Happy 6th birthday, Fork in the Kitchen!

Becca is holding a brownie and a glass of wine.

This is the first birthday post that isn’t an actual celebratory recipe. Instead, we’re recapping the past year because man, oh man, what a year it has been! For so many reasons. First and foremost, the obvious. It was 2020 and we were all just trying to survive a pandemic. Aside from the global state of the world, Fork in the Kitchen also had some huge, exciting shifts this past year.

Before we dive into it, if you want to take a look at the past birthday posts, here they are:

Year 6: FITK’s Big Change

The biggest, most exciting shift that happened for Fork in the Kitchen this year was that I fully transitioned into working on the blog FULL TIME! Yes, that’s right, I left the classroom, which was extremely bittersweet, and am now focusing on all things food all the time.

My days are now filled with recipe development, photography, videography, client interactions, writing, editing, and lots of puppy snuggles. And I couldn’t be more grateful. A lot of it looks like this:

image collage of photography set up and dog trying to get food

And that success? I owe a huge part of it to YOU. I can’t even put into words how thankful I am for your support for the past 6 years. It means the world to me and I couldn’t ask for a better community. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Now, that was the major event in the world of Fork in the Kitchen. I’d love to have a little coffee chat and catch up on everything else that has happened the last year, and the lessons that I’ve gleaned, because they’re naturally intertwined.

Year-in-Review and Reflections

This time last year we were all starting our safer-at-home routines and I’m sure I’m not alone in saying that there were a whole lot of feelings wrapped up in it. I mean, in all fairness it took me until summertime to even post Fork in the Kitchen’s fifth birthday recipe, because the focus quickly came to be on everyday life in general and what it meant to live in a pandemic, nurturing mental health, and eating basically all the comfort food.

In this, the biggest lesson I learned the past year was that it’s ok to hit pause. It’s ok to slow down, reassess, or even take a break from whatever you need to. Even if it’s your dream, even if it’s your business, even if it’s something you’ve been looking forward to. If you need to hit pause and focus on your mental health, relationships, or getting through the day, do it.

This wasn’t more true for me than when I had to process the passing of my Grandma shortly after the lockdowns began. To all of you who also lost loved ones this past year, my love goes out to you. It’s never easy, and undoubtedly 2020 was a very, very hard year to do so. I healed with sunshine and a whole lotta food, including Pina Colada Milkshakes in my Grandma’s honor.

2020 also taught me that when you can’t do much, get outside and enjoy nature. If you’ve been reading for quite some time, then you know this is one of my favorite ways to navigate change, and it rang so very true this year. Jake and I took up walking. Not just any walking either, we walked for miles and miles around our city.

We’re fortunate enough to have walking paths through ‘forests’ and the city. One day we noticed markers with city maps and numbers on them, so we figured we should make it our summer task to hit every point, in numerical order. And we did.

collage of signs on walking trails

And because the sequence of numbered signs weren’t necessarily placed nearby each other, there were a lot of miles logged in between. Our record for one day was 12+ miles. INSANE. Stanley was so tired (and so were we!). By the end of the summer, we made it to all 41 points. Now to decide what this summer’s activity will be…

That summer held a lot of (v good!) personal changes, too. I officially moved in with Jake and Stanley, leaving my little apartment in the city for a house in the suburbs with a garden (made by Jake) and a compost bin (made by me!). I set up my new studio and office space. We remodeled the kitchen, and are still in the process of finishing the dining room. It’s been an EVENTFUL year to say the least. One I’m very, very grateful for.

collage of images from summer: smores, canoeing, watermelon, garden

What else?

Hah, despite A LOT of changes happening this past year, as we all know, it’s also been a very low-key year. We spent Thanksgiving making a feast for two, and it took days until the leftovers were finished. We soaked up every minute we could of our own little day together because we likely won’t ever get another Thanksgiving just the two of us again.

A lot of puzzles were completed once the weather chilled, and a lot of Zoom birthday celebrations happened throughout the year. We stayed true to our New Year’s Eve tradition and made homemade sushi, and danced the night away with champagne. While 2020 was a dumpster fire through-and-through, it was all these little moments, the big laughs, and the beauty in the mundane that made it wonderful in its own way.

collage of winter: puzzles, zoom calls, sushi, games

That’s my biggest takeaway from 2020: to look at life through a grateful lens. No, that does not mean pretending things are ok when they’re not. I mean finding the things in life that do bring you joy, that you can be grateful for because even when things get hard, it helps to have something to hold on to, no matter how small.

So here’s to the next year of life – both personally and for Fork in the Kitchen. The next year of laughs, and cheers, and hopefully in-person hugs and events. For sure, year 7 of Fork in the Kitchen will continue to mean approachable, elevated vegetarian meals for you and your family to enjoy. Because nothing is better than being around the table with the ones you love.

And here’s to you and your unwavering support, for which both I am grateful for. Cheers!

Becca holding plate of stacked brownies with lit candles.