A Simple Recipe to Celebrate an Anniversary

I’m very excited to announce that today is the one-year anniversary of A Thought For Food.  I started the blog after a number friends and family members requested recipes.  The original idea for this site was to create my own, personal online cookbook.

This changed when I realized that there was a lot more than recipes that I wanted to include.  As I began to write, I became more aware of the role that food played on my life and I wanted to share those experiences with others.  

The first few months of blogging were a bit rough, as I had just finished planning our wedding and was in the process of finalizing arrangements for our honeymoon.   My posts were short and not particularly focused. And the pictures… well, they weren’t much to look at (you’ll have to search through the site yourself to see them).  It’s taken me the past year to find my voice and I think I’ve finally hit a groove.

One of the greatest gifts to come out of this experience has been that it has introduced me to foodies from around the world.  Talking with these individuals (you know who you are) has been an inspiration and has forced me to challenge myself in ways I never expected.

What I relate to the most about the other food blogs I’ve read are the stories they share.  I love hearing about how someone’s grandmother used to make pasta by hand or how someone else spent days working on their best friend’s wedding cake.  These stories always conjure up old food memories from my childhood, the meals that my parents made for us and the experience of eating them together as a family.  

I’ll start by explaining that, growing up, my parents made an effort to have us all sit at the kitchen table for dinner. But due to one conflict or another, they were not always successful with this.

On Friday nights, however, we always ate together.  This was when we’d have Shabbat dinner, which my mom spent most of the afternoon preparing; baking challah bread, roasting chicken, boiling the matzo balls.  I’d sit in the kitchen with her, and she would go over different techniques for how to make each dish.  As soon as something was finished, she’d give me a little taste and ask me how it was.  “Need anything?” she’d ask.  “Nope.  It’s perfect!” I’d reply.



That evening, the four of us would gather around the dining room table for dinner, which had been decorated in a linen table cloth and beautiful pink Depression glass. Candles were lit, prayers were said, and a feast was had. 

One of the dishes I distinctly remember eating at every Shabbat dinner was Israeli Salad, a combination of chopped cucumber, tomato, lemon juice, and parsley.  It was served with a hard boiled egg on top which, when mixed with the lemon juice, would create a thick dressing.  An utterly simple and incredibly refreshing dish.

But more important than this recipe, which I have included below, are the memories that I have sitting around the table with my family, laughing and telling stories from our week.  It’s not the food that is necessarily memorable (though, in this case, it was), but the experience of eating with one another.

I hope that reading these blog entries has invoked similar memories.  Thank you all for reading and coming on this journey with me.  
  

Israeli Salad with Hard Boiled Egg
(serves 4)
Ingredients
3 tomatoes, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
4 medium cucumber, seeded, quartered lengthwise, and cut into chunks
1 small green bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup parsley, loosely cut
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
4 hard boiled eggs (optional)

Directions
Place all ingredients in a large bowl, season with salt and pepper.  Cover and let sit in refrigerator for at least half an hour.

While this is happening, place 4 eggs in a pot of boiling water.  Cook for 8-10 minutes. Run eggs under cold water and allow to finish cooling in refrigerator.  Slice the eggs with an egg slicer or cut with a knife.  Serve in separate bowl for people to add to salad if they’d like.  

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  • Fun and Fearless in BeantownJuly 6, 2010 - 2:31 pm

    A simple salad is so refreshing and perfect for the weather this week!ReplyCancel

  • leinanaJuly 6, 2010 - 2:37 pm

    Congratulations on your anniversary! You have a beautiful site and you should be very proud!ReplyCancel

  • AngelaJuly 6, 2010 - 3:18 pm

    Gorgeous post, and happy anniversary! Hope to be reading your recipes for many years to come!ReplyCancel

  • GitteJuly 6, 2010 - 3:22 pm

    Beautiful salad and Happy
    Blog-a-versary.ReplyCancel

  • SMITH BITESJuly 6, 2010 - 3:25 pm

    Congrats Brian! Am so thrilled to be 'friends' even if it's through the internet & Twitter – you inspired & encourage me and I thank you for that! And can I just say that I love this story of cooking in the kitchen w/your mom – what a tribute to her! BIG HUGS!

