To begin, begin…
(William Wordsworth)

Many food bloggers will list their most popular posts for the year that just ended. Many will talk about resolutions for the New Year that starts, or blog about healthy recipes. Nothing wrong with that. I actually look forward to reading these types of posts, even if I don’t always follow the trend.

So, what’s my take on a new year that starts?  I am not too big on resolutions or setting a particular starting point to change behaviors and attitudes,  but it is almost impossible not to get into a self-analyzing mode when a new year is about to say hello. I think if I had to offer a motto to go by, it would be: strive to become the best person you can be, in all aspects of your life. Leave a space in better shape than it was when  you arrived. Maybe all it takes is a smile, a compliment to someone, or doing some extra task you are not required to do. Pursue a personal goal you’ve been neglecting for too long. Volunteer for a cause you believe to be important, such as gun control. There will be a ton of stuff to be sad, upset, frustrated about, and you won’t be able to do anything about 90% of it.

Truth is, we are all impotent to deal with the horrors, the incredible level of cruelty that human beings can do to each other in the name of things often defined as sacred. We also feel helpless to deal with tragedy or serious illnesses hitting people we care deeply about. Obviously as we get older, we witness more and more of it. A feeling of impotence and despair can hit pretty hard sometimes. But that little space surrounding your body and your mind, you can have an impact on. Make it a positive one.

Anyway, another year starts. Quoting Tony Horton:

“Do your best, and forget the rest.”

and of course, no more cookbooks for me in 2015!


future(image from Wikimedia Commons)

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It is not easy to be born on December 27th, even if it means sharing your birth date with Louis Pasteur… Most people are away celebrating the holidays with family, and getting ready for another big event coming up, the New Year’s Eve. Organizing a birthday party at this time of the year is tricky to say the least. We manage to pull a great one when Phil turned 50, but invitations were sent out months in advance. This year, it is just the two of us, and I must say I don’t mind it at all…

pekHappy Birthday to my favorite human being, best friend, awesome co-worker, partner in long runs, short runs, great golf, lousy golf, I cannot imagine my life without you!




Once again we embark on a big adventure…  Today we fly to Chicago – against my will, I must add – to attend a scientific meeting.  The idea of being in that city at the same time as the entity called Polar Vortex terrifies me, to put it  mildly. But the meeting was scheduled months ago, when they thought Chicago would still be a safe place for humans at this time of the year.

Straight from Chicago – assuming I survive it – we fly to Brazil, where we’ll spend most of Thanksgiving week. We will have a chance to see our colleagues and give a talk at the University of São Paulo, but what is even better, we’ll get to visit my family, especially my Mom!


 Parque Ibirapuera, very close to my niece’s home, where we will be staying this time…


As usual, the Bewitching Kitchen will go on, I have posts scheduled to go live during our trip.  However, my ability to answer comments and visit other food blogs will be limited until our return on November 28th.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving celebrations, and save some turkey for me!

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Today he would be 94 years old. Instead, he’s been away from us for 10 years.

I’d like to share a few things with you, Dad. A few things I know you would love to hear about.  First, are you ready for this?  I am going to be a Grandma!  One of my stepsons and his beautiful wife are expecting a baby. You never met any of them, but I know you would be thrilled.  A Grandma!  Can you imagine? All my gray hair, which I got through your genes, I must add – is finally going to have a nice reason to be here.

The baby will be born in the end of March, so we are planning a trip to California to meet her/him the following month. And, remember how I used to love to run? When we fly to see the baby, we will take the opportunity to run together a beautiful race, from a place called Big Sur to a place called Carmel. Gorgeous places. We will run only 10.6 miles, the marathon is out of the question for us due to the injuries accumulated over the years…  We are not young kids anymore… (sigh).

Another thing you would love to know. This week, Phil and I decided to celebrate your memory by playing chess.  We set a board over the kitchen table and each day we do one or two moves.  I must say, Dad, you were a fantastic chess player but a very impatient teacher.  Hummmmm…. am I guilty of the same crime? I suppose I might be…. ANYWAY,  playing chess definitely brings you here to our home. I can close my eyes and see that look in your face, super serious, as you analyzed the chessboard and considered your next move. Then, I would quickly move my piece, and you would raise your eyes, trying your best not to seem too upset and say “Are you SURE you want to do that?

Finally, let me share something I know would make you very very happy, and proud.  This is a video about the research of our lab. I think it captures the essence of what we do, and hopefully how much we love doing it.

That’s about it for now, Dad.  Ten years, five months, a few days that you are gone.  But gone is a relative term.




is revealed:


Elizabeth, drop me an email at sallybr2008 at gmail dot com with your mailing info.

Actually, the book is not released yet, but I will pre-order it for you and once it’s out, you’ll get it.

Thanks to everyone who participated!  

And let’s move to the 2 million milestone, one page at a time…

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