“Making the decision to have a child – it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ” ― Elizabeth Stone

It may seem as though I have slipped off the face of the earth.

I would love to say it was in respect for my last post.

Stopping censorship and retaining Freedom of speech are crucial to our world today.

I fear the changes I see happening in my homeland.

Pink sky at night

The irony is that I now happily live in England. The land my family left for the freedom America offered. The 2 maybe  closing in on one another.

  This subject could easily be a blog in itself.

However I have new reasons why I can not visit this blog as often as I would like. More about this in a bit…

So I will occasionally throw in a bit here and there about my other love…Politics.

But mostly I want to get back on track. Sort out all these forking thoughts I have about food and my wish to bring it to others.

So you may notice it’s exactly a year since my last post. Some symbolism there. Thoughts about a year in silence….

PEACE

Not Quite. I have been very busy. Not just creating amazing plates of food thinking of satisfying my café guests one day. Not just creating new recipes using fresh creative ingredients.

I have been very busy creating a baby brother for my beautiful amazing EllaBee.

My body felt the challenge more than last time. Possibly all to aware of what it is doing. Going through.

I have scary pregnancies. Almost die, barely move 10 feet pregnancies. The first time I did not know this…the second I did. I was as ready as possible.

My first pregnancy I was lucky to survive with 10 pulmonary embolism‘s.

I spent the 1st year of EB‘s life being told ‘No More’. Then a year on my amazing hematologist finally broke down and said I was possibly stubborn enough to survive another.

I have the NHS to thank for my 2 amazing kids and my life. The NHS has its troubles… a whole other blog. But it IS better than nothing.

I wanted my baby girl to have a sibling.

It has been an important relationship to both my husband and I.

So now she’s got her baby brother, or ‘brudder’ as she says. Griff Bee, GB for short. He’s as wonderful as I could have ever dreamed of. Just like his big sister.

So here I am back…ish. I have intentions to grab this bull by the horns. Baby and 3-year-old allowing. I know how quickly this 3 years will speed by.  I am looking at this time as pre pre prep. Like taking folic acid…incase you get knocked up. I need to be ready.

I have built  business plans in my head for decades. NO honestly decades.

Since my sisters and I would play cafe.

I have tweaked it with every meal out and every restaurant visited.

I have one in my head for if some sweet sweet person wanted to drop a gazillion pounds in my lap.

I have one for making soup and homemade garlic and cheese biscuits in my kitchen  to sell at the market.

One for every version in between. I have a chain of forks in my head perfectly suited to university towns and seaside resorts.

A brew pub, we do not brew we are the first to bring the small guys together, here in Lil’ ol’ England.

I have images of flooring and art, tables and glasses.

It is out of control. So this year is the year of the business plan.

To get these babies on the plate… oh I meant paper.

So if I run into that gazillonaire….

I can give them something to clench their teeth into.

Something they just want another mouthful of….

you know how it is not wanting the mouthful to end……

Welcome back hopefully this is the forkfull you’ve been missing!

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New Years, new resolutions…

OOH, my Mom’s green chilli.

My Mom’s green chilli. Oh what I would do  just one more big pot of New Years Day Green chili. That was a family tradition. There were not many in my family. But that was one.

I live in England now. Led estray by my Englishman. Led very happily estray.

England is different to the US in many ways. Many ways I prefer it. There are a few I don’t. One being I can’t get the correct chili for green chili. I love every little bit of my house. Except the north facing garden. They would not grow if I tried.

One more difference is the availability of ready meals. Entire aisles are dedicated to them at the grocery.  In the frozen section there is hardly any.  It seems like it should be the same in the US.  This took me awhile to figure out. I think the difference in the welfare system. These meals in both places are aimed at people who either can not be bothered to cook healthy meals. Or do not have the time.

In the US Food stamps will not buy you ready meals. In the UK they give you cash to spend as you will when on welfare/ benefits. (This is probably more for my political blog. That may surface one day. When I feel like wasting some time on our stupid politicians. On either side of the pond. Of late they have not been worthy of my 2-year-old play time. She deserves it. They Do Not.)

People I know eat only ready meals. This seems alien to me. I feel guilty every Friday feeding my husband and daughter frozen fish, chips and a tin of mushy peas.

I rejoice in cooking for my family.

I will enter the New Year with plans for more home cooked food for my family.

 I will enter the New year with plans to share here more often. To share recipes and cafes  I love. Some far and wide and some here on my door step.

I will write recipes for the standards in my head. Some how I will figure out how to give you my recipe for my greeny goddess dressing, well kinda.

When I jumped across the pond there where some things I missed more than others. Salad dressings. I did not realize I equated restaurants to their dressings. Blue Cheese at Patsy’s, The Sanctuary and long gone Applegates landing. Olive Gardens, crack vinaigrette. I do not know what they do with that but I’ve had dreams about it.

I will spend my year ahead focusing on the new, treasuring the old.

I will share  with you my old loves. Patsy’s, The Sanctuary … and so many others, There are words I’d love to share about these.

I don’t know if you can a restaurant you have not been to in 10 years. I will give it ago. I will share my loves here. I will share my joys.

We will cook and plan. Cook for our families and plan our futures.

This year will be one filled with joy.  I hope you’ll join me.

The Biggest of Happy New Years to you and yours.

I am not a gourmet chef

Flanders, Netherlands

I am not a gourmet chef. I could be. I have the ability. I could gain the knowledge, the skills. I do not want to be a gourmet chef.

I want to be a great cook.

I do not want people to praise me for my food.

I want people to want my food.

I want people to wake up thinking of my food.

I will make delicious food made with fresh healthy ingredients. Food like your grandmother made. Food who’s recipes deserve sharing through the generations.

Like my mothers Red Chilli, German Potato salad from my dad’s Grandma, Grandma Wanda’s cheese ball.

I will serve basic delicious food. Cottage pie that’s loaded with hidden veggies. Spaghetti and Meatballs, with home-made garlic bread. Homemade salad dressings that change your relationship to salad.

If you miss something your Nan use to make. I will try to make it for you. If you have a special birthday request we will make it happen.

 I want to be the kitchen you don’t have to work in. My staff and I will take care of that. You can eat the food in our café or you can take the food away, hot or cold ready for your oven.

The obsession is growing more tangible by the day. This blog is giving the Fork in my head tines I can feel and see. I am on a 3-5 year plan. This gives me a starting point. I will blog my passion. It will create a map of the quest ahead.

I will look to my visitors here as guests in my café. This is giving me an outlet.

I will spend the next 2-3 years loving and treasuring my Sparkle Bee.

( well the next million years, my sweet treasure)

Then we will see….Someday, some how The Fork will be.