Photos, reflections and a few questions

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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!

  1. 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! 🤪
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!)
  5. 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!

This is me, chopping in my kitchen, where you can see my bad habit of leaving cabinet doors hanging wide open!

Angus was our faithful friend for nearly 14 years. We lost him last spring and have been contemplating whether we should get another dog, perhaps an older rescue. (If anyone has gotten a rescue, feel free to weigh in.)

This is our garden pictured midway through last summer, and I love seeing it from our kitchen window. Much of the plants are perennials that create a lush look without much work. That said, my husband gets credit for being the true green thumb in the family.

My most favorite people – Husband Jack and sons, John and Christian. We were on a hike while visiting John at college in New England this past fall.

Soon after we had the incredibly memorable experience of being a part of The Ellen DeGeneres Show. (She’s as funny and kind in person as she is on TV! We also dined at two of Ellen’s favorite vegan restaurants in LA, and they were fantastic.)

Nieces Evie and Grace live just around the corner from us and are budding chefs and occasional recipe testers. Here they are making Snow Cream – which is quite tasty, by the way! (If you’d like the recipe, simply click on this photo.)

We all love a good throwback picture, right? This may be my all-time favorite photo of my boys, both for those cute smiles and all the summer memories attached to the picture.

This guy and I will celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary this year, which seems impossible. We were married fairly young…but the years are still piling up!

I could probably do a whole series on bloopers and kitchen mishaps! When my boys were young I told them I’d never get mad at them for spilling milk. I think I drop and spill more than they ever did. Case in point: this was a “healthified” tuna noodle casserole that didn’t quite make it to the dinner table!

 

 

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Comments

  1. Ruth Deitzel

    thank you for sharing with us. I sure will miss your article in the Sunday News. It was the second section I read after the main section. I am thankful that I will still get to read and listen to new articles and recipes from you. Blessings, Ruth

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Hi Ruth, It’s readers like you who make me equally sorry to see it go, but I am delighted you found your way here. Thank you for your comment!

      Reply
  2. Lynn

    Ann,

    I would love reading your ‘favorite things’ posts. I’ve looked forward to your recipes, and have never been disappointed. I save most of them to my virtual recipe app. Thanks so much for sharing!

    Lynn

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Thank you for your kind words, Lynn. I’m delighted you’ve had success with my recipes and appreciate the feedback!

      Reply
  3. Cindy

    I love your website, and I would love a “favorite” thing. You share things from your “heart” and that is what I love about your website. Thanks for just being you!

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Awww, you are terrific to say that, Cindy. I so enjoy sharing this space with my wonderful readers and am excited for even better things ahead!

      Reply
  4. Kevin C Cullen

    If you are thinking of rescue not too far away is Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue (DVGRR) in Reinholds,PA. Wonderful and caring organization. I had two great dogs from them.

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Fantastic feedback, Kevin. I like the idea of adopting a dog that was given up for some reason. Great to hear you had repeated success with DVGRR.

      Reply
      1. Janice

        I would also add New Spirit 4 Aussies as a fabulous rescue organization. We adopted two older dogs from them this year and they beautiful dogs. Everyone at NS4AR was terrific!

        Reply
  5. Alexis M

    I, for one, would welcome a once a month favorites list – especially since we both live in Lancaster. I often find hidden gems in and around the city just by chatting with other locals!

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      So true, Alexis. I often find that something seemingly insignificant can make a big difference in our day to day lives. It will be fun to share these ideas with each other…whatever they may be!

      Reply
  6. Kathleen Lyet

    WOW love the pics and ..well everything. Wrote a letter to the editor using the word “crazy” as in who was the Crazy that made the decision. They had to take that part out. Looking forward any and all suggestions, recipes etc. I print a lot of your recipes and have an Ann Fulton folder .

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      I saw your letter, Kathleen! Thank you for taking the time to write on my behalf. The words of support mean so much. (I also love that you have an Ann Fulton folder!)

      Reply
  7. Patti Spencer

    Thank you for sharing your family pics – you are a beautiful family. You do a great job of buidling relationships with your readers. I think a “favorite things” post would be fun. (And don’t forget to tell us the name of the miraculous handcream.) I have no idea what is involved, and maybe this is not practical – but would it be possible to add nutrition info to your recipes?

