I intend to share those experiments with you.

So yes, we’re all well and happy, and so now we come to the final question:

What are you doing now?

What am I doing?

Well, I’m making a documentary.

A feature length documentary.

On the local food economy of Athens, Ohio.

It’s called “Hand to Mouth: The Athens, Ohio Local Food Movement.” And it’s going to be big.

My dearest friends are working on it with me. I’m producing and writing. Dan Trout–lots of you older readers will remember him as the one who eats whole cheesecakes at a sitting, until I defeated him with one of my cheesecakes–he’s writing, directing and is the cinematographer. Heather Irwin, who has evolved into a fairly fearless experimenter in the kitchen, is our sound technician. And Zak is doing the soundtrack–and is doing an amazing job at it, too.

On Wednesday, Dan and I are presenting a twenty minute chunk of the film at the Real Food, Real Local, Real Good Conference here in Athens.

We still have a few interviews to do and some b-roll footage to shoot, and then we go into post-production–writing the script and editing. After it’s done, we’re going to take it out on the sustainability conference and film festival circuit, and we hope to find a distributor. We want to get it in theaters, and get it seen as far and wide as possible.

But that’s a ways away. We still have to finish it.

So that’s what’s been up in my world.

I’m glad to be back.

Look for more posts on the film, but also some new recipes, and ideas on gardening, maybe a few essays and some documentation of my forays into fermentation and other food preservation methods.

Thanks for writing to me and asking about us all and most of all:

Thanks for being patient.


RSS feed for comments on this post.

  1. Welcome back!! Glad to hear things are well and there are such exciting things going on for you!

    Comment by CindyC72 — July 8, 2012 #

  2. this is a good thing!

    Comment by Megan Macartney — July 8, 2012 #

  3. Oh, I’m so happy that you popped up in my feed reader again. You’ve been on my mind, and every few months I’d say to my partner “I wonder what Barbara’s doing… I miss her. I hope she’s OK” (and I never had to preface who I meant because we cook so many of your recipes in our house that you’re a household name for us).

    Comment by Delora — July 8, 2012 #

  4. Welcome back. I, for some reason, began checking on T&S again everyday for the last week after not having checked for months. So glad to see your post.

    Comment by Huda — July 8, 2012 #

  5. Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

    EAGERLY awaiting your posts.

    And a pic of Kat?

    Comment by R. Hamilton — July 9, 2012 #

  6. Welcome back!

    Comment by Amy D. — July 9, 2012 #

  7. Lovely to hear that things are going well and that you have new projects happening. Also wonderful that Kat is flourishing! You have very much been missed.
    Would love to see your progress. I lived in Athens, Ohio for several years and loved it very much.

    Comment by Sue — July 9, 2012 #

  8. Welcome back: I have missed your inspiration. Life takes us in unforseen directions but we who follow your posts are grateful that you have returned. Onward and upward!!!

    Comment by Bert — July 9, 2012 #

  9. Oh, hooray! I’m so glad you’re back! You’re one of the people who always inspires me when I write about food. I don’t have the discipline to do a “real” food blog, with new recipes on a regular basis and half-decent photos of the results, but I do write about food a lot, just for the heck of it, in my personal blog and on my Weight Watchers blog. Thanks for being here!

    Comment by Laura B. — July 9, 2012 #

  10. Very glad to see you back. I’ve checked your site several times to make sure there wasn’t just a problem with it not showing up in my RSS reader.

    Comment by Beth — July 9, 2012 #

  11. good to see you back!

    Comment by Martin — July 10, 2012 #

  12. Tessa called me to tell me that you are restarting your blog. Barbara, I am sitting here eating one of my (yours of course) Cherry choc/almond cookies. I will now make some lasagna in celebration of your return. All the best to Zak and the crew.


    Comment by David Rosenblatt — July 11, 2012 #

  13. So glad to see you back here, and with happy news too! Not that you were out of our lives- your blog is still my go-to place for indian/middle eastern/asian ideas. hugs.

    Comment by chicu — July 11, 2012 #

  14. Being sick is scary, so it’s a relief to find out it’s a “fairly easy” fix. It’s good to hear you’re feeling better after your deficiencies have been resolved.

    Comment by Shreela — July 12, 2012 #

  15. Hooray! Hooray!!! I am so happy and jazzed you are back and wonderful times are ahead! You are an inspiration. Blessings to your loved ones and
    co conspirators!

    Comment by Peggy Logsdon — July 12, 2012 #

  16. Yipee! You are back – hearty, healthy and I hope just as feisty:) You have been missed. Can you get your documentary on Independent Lens? Can it be submitted for a James Beard Award? I think the project is exciting! Welcome back!

    Comment by Maureen — July 24, 2012 #

  17. I sneaked in the back door when you weren’t looking, Maureen.

    We plan on having the film distributed far and wide when it’s done. Film festivals and the whole nine yards.

    Wait and see!

    Comment by Barbara — July 24, 2012 #

  18. So glad to see you back. Best wishes on your film.

    Comment by Grace — July 31, 2012 #

  19. Yippeee !!!
    You are back ! Made my day here Barbara !
    Glad you and yours are well.
    I just found you on Aug 1st – I kinda gave up checking 🙁

    I did miss your posts.

    Aileen in Nova Scotia

    Comment by Aileen Sharma — August 1, 2012 #

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