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31 December 2006

peace and joy

the two of us, happy, the day before the book is due

2006 has — without a doubt — been the most spectacular year of my life.

2006 was the first full year of living gluten-free, and thus being the healthy self I had never known, the self I have always wanted to be.

2006 is the year I attended the IACP, landed my wonderful literary agent, and signed a contract for a book deal with Wiley. This was the year I let go of teaching and finally, after an entire lifetime, became a full-time writer. Words can barely tap at the surface of that happiness.

in 2006, I met wonderful food bloggers, made wonderful, wonderful friends, and remained perpetually grateful for this community.

In 2006, I ate sunchokes, miner's lettuce, foie gras, sweetbreads, and persimmons for the first time in my life. I want more.

In 2006, I had yes tattooed on my body, permanently.

And of course — the most burning and essential part of the year, more important by far than anything else on the list — I met the Chef in 2006. This is the year we first fell in love. And this is the year, blessedly, that we both quickly came to realize that we will live many, many years together. (If life continues to bless us, that is.)

There have been sadnesses and annoyances. I am perpetually misty-eyed when I read the newspaper and see the way this human family is treating itself. No life, no matter how glowing, is lived alone.

However, forgive me if I don't dwell on those sad notes right now. Today, I am only feeling blessed and grateful.

Tomorrow, on the first day of the new year, I am sending my manuscript to the publishers. You will hear much more of this in two days, when it is done. Suffice it to say that I could be frantic and panic-stricken. Instead, I am feeling calm and happy. I have worked hard — harder than I have ever worked on anything before — and the process has filled me with joy. This morning, the Chef and I took an almost-hour-long walk around our neighborhood. Before, I would have been hunched over the table, desperate to wring every last minute out of the process. But, with him by my side, I am breathing easy. Alive.

In 2007, we will be married (July). My book will be published and sold across the nation (October). Those two events would be enough to fill ten years. Along with those, who knows what will come? I have some ideas, but I'm not saying now. We're just going to let life take care of itself.

I can promise you this — you will hear about this year to come, with photos and recipes to accompany.

Thank you to everyone reading. You have filled my life with enormous joy. Honestly, I cannot imagine my life without this website. My life, as I know it now, simply would not exist without those of you reading.

Thank you.

In a few hours, I am headed to his restaurant, where a dozen friends will be having dinner with me, all of it made by his hands, to celebrate the book being (nearly) done, and the new year. I hope that you are all finding a way to celebrate that brings you peace.

May we all have peace. The Chef and I would both like to wish everyone reading a spectacular new year. I hope that there are a thousand memorable mouthfuls in your life this next year. We all deserve such joy.


At 5:17 PM, Blogger Jean McFadden Layton said...

Dear Shauna,
your words once again touched my heart. Thank you for being so eloquent and real. Thank you for being so generous in sharing your life and love.
May we all enjoy many more years of your insight and wisdom (and recipes).
Hope you have a wonderful new year.
GF momma

At 8:12 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

I had foie gras and persimmons for the first time this year, too! I meant to have sunchokes AND sweetbreads for the first time as well, but it's not going to happen. That's fine, though, it leaves more fun for 2007!

Happy New Year!

At 8:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shauna, and Chef Danny ~

May the two of you always be thus blessed.

At 8:49 PM, Blogger Christan = ) said...

Happy New Year!! And the best is yet to come!!

At 11:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy New Year to you & the chef! I've been reading since May, when I 1st suspected my daughter had celiac. We later found both she & I are celiacs. As you close your 1st full gluten free year, we start ours. Thank you so much for your kindness, insight, and inspiration. Keep it coming!

Have a happy 2007!


At 6:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It has been a joy sharing your discoveries and life this year. One of the things I am grateful for is the amazing food blog community and in particular for you! Thanks for all the joy you ahve given all of us.

Very best wishes for a happy, healthy 2007 filled with "yes.".

At 9:21 AM, Blogger E! said...

Shauna love, you are so wonderful and inspirational! I can't wait to read your 'baby' come October...and on that note, I hope you two realize that should you choose to collaborate on your own little love-project, s/he is going to be drop dead GORGEOUS... blue eyes, dark hair, and a genius in the kitchen...oh boy, I can't wait to read all about it!!!! ;-)


At 9:42 AM, Blogger ash said...

