I’m throwing you a curveball today with hopes that you’ll read on and weigh in!
In place of a recipe, I’m briefly reflecting on the last few weeks and asking a couple of questions, and I look forward to your input.
I promise we’ll be back to recipes as usual on Saturday. In the meantime and because my readers feel like family, I snuck in a few “behind-the-scenes” photos I thought you might enjoy!
If you’ve been a reader of LNP, where I’ve shared recipes and stories for the last seven years, you may be new to this space after budget cuts led to the recent shuttering of my column. If so, welcome!
I spent the better part of last week answering the hundreds of emails, messages, and letters (yes, snail mail!) I received from readers who were as sad as I was that we wouldn’t be connecting over coffee or tea every Sunday morning going forward.
To say this outpouring was unexpected and so very appreciated is an understatement. From the 80-year-old man who learned to cook through my column when his wife passed away six years ago to the husband of a former day camp counselor (any locals attend Camp Van Dor? I think I was 5 or 6 years old at the time!) who loves my tips, notes and homemade vanilla recipe.
I wanted to sit down and chat with the grandmother who reported saving my column for a “treat” after she finished the Sunday dinner dishes every week and the young boy with celiac who was inspired to cook for himself after his mom introduced him to my gluten-free recipes.
I sat a little taller after many parents reported that their picky eaters would willingly dig in once Mom or Dad reported that, “This is a Fountain Avenue Kitchen recipe.” (I had a picky eater, too, but that didn’t work for me!) Local nonprofits and small businesses that found their way into my stories expressed appreciation for the community support a mention in my column generated.
Every single word was heartfelt and humbling. It’s connections like these that often make me wish I could invite all of you into my kitchen where we could share random tidbits with each other, whether about food or life in general.
I tell you, my readers are THE BEST!
While I am sad for the many voices that were not heard by the powers that be, I am encouraged that many of you have found your way here. Merging my local readers with those from across the country and oceans can only make this space more dynamic －and it’s the perfect excuse to regroup, refresh and set the stage for what’s to come!
Along those lines, I have a few questions (plus a request or two), and I hope you will use the comments section below to offer your valuable input and opinions.
So here we go!
- First and foremost, comments are encouraged! It makes me so happy when readers leave comments and pop back in after cooking a recipe to provide feedback. If you have a question, chances are good that someone else is wondering the same thing. Also, new readers often scan the comments before trying a recipe. (They don’t yet know my tendency to test and retest to ensure recipe success!) Oh, and if heaven forbid you spot a typo, let me know so I can fix it! 🤪
- First time commenters sometimes wonder why they can’t see their comment immediately. WordPress spam control features require that I click on new comments. From the second comment on, everything is visible immediately.
- If you happen to get junk mail from a new source, know that it is not from me. I never sell or share reader emails. Your privacy matters to me.
- Question: Would you be interested in a “favorite things” post, perhaps monthly? So often there are products that I use and enjoy, and I think my readers might enjoy them, too. Note this would not be an advertisement or paid sponsorship－just my own two cents, for what that’s worth to you! I would also welcome your input as to personal favorites, and I’m sure fellow readers would as well. (This could extend beyond food. For example, I finally discovered my favorite all-time hand cream that isn’t greasy and quickly heals the worst cracked, dry skin. It’s a game changer!)
- Finally, this is your space. I do it for you, my loyal readers, and my hope is that these pages can be a respite of sorts where we can all meet, avoid the stresses of the day, share or learn a new recipe, tip or idea and maybe a laugh or two. I can’t say it enough: your input matters!
Since I’m asking you to comment, question and provide recipe feedback, it only seemed fair that I share a little more of myself, too. With that in mind, following are a handful of pictures that offer a glimpse into my kitchen and the special people who fill that space.❤️
The photo at the top of the page is the boys and me in our kitchen. It’s from the first year of my blog, and as you will see, the boys have grown up!