    PS LOVE that I can now leave COMMENTS – WHOOPIE!!ReplyCancel

  • MonetJuly 6, 2010 - 4:44 pm

    Brian,
    This post was stunning. Truly. Your writing made me slow down, take a deep breath and appreciate you and all the people that have taught me about food and enjoying life. I am so glad that I found your blog and that we have become blogging friends. I look forward to the day we can actually meet and cook together!ReplyCancel

  • Andrew FrishmanJuly 6, 2010 - 5:04 pm

    Mmmm!. . . I loves me some anniversary (especially when it's really bloggety!) . . . En serio, es un placer de leer su blog y compartir en sus experiencias culinarias. Ojala que podria continuar de crear ese maravilla por mucho mas tiempo.ReplyCancel

  • LirenJuly 6, 2010 - 6:00 pm

    Congratulations, Brian! I'm happy I found your blog. It's always nice to visit and read great stories, fantastic recipes, and beautiful photos! What a happy milestone!

    Love the salad, too. Very refreshing and perfect for this hot weather!ReplyCancel

  • MargieJuly 6, 2010 - 7:56 pm

    Congratulations on a beautiful, inspirational blog. I couldn't be more proud of you….and I especially like reading about your memories. Anytime you are sitting at my kitchen table is a special time to me.ReplyCancel

  • emilyJuly 6, 2010 - 10:16 pm

    congrats on this amazing blog!

    my parents, too, tried to have us always sit together for dinner. for the most part, they were very successful!

    that salad looks delish… reminds me of something my greek family makes, as well.ReplyCancel

  • Liz Marr, MS, RDJuly 6, 2010 - 10:18 pm

    Great post – happy anniversary. Your photos are beautiful.ReplyCancel

  • merry jenniferJuly 6, 2010 - 11:29 pm

    The salad looks wonderful – all my favorite ingredients. Most of all, though, I want to wish you a Happy Blog Anniversary. It's been so great getting to know you through your blog and through Twitter. Wishing you many more blogiversaries in the future!ReplyCancel

  • leighJuly 7, 2010 - 2:38 am

    nice egg photos!ReplyCancel

  • JoanneJuly 7, 2010 - 3:38 am

    Congratulations on your one year anniversary Brian! I am so happy that you started the blog and that we have "met" along the way. I always look forward to your posts…the pictures are beautiful, the food is great, and the stories you tell are always captivating.ReplyCancel

  • JackieJuly 7, 2010 - 7:25 am

    Happy Blogiversary, Brian! What a lovely post, story and what gorgeous photos. The ones of the hard boiled egg? Seriously. That's beautiful in ways I find quite hard to describe.

    Congratulations on a beautiful blog and on finding your voice – I'm glad we get to share in it!

    Jax xReplyCancel

  • The HousewifeJuly 7, 2010 - 9:39 am

    Congratulations! I really loved reading your post.. it reminded me of my childhood where we had dinner together everyday. My mom would always make an amazing indian dinner and we would sit around the table talking and eating. It's something I hope to pass on to my children. :)ReplyCancel

  • The HousewifeJuly 7, 2010 - 9:39 am

    Congratulations! I really loved reading your post.. it reminded me of my childhood where we had dinner together everyday. My mom would always make an amazing indian dinner and we would sit around the table talking and eating. It's something I hope to pass on to my children. :)ReplyCancel

  • ana @ iMadeItSoJuly 7, 2010 - 12:27 pm

    congratulations on one year!ReplyCancel

  • RickJuly 7, 2010 - 5:02 pm

    Happy anniversary! This salad looks tasty and refreshing.ReplyCancel

  • MissiJuly 7, 2010 - 8:49 pm

    I completely agree with Monet. I felt a calm come over me while I read this and started remembering my own childhood food experiences. When I was growing up my brother, mom and I had very little money, nonetheless my mother used what she had to create homemade meals every night of the week. We always sat down at the table – even though we fought it when we thought it was unfair because we had other things to do – and talked about our days. I don't think I ever realized how important those dinners were or would be for me.

