The New Year

January 4, 2013

In January of 2012, just after the New Year celebration, we went out to dinner with my friend Jen (she of the wonderful yoga retreats) and her husband Tom.  Jen told us that she begins each year by choosing a word for that year.  The word then becomes part of her life for the year in intentional and unintentional ways.  This is an endearing quality of Jen’s – she puts something out there that might sound weird coming out of someone else’s mouth but coming from her, it sounds perfectly reasonable.  Without thinking too carefully about it, the word that came to mind was “Push”.  As I sat with it that night and over the next couple of days, my mind went in the direction of my work.  “Push” meant teach more, attempt recipes I have been avoiding, create more original dishes.  It also meant “Push” outside my introvert nature and get in front of more industry people, maybe get established with an agent and start on the road to publishing a book.  I had no idea, in those January days a year ago, that what “Push” would ultimately mean is picking up my family and moving outside my comfortable and safe surroundings of the city in which I had spent almost my entire adult life.  “Push” meant leaving beloved friends and family, my career, a city that I knew inside and out, and embarking on new adventures in a new town.  Now, in my new surroundings, I no longer have my career but I am having to “Push” beyond my introvert nature in order to meet new friends.  I am having to “Push” to make sure my son Graham gets taken care of in his new school.

With so much  being new, I need to tell you that I am extra grateful to all of you who read this blog in this challenging and oh-so-rewarding year.  I have mentioned several times how I have lost my rhythm when it comes to blogging.  I miss it very much.  Writing is like a muscle in that, if you don’t exercise it often, you lose your strength, endurance, and flexibility.  Because I haven’t been posting regularly, it has become that much harder for me to sit down and just DO IT.  So here we go.  2013, new year, new routine.  I am committing to two food posts a week and one Slice of Life.  I was very touched by your comments on my last post and delighted to read that you like those posts.  (Comment #27 was particularly sweet.)  I got some interesting suggestions so I plan to mix it up on occasion and talk about other things besides just regular everyday life.  Sundays will be the day for these “other” posts and I’m thinking about featuring general thoughts on food and diet, party planning tips, general cooking tips, dinner party how-to’s, discoveries in the Bay Area, etc.  Any suggestions are welcome.

I hope that Santa or Hanukkah Harry was good to you.  I hope you have had a break from work or school.  I hope that on Tuesday morning, you woke up to a new day with new possibilities and joy in your heart.  I hope for the very best for you in 2013.


  1. Happy New Year Dana,
    I love your plan for the coming year. I’m looking forward to reading all of your posts.

    Comment by linda — January 4, 2013 @ 4:35 pm

  2. Happy New Year! I love your site and your recipes. I didn’t comment on your last post, but I do enjoy your Slice of Life posts. As part of the “just do it” mantra of writing, I think you should write what the muse inspires you to write!

    I live in San Diego now after 10+ years in the Bay Area and miss it very much! The City is one of my most favorite in the world and the surrounding communities have so much beauty, culture and fun! Happy New Year and I hope 2013 brings many adventures your way.

    Comment by Eileen — January 4, 2013 @ 4:42 pm

  3. oh! what a good work to meditate on for 2013! I totally feel you on all of this. I can’t wait to work with you on something. It’s gonna be fun!

    Comment by tracy — January 4, 2013 @ 6:28 pm

  4. Dear Dana:

    I was thinking about you this morning while I was making an apple cake, long before I saw your most recent post. I was thinking you are having difficulty making the transition and and adjustment. It is not at all unusual for this to happen, especially for us nesters who like things to remain the same within a comfortable framework.

    One thing I have come to see of you since receiving your recipes and thoughts, is that you are a deep thinker. You are also resilient and only time will make the difference along with your new focus on ‘push’. While you cannot push the river you can push other things.

    I have had to maintain my sunny disposition. Thank goodness I was born with it many, many years ago. I am having chemo therapy now. I will complete everything in June. That will be chemo for 15 months. I am on a clinical trial at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.

    Every day is great. And, in thinking of a new word for the year for me, I think ‘energy’. I still do everything, but I am slower. By the summer, I will be all charged up.

    I think you will too. You are a woman of quality, Dana.


    Comment by Sharon L. Buffington — January 4, 2013 @ 9:08 pm

  5. Dear Dana,
    I did not comment last entry, but did want to say that I love the “slice of life” entries (makes me feel more human when I struggle, which is often) and I love the recipes. I am so glad that you will continue to do both and look forward to the new writings in new areas.
    Thank you so much for what you do- it is a such a nice, important part to the end of my day when I wind down. And I love making my boyfriend and others happy with your recipes.
    My word for 2013 is gentle. Gentle with myself, gentle with others. I wish you gentleness with yourself. Happy new year.

    Comment by Liesl — January 4, 2013 @ 9:27 pm

  6. Hi Dana,
    I’ve been following along your blog for a while now. This post struck a chord with me, like you I’ve fallen out of blogging & while I miss it terribly, I seem to have made it into this mountain of a task, which it really needn’t be.

    This post was a wonderful reminder to “push” and not let the good things slip away.

    So thank you, for inspiring me in a way nothing else has in quite some time.

    Liv x

    Comment by Liv B — January 4, 2013 @ 11:34 pm

  7. I love that word for the year thing — funny, I have a yoga teacher who does the same exact thing, but it always sounds so hippie dippie when I try to explain it. Must be a yogi thing.

    You are so not alone in your goals. My words for the year are Focus and Discipline!

    Comment by Steph @ Lick My Spoon — January 5, 2013 @ 5:13 am

  8. Reading your plan for the upcoming year makes me happy. I haves loved reading your posts for a few years now and I’ve missed them terribly.
    Happy New Year, Dana!

    Comment by Steph — January 5, 2013 @ 1:57 pm

  9. Happy New Year! I also moved away from my beloved Seattle in 2012. It has been quite the transition and I’m finding myself needing to “push” myself in a lot of the ways you described in this post. I hope you have a terrific new year, and thanks for always sharing with us!

    Comment by Sara — January 5, 2013 @ 7:40 pm

  10. Oh Dana, I’m so glad to be back! I was just thinking earlier this morning how much I missed you. Your food, your words, your voice…picturing all of you in San Fran living a delicious life. I wish for all the best for you in 2013!!

    Comment by Joanne — January 6, 2013 @ 12:15 pm

  11. Dana, one thing I’d love to see on your blog is info about your favorite kitchen tools as well as your recommendation on pots and pans. Every time I go to a kitchen store, I’m overwhelmed by the variety of pans and always wonder if the higher priced ones are worth it. And then there’s the whole non-stick vs. All Clad stainless dilemma….which is better? Anyway, I’d love a feature on kitchen gear at some point. Thanks and Happy 2013!

    Comment by Karen D — January 7, 2013 @ 5:29 pm

  12. Great idea Karen. I do have a lot of opinions and would be happy to share.

    Comment by dana — January 7, 2013 @ 10:48 pm

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