Welcome to the new redesign of my blog, Maria’s Farm Country Kitchen. It was time to re-decorate, clean things up a bit, organize the drawers, and freshen the place up. It’s cool to see how things have changed and evolved.
I remember the first person I told I was thinking about calling the blog Maria’s Farm Country Kitchen. It was Alice Waters, and we were having lunch at Momofuko, which had just opened up on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. (David Chang was all over Alice, but I’m sure he doesn’t remember me.) Alice crunched up her nose at my suggested name and stated that she didn’t really care for the word “country.” But at the time, I was obsessed with the outcast nature of country music…and after all, most of our food comes from the country. So I kept the word country. It makes for a long-to-type, hard-to-remember name, but I still like it. And I’m still keeping it.
And I still love country music, (especially Keith Urban and Kenny Chesney), but as ya’ll know, my musical obsession has now moved on…to Bruce Springsteen. In fact, on the day this blog posts, I’ll be taking a little holiday in Florida to see Bruce. Twice. Don’t worry, Bruce, my obsessions tend to be on the healthy side.
OK, where was I…? Yes, the blog redesign. I started blogging in about 2008, and since then it’s grown into something I enjoy and am really proud of. Blogging has allowed me to learn about blogs and social media, and to figure things out from a business perspective. It’s also ended up being an outlet for my creativity that has been a lifeline during challenging times.
It constantly amazes me to read all your feedback and to hear what resonates and what doesn’t. Yes, just the mention of certain things like religion and politics brings out the CRAZY people—but who knew that peeing on the compost pile could be the great uniter? And, at the end of the day, that is what I most like to do: unite people toward positive action. Unite people to make the changes that really matter, such as eating and growing clean organic food; taking care of yourselves, your families, and the earth; encouraging love, love, and more love…with a good laugh now and then, too.
So where are we headed? Well, my new business venture is Rodales.com, a carefully curated online store where you can finally just enjoy shopping knowing that we have applied the extensive Rodale standards for health, safety, environmental responsibility, and craftsmanship to the selection of every beautiful and delicious product we carry. So you might see a little more emphasis on great products we find and the cool people who are making them with love. I’ll still post recipes when I feel inspired (I know it’s been a while, but it’s been winter and I haven’t felt motivated to develop new recipes—I need a new food obsession!). But mostly, I’ll just keep telling it like it is and bringing new people, ideas, and viewpoints into the conversation.
But first, there are some people I’d like to thank. None of this would have happened or would happen on a daily basis without the other Maria, Maria Luci. It’s been her vision and determination that have led this redesign project. And of course, thanks to everyone at Rodale Inc. who helped with it. Believe it or not, we at MFCK have to scrape and claw for attention. Compared to the behemoth Men’s Health, Runner’s World, and our other brands, we are like ants. Hard-working ants. I love ants, by the way.
I also want to thank Katie Hunsberger, who reads every blog before it’s published and tries her hardest to make sure I don’t say anything stupid, dangerous, or damaging. Sometimes it’s not easy. But most of the time she succeeds. If she has any grey hair at her young age, it’s because of me. Thanks, Katie!
Lastly, I have to thank my kids. I can’t tell you how many dishes I’ve made for dinner or dessert that never ended up here because my kids told me they weren’t “blog-worthy.” They are great at giving me polite and constructive feedback, which benefits all of you, my dear readers. If they don’t like it, it doesn’t get posted (taking into consideration, of course, all their extensive picky preferences).
So, speaking of preferences, I hope you like our new design. Please let me know what you think!