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Thank you, Patti, and I will be sure to include the cream in my first “favorite things” post. (Meanwhile, if you can’t wait, I will divulge. No need to suffer longer than necessary with cracked, dry hands!) The question regarding nutritional stats is a good one. I haven’t included them with most recipes for a few reasons. First, I do tend to offer choices within the framework of my recipes, so that makes the analysis more challenging. Secondly, often times the numbers will fluctuate greatly based on product chosen. For example, I have a popular pancake recipe that uses cottage cheese, and the amount of sodium varies widely from one brand to the next. I hate to pigeonhole readers into specific products and I also don’t want to provide inaccurate information — and sodium can be a big deal for certain people. All that said, I want readers to get the information they want, so I’ve included a link on my “Helpful Tips” page (and will copy below). It’s the most user-friendly tool I’ve found for those who wish to use it. Finally, I always try to focus on making my recipes taste as good as possible while being as healthy as possible. That was a long-winded answer (!) and I always welcome the feedback. Ultimately, I can try to accommodate if more readers are interested in this information going forward.
      https://www.verywellfit.com/recipe-nutrition-analyzer-4157076

      Reply
  8. Jackie

    Well, here we go! I’ve been a fan of yours for years, both online and through the paper – since I had both bases covered, my husband is the one who is really missing the paper! Always use your recipes – and love them – but am not a commenter – so – you got me!
    My husband had family on Helen Ave. for decades – so I feel like I know Grandview and that makes us neighbors!
    Keep up the good work – I look forward to continuing our friendship. And, yes, I think a Favorite Things would be a great addition – thanks so much!

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Well then, it’s settled! Let’s just say we’re neighbors and friends! (Tell your husband he’s included.) You’re a good friend to leave a first-ever comment. Thank you for that and I look forward to more!

      Reply
  9. Brenda Hickernell

    What a treasure we have in you, Ann!! Lancaster is so lucky to have you giving us tasty, do-able recipes that more often than not give us a chance to break out of our dearly loved, but so un-healthy, Pennsylvania German family recipes. I have so many recipes saved from over the years from various places, and try to categorize them with one folder being ‘Favorites’; yours have made it into that folder more times than I can remember and now will continue with your great site here! Thank you for inviting us in! (p.s. YES for the favorite things idea; we all would love to get any help we can! 🙂 Missing you every Sunday but loving that you are at our fingertips here.
    Hungry for more……..Brenda

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      I am smiling at the thought of making my way into your “favorites” file with other tried-and-true family recipes. Such an honor! Change can be bittersweet, but with readers like you, this change is destined to be far more sweet than bitter. Thank you for your lovely comment, Brenda!

      Reply
  10. Elaine

    Your recipes have been a mainstay in our house for years and I am so grateful for all you share. My husband recently said he eats like a king and I feel good knowing I’m cooking healthy, tasty meals that don’t cost a fortune and using ingredients I can easily find using a preparation method that’s been tested (by you!). We don’t eat out nearly as much as we used to as we both agree what’s served at home is as good or better than we get out. I would love to see a “favorite things”. One last comment, we adopted a 13 year old dog after we had to put a dog down. She lived to be 21! The vet said she was the only canine patient he had who was old enough to drive, vote, join the military and have a beer. I always got a chuckle out of that comment.

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      That is a great comment, Elaine - and such a wonderful surprise to have so many years with an “older” dog. Thank you also for the wonderful feedback you’ve left on my recipe posts over time. It is always appreciated.
      I agree that what is cooked at home can be every bit as good (or better!) that what we eat at a restaurant, and it need not be difficult. Your husband’s comment shows that he thinks you do a rather good job. What a lovely compliment!

      Reply
  11. Beverley Press

    My dear friend and fellow broom rider, I find that life has become so busy in the past 3 years. It has left me so little time for baking and creating cupcakes. I also don’t get enough time to read all my fabulous friends blogs. But I always make time for my original foodie friends. You included. I’m sending you much love and hugs from England because you’re a talented and special lady who I love spending virtual time with. Keep those much loved recipes coming when you ready and never stop sharing your lovely family with us xoxo

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Hello dear Beverly! Perhaps we need to take up quidditch. Seriously though, it never feels as though an ocean divides us. I guess that’s just another way food brings us all a little closer. I’m always delighted to see your name pop up in the comments -and I’m endlessly impressed by your amazing creations. And remember, it’s quality over quantity anyway, right? xoxo

      Reply
  12. Trudy

    Yes, I would appreciate a favorites section from you. I will miss you from the newspaper but will survive. The newspaper may not if they keep dropping the “good stuff’ from the paper! Fountainavenuekitchen.com is the first place I look for a new recipe. They are always tasty, usually healthy, and are made with regular ingredients.

