good night 2010

I pulled the curtains back after waking the girls last week, and happened upon this sight through their bedroom window. It was that moment after dawn, with the moon dipping into the horizon. A real-life variation on Margaret Wise Brown's childhood classic.

I called the Mr. and girls, then ran for the camera to capture this picture to help savor the memory. It set us back 10 minutes in our busy morning routines, but some things are just worth it.

The last couple months have been about taking time to appreciate moments like this more. There are many things that vie for my attention, and in the past I've been all too guilty of focusing on the wrong things. It was a welcome break to take the Christmas holiday to be with my family. If you're wondering what four pounds of hand-cut homemade pasta look like, here you go.

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I must confess, I spent the last few months doubting myself. I have this project I've been working on, but competing in a crowded market where stats weigh just as heavily, sometimes more, than years of experience, has made the road a little more challenging to navigate.

Regardless, the last year has renewed my belief that there are droves of people out there just like me. People who want to cook. People who know fast food can be had in the comfort of their own kitchen, not a drive-thru window. I know the cookbook I want to write is one you all want to own.

So instead of a recipe today, I'm making you a promise for 2011. I will keep pushing on. I will have the patience to wait for the right agent who believes in me as much as all of you do. In the meantime, I'm going to ask one favor of you. Tell me what recipe or technique frightens you most? I want to help clear the smoke and mirrors of cooking from scratch. All you need to bring to the table is a hunger for real food, made from real ingredients. I'll help fill in the blanks.

One last bit of news I'd like to share before closing the book on 2010. This December, Yahoo! gifted their Motherboard members with seed money to help start our own Ripples of Kindness. I matched their $100 with an additional $125 earned from my Platefull advertisements. Together we helped brighten the season for four families less fortunate at Isabella's school, a kind-hearted fellow at the local CVS, helped Erin get closer to her goal in her fight against Lupus, and granted a few charity wishes to help Haven Hospice, St. Jude Children's Hospital, and Citymeals-on-Wheels.

What people often forget, though, is that these organizations, and many others need our help year-round. Starting in January, I'm pledging 20% of my monthly blog revenue to a different charity each month. My hope is that each ripple I start becomes a tidal wave of hope for a better tomorrow.


18 Comments

  • @jaynerly

    Jennie, I love your writing and your recipes! I hope you aren’t still doubting yourself- your book will be fantastic! Can’t wait to see it!

  • Barbara @ VinoLuciStyle

    I love that you share your heartfelt feelings with us and know that there are people hoping your goals are achieved too. You hit the nail on the head with your comment about stats vs real experience. You have it, I appreciate it and my wish is that your wish comes true.

  • Auntie

    What, my niece who can conquer anything has self doubts? Fiddlesticks and hogwash!!!
    Never, ever doubt what your heart tells you. It will happen, when the time is right.
    Just remember the miracle Christmas we just celebrated. Who would have thunk it, that we would all be together. Believing made it happen, and it was the right time.
    Some guy, smarter than me, had a dream and built a castle. I believe he said, “when you wish upon a star your dreams will come true!”
    BELIEVE, BELIEVE, BELIEVE!!!
    XOXOXOX Auntie

  • Carolyn

    I would love to buy your cookbook. I’ve been following your blog since August and it is now one of the handful of blogs I follow regularly. I would love to know how to prepare, cook and serve a whole fish. They look and taste so good but scare me.

  • Elissapr

    A cookbook? You mean you don’t already have one??
    Well, then you MUST write one!
    In fact, I will fly in from Toronto and get a signed copy…at you’re book signing at Barnes & Noble, of course…

  • Gluten Free Diva

    Homemade pasta (mine would be gluten free) without a pasta machine would be a lovely thing to learn how to do.
    Thought, Word, Deed. You think of something, you speak it aloud, and then you watch as it materializes. Keep believing in yourself – your cookbook will happen!
    Ellen
    Gluten Free Diva

  • Ken⏐hungry rabbit

    You’ve been an inspiration to my blogging and your recipes are always soulful and delicious. Please know you have a community of food loving folks that support and adore you. Cheers to an exciting 2011.

  • Bethany

    Actually, I’d really love to learn how to braise. Even meat-less braising? I have a vague idea that braising would be a great way to make more one-pot meals — a nice change from my normal stir fry — but I honestly don’t know where to start.

  • Eatlivtravwrite

    Jennie, thanks so much for this thoughtful post. It is a quiet reminder that perseverance counts for much in this crazy crazy competitive world. I will be first in line for your book! Can’t wait to see where 2011 takes you!