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Where In The World Did 2022 Go?

Wow, we are now into the tail end of March 2023. The calendar of 2022 flipped quickly as we all have awakened and stepped out back into the world. Changed. Grateful. Changed. Thankful. Changed. Curious. Changed. Relieved. Changed. Humbled. Changed. Renewed. Changed. Open. Changed. Joy. Changed. Different. Changed. Loss. Changed. Mourning. Changed. Reflective. Changed Perspective. Changed. Refreshed. Changed. Restored. Changed.

During all that change, I worked on my second children's story that my grandson and I have had fun creating. It's complete and I'm choosing to let the story rest on the shelf (in my laptop) for a space. It's a process and investment to get an illustrated story self published. My grandson and I have pulled it off the shelf, dusted it off, and edited it several times. I'm struggling on if it should be 3 different books, like a mini series, or if it should be a young reader chapter book with a handful of beautiful illustrations. Part of sending my manuscript out to the self publishing company is my own struggle. I'll know when it's time. In the meantime, I've started several other children's stories. Started is the main word. They all have a great beginning and are in mid storyline. I think maybe why they are suspending in mid storyline is, writing a children's story is so playful. Maybe I just want to stay a little longer visiting the characters in the story on the pages. They are tucked away there in a safe place just waiting to jump to the next page. It really is a beautiful adventure. I see Maria Ballarin's gorgeous illustrations with colors and whimsical characters. It makes me smile.

I appreciate something Bono said from their documentary A Sort of Homecoming with Dave Letterman about storytelling - "Our songs are still growing and still emerging." I love that. It allowed me to be ok with letting the latest book rest and breathe a bit. It's still growing and emerging. Thanks Bono for that reminder. Some of what he shared too was that a song is waiting to be shared at the right moment. Sometimes it may take years. That's ok. I do have to say, meeting with elementary students to share about writing and reading The Dream Tree to them, is a profound inspiration to keep on writing.

You can't rush creativity. Enjoy the process.

In 2022 I took my writing on a different journey. I took a step back to rest, reflect, and restore. On New Year's day my husband and I enjoy planning out our year. Our goals personally and together. We circle back to our word for the year, which seems to resonate at the beginning of the school year. So January is a good time to remember why that word is our focus for the year. We also plan any trips or activities we'd like to explore. Travel has changed a bit for us since returning home in 2016. Living overseas we were able to jump from here to there to see new countries and cultures. We really miss that. However, we find the spaces that give us peace here in own surroundings.

So, finding one of those spaces was in our own kitchen. As I've mentioned we love to travel. We also love to explore different kinds of foods. So, January 2022 we embarked on an adventure traveling around the world in food. I created a small Facebook page and invited family and friends to join us. Every month we explored a different region. I love to cook so I dove into this writing, creating, and tastebud experience with excitement. We wrote out our monthly goals of where we were going to travel and then I researched new recipes to try. There were more successes than fails which was good. A few meals were a flop but it expanded our love of food, culture, and exploration. This was a huge goal and commitment. I'm so glad we did it!

Here is a little snippet from the Facebook page: 2022 Adventure in Food around the World

Welcome! We are exploring the world through food in your own kitchen. Each month we are visiting a different country/region on the globe and learning new tips and recipes to add to your own personal cooking library. Each Saturday a new menu will be posted. This is a safe space to share victories and flops in cooking. Most of all it's all about having fun in the kitchen. Jump on board and let's GO!

This will be our trip around the globe for 2022 January - Nepal and India Feb - Italy March - Ireland and Scotland April - Thailand and South East Asia May - Hispanic and Latino (Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico) June - France July - Pacific Islands August - Taking the month off :) September - Mediterranean Area October - Japan November - Comfort Food Around the World December - Recap of Favorite Meals from the year

After 12 incredible months of cooking this was my last post:

Well friends! It's been a ride!

I've loved every moment of this journey this year traveling around the world through cooking in my kitchen with you! My hope is you've learned a lot, stepped out of the rut cooking box you may have been in, and woke up your taste buds to try something new.

For me personally, focusing on a region a month has allowed me to dive deep into culture, appreciate the process, spices, simplicity, and to not over think everything. I've loved just about everything that has been on the menu. The earthy spices, flour and eggs to make homemade pasta, visits to local shops for authentic ingredients, and most of all - creating an absolute mess in the kitchen has filled a deep satisfaction of accomplishing a huge goal set for 2022. It makes me smile and giggle of the victories and flops created. Every dish was made with anticipation and love.

Many thanks to my husband, kids, family, and friends who were my "Sensory Evaluators" AKA Taste Testers! I appreciate your honesty and willingness to play along. I'm grateful! Also, many thanks to the resources that I found in research to make this little adventure possible. Chefs, cooking studios, videos, and friends. So fun to explore and learn from you all.

My gift to you friends is an easy reference to find these recipes. Feel free to pop back to this group and find the delicious recipes and tips 2022 Adventure in Food around the World. I'll will make a post with the title MONTH and the recipes and links.

As you embark on 2023, do yourself a favor and clean out your fridge, freezer, and pantry! Check those expiration dates and take inventory of what you have. It will give you a nice jump start to the new year with items you may forgot you've already purchased! For me, I'm set with chicken, turkey, and veggie broth for awhile! LOL! Hmmmm, I think soup recipes are in the future!

With a heart full of gratitude. Thank you for being here. We did it friends!

Cheers! Enjoy and have fun cookin in the kitchen!

Love and hugs, Bridged

I welcome 2023 to what creativity wants to teach me. I'm thinking it has to do with many colors! Arms wide open!

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