2013 - it’s here! We’re well into the second week of the new year and I still need to get into the swing of things around here. Isn’t it funny how easy it is to fall out of a routine? Honestly though, after living decadently for the past two weeks I have to say I am happy to have my routine again. While all those indulging meals, cakes, desserts and treats were grand I am feeling over-satiated and glad to be cooking up my lighter dishes in the kitchen again.
What I’ll miss however is the extra time we took to spend with friends, who usually gather around our place for dinners, game nights and conversation far into the night. That was real luxury for me. I love catching up with them as most of us live in different cities and usually connect with short texts, tweets or Facebook messages throughout the year.
The break over the Holidays brings us together and we all have time to look back and look forward. While we all laugh when every year Tom asks his famous two questions, we all enjoy listening to each others highlights. lows and ups. We discuss new goals and take balance if the ones made the year before were achieved or not.
Life is not always as perfect as many would like it to be. There is plenty of sweet that lines the highlights but often the bitter leaves a nasty taste behind. I often wonder why it is that many of us can so easily share successes, happy times, and rosy moments. Why do we cover up our failures, sweeping the dreadful moments in our life under the carpet? I truly believe it is the hardships that we face and overcome that define us as stronger people.
The real world is not full of shiny happy people or moments.
When Tom asked us all “what was your best high and your worse low in 2012?” I found it sincere and courageous that many of my friends spoke as openly about their sad and distressing moments as they did about the positive aspects in 2012.
While I was looking through my blog posts and collecting the images for this retrospective one thing was very clear; my year was full of colorful food and much of my day revolved around food and food related topics. I was either cooking it, styling it, shooting it or teaching it. Nothing new for a food blogger, photographer and stylist who has been blogging for almost 7 years. What was different however, was each new project I took on made me grow independently as a professional and take a further step into a more professional career.
It was a rollercoaster ride that covered cookbook stylings, restaurant shoots, magazine features, workshop travels, e-book publishing and more. Each one came as silver linings or dark clouds, bringing pure exhilaration or total frustration with them.
Experiencing such contradictory emotions, often in a span of days or weeks or even sometimes at the same time when projects would run parallel to each other, was new to me. But I learnt and hope am the wiser for it. I understand that the more you push yourself into working on several projects, not all of them function on a positive level. Where there is success, there will also be failure.
I am lucky that I have a very strong, encouraging and supportive network of friends and family.
Thank you so much for always being there with words and advice that pick me up and get me back on track. Thank you for the Google chats, the daily emails and Skype sessions, the many lunches, the laughs and giggles, the consolation and the shoulders, the shares and the RTs. You know who you are!
What was a big test on a private level in 2012 was the fact that both Tom and I were learning to master a relationship as a couple and as parents with thousands of kilometers between us. We are in two different countries doing the balancing act of working as functionally as a family as possible. He is in Stockholm, Soeren and I are in Weimar. We have real family time about 6 days in a month - that can be hard and put a strain on all involved. We have great family days together, then there are days when things do not run as smoothly as we had hoped for. That’s life!
So, to answer Tom’s famous annual question:
My 2012 High:
The workshops. From Plate to Page as well as the several Food Photography and Styling workshops I instructed on my own energize and motivate me. Teaching enriches me on so many levels and meeting warm, talented and generous people from around the world who come to be a part of the workshops is a most positive high. The workshops make up for what I miss on a virtual platform - meeting like-minded people, exchanging thoughts, ideas and sharing laughs and fears - in real. I met some amazing people in 2012 through my workshops - making new friends chasing new dreams and creating new projects.
My 2012 Low:
My e-book. It was never a goal on my list. It came fluttering into my mailbox and after research and discussions I decided to go for the challenge. I loved working with Michaela, my assigned editor. We ticked well and the blog-to-e-book concept came together fantastically. All my requirements were met by the publishing team at Hyperink. The book took off quite well and for something that I had not planned, I was happy with the initial results. However, when cutbacks were made at Hyperink, things changed and they were unable to market it as planned. The book suffered. I moped. I did not find the drive to push forward the ideas I had. I had a few good ones but I was far too involved in other projects that I was getting paid to complete - so the book sits. It makes a few sales - but it will not be a best-seller.
Do you know what I also discovered while going through my 2012 posts? It was a blog year of hardly any chocolate treats! Seriously, that’s never happened before. For a self-proclaimed chocolate addict this was a shameful and yet interesting discovery. Apologies to all the chocolate fans out there - I shall better myself in 2013!
My favorite sweet treats in 2012:
French Strawberry Hazelnut and Crème Patissiere Tart
Eton Mess with Saffron Cream, Raspberries and White Currants
Clotted Cream and Lavender Honey Panna Cotta with Prosecco Berries
Quarkkeulchen with Cranberries and a Cinnamon Blueberry Compote
My favorite recipes in 2012:
Salmon Kedgeree with Butternut Squash, Parsnip, Fennel and Quail Eggs
Roasted Fennel Soup with Pernod and Smoked Salmon
Heirloom Tomato Goat Cheese Galette with Anchovies, Olives and Capers
Indian Chicken Curry
This space is almost like an extension of my home and you are so often loyal and fantastic friends I love having over to share my recipes, my thoughts, my ups and my downs.
I thank you all walking this path with me again and I look forward to another rollercoaster year with you.
Dream big dreams and never fear failure or the hard times. Be bold. Be courageous. Create memories.
Reach for the moon … if you miss at least you’ll land amongst the stars.
Bring on 2013!
All photographs and written content on What's For Lunch, Honey? © 2006-2013 Meeta Khurana Wolff unless otherwise indicated. | All rights reserved | Please Ask First