One year ago today, I had just quit my job writing technical reports for a pharmaceutical company to go on a new adventure following my husband’s career. As I found out the hard way, working with Big Pharma had left me stressed out and tired after having worked under three different company logos, three different company names, and three different company mantras in three years without ever leaving the same cubicle, due to acquisitions. Always worrying about my job security, I stayed later than most of my colleagues and came in earlier. I was part of the rat race. Me, the carefree art student, found myself in a black hole of negotiating quality agreements, understanding and enforcing government regulations through various systematic protocols and procedures to ensure compliance, and completing trend analysis of testing data and providing these reviews to not only my superiors, but any regulatory agency that showed up for surprise audits. I had a lot of responsibility on my shoulders and needless to say, this was not how I had pictured my life going.
Moving yet again, I had asked my husband if it would be okay for me to take a bit of time off before venturing out into the working world again. I needed to get back to calm, to an even-ness, before I made a decision of the new direction of my life. He obliged a six month reprieve to do exactly what I wanted, a sabbatical. So I finished projects on our house to prepare it for the sale, I had a huge yard sale, we drove across the country, I decorated and organized our new apartment, took care of all the paperwork that accumulated from moving and selling our house, and then after about three months, everything just stopped. There were no immediate projects that I needed to work on or complete, nothing. After 5 years of scrambling around, my chaotic life had come to a dead stop and I noticed something, a deafening silence. It was increasingly evident that I was in a place where I knew no one. A melancholy quietness had blanketed my life and I started to feel like I was starring in my own version of “Lost in Translation.”
I prepared my resume and started throwing my hook into the water, a few nibbles, but after months nothing came of it. I started to feel trapped in my life, desperate. As January 2012 neared, I started to make New Year’s resolutions. I was going to live my life with gratitude, I felt that I was being too negative and I had a lot to be happy for; I just wasn’t seeing the picture clearly. Everyday, I was going to write down one thing I was happy about. After about ten days, I noticed I was happiest when I was cooking and began to think about how I have used food to interface with people over the years. It is what I love, so I decided that I would share with the world my recipes, my stories, my love. My thinking was, if you blog about it, they will come, so “Creative Noshing” was born.
Today’s post though, isn’t about what I’ve given to you, it’s about what you all have given to me. Each and every day, you give me inspiration, validation, and a community to feel part of. I have laughed and smiled and cried at some of your posts and comments. Every person who has clicked my follow button, I am so honored and amazed that you did. Some of you have touched me even further by giving me a stamp of approval through trying my recipes and blogging about it, reblogging me, “pinning” me, and/or nominating me for awards. Not to mention those of you take time out your day to comment, especially the one’s who I ended up having great back and forth conversations with. This post is for you, I want you to know I appreciate your generosity, kindness and hospitality and in turn I want to promote your blog to others, because you are the real deal and genuine. In no certain order, I want to give a special thank you to the following blogs:
Go check out their blogs!
Just like my Grandma taught me, you don’t come showing your appreciation empty handed. Below is the perfect thank you present. Good old fashioned apple bread. Yum!
Gratitude Apple Bread
3 cups chopped apples
2 tsp cinnamon
2 cups sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 cups all purpose flour
In a large glass or metal bowl, squeeze the juice of one lemon into 2 cups of cold water. Peel and core the apples, one at a time. Chop the apple into coarse cubes.
When all the apples are chopped, drain water and add 1/2 cup of the sugar and the cinnamon. Set the apples aside. In a separate bowl, mix the remainder of the sugar, the salt, the baking soda, cinnamon, vanilla and the eggs together. Add the oil and combine well.
Add the flour and the apple mixture. Combine well.
Batter will be very moist. Divide between two well greased 8.5″ loaf pans and bake at 325 degrees for about 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted. Remove from oven and loaf pans and let cool on racks. You can slice this when it is still warm but don’t slice it for at least 10 minutes after if comes out of the oven.