    Your post sent me right back to my mother's kitchen table, eating fresh vegetables from my grandparent's garden, sitting in our "special" seats and taking a moment to connect with each other.

    Thank you, and thank you for inspiring me to try new things with your amazing recipes.

    Cheers!ReplyCancel

  • Lawyer Loves LunchJuly 7, 2010 - 9:58 pm

    I love reading about people's cultural and religious traditions, particularly when they revolve around food. I agree, this was a lovely, calming post. And a giant congrats on the blogiversary :)ReplyCancel

  • mysimplefoodJuly 8, 2010 - 12:08 am

    Stumbled upon your blog. Congratulations on your blog!! Indeed a great job done. I started my blog a while back but have been inconsistent. I am back with huge determination to stay :)ReplyCancel

  • jacobskitchenJuly 8, 2010 - 2:52 am

    Congrats on your blog-iversary!!! Your blog is always so beautiful, your recipes are as simple as they are delicious, and your posts are a joy to read.

    Great salad… and even greater memories. I, too, have been recently feeling nostalgic about certain recipes. I am reminded about what a precious gift cooking with our loved ones really is. Not only does it impart an important life skill, but also builds a foundation of memories that we carry with us and can revisit as easily as stepping foot into our kitchens.

    Keep up the great blogging!ReplyCancel

  • Angie's RecipesJuly 8, 2010 - 5:00 am

    Congratulations on your blog anniversary!
    Now I remember the salad that you mentioned last time. :-)) It looks great!ReplyCancel

  • Spicie FoodieJuly 8, 2010 - 2:28 pm

    Congrats on the anniversary! I love your salad recipe sounds perfect for these hot sunny days.ReplyCancel

  • Lauren ZabanehJuly 8, 2010 - 8:14 pm

    What a beautiful post! congrats, my dear! This salad looks so delicious. What's even more delish is the memories that came with it. I think that's the true beauty of food. What has happening when you ate it? who did you make it with? etc. this is what makes it all special and taste even better!ReplyCancel

  • The CilantropistJuly 8, 2010 - 9:50 pm

    What a lovely post. I too love food mainly because of shared experiences with family, and I think cooking food that was made by our grandmothers or grandfathers is really preserving a lost art. Congrats on your blog anniversary, and I left you a blog award over on my site, come check it out! :)ReplyCancel

  • Chef DennisJuly 8, 2010 - 10:25 pm

    congratulations on your blogaversary!
    I know what you mean about this wonderful community of friends we have made from around the globe….we are truly blessed!!
    Your salad is beautiful and I am sure oh so tasty….I will have to make it for my wife she loves both tomatoes and cucumbers!
    thanks so much for sharing and keep those great posts coming!
    DennisReplyCancel

  • My Man's BellyJuly 9, 2010 - 1:26 am

    Congratulations on your anniversary! What a great family story. I grew up in the obligatory family dinner setting as well. At the time I wasn't too thrilled about it, but now I think it was great.ReplyCancel

  • VelvaJuly 9, 2010 - 2:27 am

    Happy blog birthday to you! I have only been blogging for a little more than a year myself-during that time, I have been amazed at the talent, passion and creativity of food bloggers. I am learning something new everyday.

    Love your post! Awesome.ReplyCancel

  • Kimberly PetersonJuly 9, 2010 - 5:44 am

    Happy Anniversary to your blog!! Very inspiring to read about how you were when you first started and to see how much your blog has grown over the past year.

    I've only started mine about 3 months ago, and already inspiring to improve my photos and planning a purchase of my very own DSLR!

    Love your blog, keep up the good work :)ReplyCancel

  • A Thought For FoodJuly 9, 2010 - 11:17 am

    Thanks everyone for the wonderfully supportive comments!ReplyCancel

  • Magic of SpiceJuly 9, 2010 - 7:44 pm

    Happy belated anniversary! This salad looks so fresh and delightful…and the photos, wow!ReplyCancel

  • Oshin ParmarMay 1, 2014 - 2:16 pm

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