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      I am honored, Trudy! Thank you for your comment and for all the feedback you’ve provided over time. I always welcome it!

      Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Thank you, Gretchen! I’ve had many requests but haven’t made the right connections and determined the best way to go about it. I tend to spend my time on perfecting the recipes and creating this blog – and often think I could use an assistant. Perhaps the stars will align one day and that will happen. Publishing a cookbook would feel like a wonderful accomplishment!

      Reply
  13. jane link

    LOL! I bet I have more herbs and spices that you do! Just kidding, but I do have a pull-out spice rack with 3 shelves and it is full, plus I have a bunch more in a cabinet. I like the idea of writing about your favorite thing, of the moment! One of mine right now is a little plastic strainer that I use to rinse fresh fruit. It is perfect for berries for my cereal in the morning or my granddaughters lunch time fruit.

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      They just grow and grow! I’m always happy to share as the summers progress because I can’t use them all! Thanks for mentioning one of your current favorites. Those little strainers are useful.

      Reply
  14. Marci

    Ann…. you had me with your Peanut Butter Easter Egg recipe! I have also made the Coconut Cream version. They are both decadently delicious and I get many requests for repeat performances.
    It’s a shame about your column… how about they cut down on the Sports Section & bring YOU back.
    My iPhone is LOADED with your recipes and they have all been winners. Looking forward to your Favorite Things!

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      I am so happy to read your comment, Marci – and am now mildly craving the eggs! They are a favorite around here, too. I’m delighted you’ve found so many recipes that you enjoy and appreciate your words of support!

      Reply
  15. Lynnie Myers

    Fabulous, Anne!
    I’m becoming a believer that out of something negative comes a positive.
    You’re living proof!
    I want to be your sous chef!!

    Reply
  16. Nancy Fischer

    Hi Ann!
    I think your “favorite things” idea is terrific! It will give me another reason to look forward to hearing from you. I’m so glad that despite LNP’s terrible decision to drop your column, I’m able to keep up with new recipes as well as what’s going on with you and the family. Your posts are like sharing with a girlfriend! Keep up the great work!!

    P.S. I was happy to see my letter to the editor published along with others who are unhappy with LNP.

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Hi Nancy! You were wonderful to write on my behalf…thank you for that. The outpouring from my readers has been nothing short of heartwarming and I am grateful for this space where we can connect in a new way. Sad as the change is, we might just be able to interact better here. Friends need that back and forth!

      Reply
  17. Peggy Rauch

    Ann,
    I am so glad to see there are so many other LNP readers out there unhappy with the paper. And also happy we’re all gathering here to continue our long standing relationship with you. I’m for a favorite column. Thanks for inviting me earlier this week.

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Thank you for taking a moment to check in, Peggy. I’m excited that my eternally supportive family of LNP readers is finding its way here. With your input, these pages can only improve and be more fun for everyone!

      Reply
  18. Susan Minnich

    I’d be delighted to read about favorite things; thanks for the lovely family photos.
    As always, I look forward to your recipe postings.
    Your continued contact is much appreciated. Thanks

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      I am happy for the continued connection as well, Susan. Thank you for weighing in and here’s to good times ahead!

      Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Your comment would brighten the dreariest of days, Marsha. Thank you for your kindness and glad you are here!

      Reply
  19. Elaine Pennell

    Ann, I was always eager to read FAK as soon as we picked up the paper after church. It was strange not to find you in the Sunday Living Section. It’s the first thing I read before heading to Sudoku. I, too, would be happy to see a Favorite Things posting. We’re frequently in Lancaster and would love discovering where to find new treasures.

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Thank you for your comment, Elaine. We have some major puzzle fans in our family, so I have special appreciation for someone who read my column before doing Sodoku! The Favorite Things posts will likely be geared towards a broader geographic audience, but I will add local ‘where to buy’ details whenever I can – and I’m also happy to provide specific hometown suggestions as desired. (I have so many!)

      Reply