Sunday, January 23, 2011

Gratitude and Zucchini Pie

Resized Zucchini Pie

While many other bloggers were writing their New Year’s posts, detailing their resolutions and hopes for 2011, I was sick in bed with the flu. Of course, this gave me lots of time to think about my resolutions and hopes for the upcoming year, but not much time to write about them . . . until now.

Like so many others, I made the standard health based resolutions. I was going to exercise more and get back to my pre-pregnancy size 2. Ha! While I am trying to get more physical, adding a few more sessions to my weekly routine, I think that I have to accept that a size 6 at 41 on my 5 foot 6-inch frame isn’t that awful. Instead, the resolutions that I plan to pursue more diligently are cerebral in nature.

2010 was an okay year. There were definitely highlights; in particular, attending the launch of Chefs Move to Schools at the White House. This experience led to a number of other great things, including the increased demand for Purple Asparagus’ programs in Chicago Public Schools allowing us to nearly triple them. There were also some really disappointing times and, these disappointments made me a little myopic. As a result, my most significant New Year’s resolution is to more expressive with my gratitude.

Despite some hiccups, I’ve got it pretty good -- a great family, terrific friends, a comfortable home, and a job that I love.

I’ve also got this blog and one of the very best things about it are all of the people who I would never have met without out. And so, here, I wanted to openly express my gratitude for some of my fellow blogger friends, most of whom I’ve only met virtually, but still they enrich my life. If you haven’t bookmarked their sites, you should.

To Monica Bhide, fellow career changer, you are an inspiration to me. Not just because of your extraordinarily beautiful writing, but because of your willingness to be vulnerable. I’m so sorry that you went through a difficult time recently, but it made me remember that even my idols are human.

To Jaden Hair, like Monica, I love your honesty. I had no idea what to expect when I sat next to you at IACP in Portland. I was so impressed at how natural, gracious and open you were. You deserve every success that you’ve achieved.`

To Mrs. Q, you reminded me of accountability. Our introduction was inauspicious. For that I’m sorry. It was during those disappointing times and the green-eyed monster reared her ugly head. Your ability to look beyond that has endeared me to you and I’m so glad that we were able to right our relationship.

To Sarah Henry and Cheryl Sternman Rule, thank you for your support. When I was in my down phase, your willingness to share the word about Purple Asparagus meant so much to me. Oh, and yes, your blogs are both brilliant.

To Michelle Stern, fellow food educator, thank you for allowing me to vent about the challenges of funding and keeping the faith with the uphill battle that we face in sustaining our work

Colleen Levine, I so appreciate your blog, Foodie Tots. As a fellow farmers’ market devotee, it always gives me inspiration.

To Christina LeBeau of Spoonfed, there’s never a post of yours that doesn’t make me think. What’s more remarkable about your writing is that while thought provoking, there’s so little judgment in how you write and so much honesty about your own process in feeding your daughter.

To Kim Foster of The Yummy Mummy Cooks Gourmet, while I don’t always agree with you (giving knives to young children is a bit terrifying to me), I deeply respect your commitment and your passion for teaching children how to cook.

To Jennifer Perillo, I love your recipes and your tips at In Jennie's Kitchen. One of my very favorites was how to freeze zucchini, which has made one of my favorite childhood recipes that I believe came off a Bisquick™ box, pictured above, a year round delight.

Each of you, I give a big thank you and a virtual hug.

Zucchini Pie
4 servings

1 medium zucchini, grated
1 (½) onion, diced
½ cup all purpose flour
2 eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
¼ cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons butter cut into pieces to dot the top.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Mix together all ingredients except butter. Scrape into a buttered pie plate. Dot with butter and bake until set about 20 to 30 minutes. It can also be served in a hollowed out summer squash if you've got one large enough like that pictured above.


  1. What an honor to be among this list of amazing bloggers that I admire, respect and adore. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. I am grateful to be on your team - and know that as we collaborate into the future, we will succeed together.

  2. Like Michelle, I am touched by this heartfelt tribute.

    And thank YOU, Melissa, for doing what you do. I was thrilled to share your work with a broader audience because it truly is important. That's a large part of what makes being a writer so satisfying.

    We're all behind you as you continue to walk your path.

  3. New Year's with the flu? That sounds pretty hideous, my friend. Glad you're feeling better.

    Like the gals above, I'm touched to be on your list. Thank you and keep fighting the good fight.

  4. It is so kind of you to think of me and add me to this amazing list. I have a lot of respect for the people on this list and for you and your work. Many thanks!

  5. Wow, Melissa, what a great way to start my day, in the company of such thoughtful and smart women. And that includes you -- your energy and vision are an inspiration, more so because of the difficult times. Carry on, friend.

    (And -- hello! -- a size 6 is not in any way awful.)

  6. What a lovely list! All among my favorites, too. (And I agree with Christina--I wouldn't mind one bit being a size 6.)

  7. Christina and Debbie, no size 6 isn't so bad. I just have all this beautiful pre-pregnancy, big firm lawyer salary clothing that I can't bear to part with and yet, I really need to give up the ghost.

  8. Sarah, oh yes, a flu that set in on my final flight after a vacation in Europe. I have to count my lucky stars though that it didn't set in while IN Europe.

  9. Just found you from a tweet Michelle Stern posted. Great post and great group of bloggers. I see a few new bloggers which I'm anxious to check out.

  10. Kris, Thanks for stopping by. These are all my go to peeps. I love their writing and their recipes. I hope that you enjoy them as much as I do.


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