Dear Shauna

I am not a celiac, nor do I know anyone who is, however I just learned this morning, that although my friend is not celiac, he has a hard time digesting gluten products due to a gastric bypass. I have directed him to your site and told him how wonderful you were and that he should check out your wonderful and delicious recipes.

You are more than just a person with a celiac diet blog. Your stories photos and most especially your recipes are an inspiration to so many.

I wouldn't have ever found you if it hadn't been from a comment you posted elsewhere. I latched on because I live in Port Angeles, and like to keep up on Seattle. And through you I found Orangette and a few other wonderful Seattle blogs I can't imagine living without.

You have done so many a kindness.

May you and the Chef have a glorious 2007.

Sha Horn

P.S. I made your Cranberry Chutney for Christmas dinner and it was fabulous!

At 9:46 AM, Blogger Geo said...

I don't often comment here, because I know I'll just be an echo to your many adoring readers, but I do want to say thanks for being so generous in sharing your blessings with us. The world needsd to hear and see and feel more joy, and you are making a beautiful contribution, in so many ways. May goodness keep pouring into your life and relationship and career. You're a treasure.

At 9:48 AM, Blogger ChupieandJ'smama (Janeen) said...

I hope you have a blessed and joyous 2007. May God bless you with more laughter than tears. I am looking forward to more wonderful recipes and more happy stories from you blog in 2007!

At 11:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe because 2006 was a much-less-than-stellar year for me, this post really moved me. Thank you for your good wishes.

Marriage is wonderful, Shauna and Chef, I hope you are crushed out on each other always.

At 1:09 PM, Blogger Mike Eberhart said...

I'm so glad you have had such a spectacular year, and that 2007 promises to be even better! Be ready for all the excitement of marriage and book-signing and so much more, and all the other wonderful experiences that are coming.

I agree with you on how sadly the human family treats itself, on so many levels. I keep hoping for some global sense of reason and general improvement in humanity to take shape, though I admit I have little confidence in change for the better happening anytime soon. I sure hope the world proves me wrong in 2007 and demonstrates how great we all can get along and more. Time will tell.

Best wishes for 2007 Shauna! I'm sure you and the chef will do your part to make the world a better place.

At 3:26 PM, Blogger Lynn Barry said...

The great joy you feel with Chef and the book dream coming true may seem like a guilty pleasure when you read the news, but the dark and light seem to have to be, and there always seems to be enough light to see through the dark, so we plod along...not allowing the dark to snuff out our spirits, because we all have discovered what works for our bodies and we feel good now...some of us for the first time in our lives...and that means there is hope for everyone else.

At 8:19 PM, Blogger I Am Gluten Free said...

Dear Shauna,

Mazel tov on all the wonderful news. How sweet that you and the Chef found each other - sounds like a match made in heaven! And congrats on the book - I will be first in line - can't wait to add it to my collection. And thank you for your marvelous and amazing inspiration - yours was one of the first GF blogs I read when I was diagnosed a year ago. You and Karina at gluten-free goddess inspired me to blog as well - and you also helped me to see that there is so much to be thankful for - so many wonderful foods we can eat. Life is good, that is for sure.

Best, Ellen

At 11:22 PM, Blogger Calli said...


You rock, I love you, the end.

- Calli

At 7:20 AM, Blogger A Flowered Purse said...

my son and I Have celiacs! I can't wait to read your blog!!

At 10:01 AM, Blogger Anne said...

Congratulations on a banner year. Also, congratulations on your Food Network promo- I just saw it last night and was so happy to see you on such a mainstream platform!!! You're such an inspiration to live life to the fullest and hold onto what's truly important. You've earned all of the wonderful things that have happened to you, and I'm sure your blessings will only continue to increase.

At 10:29 AM, Blogger Katie said...


I found your blog at the end of 2006 when I was being tested for celiac, among other things. Your writing (and photography - stunning!) is entertaining and so inspirational to me. While it turns out that I do not have CD, I am allergic to wheat and barley. I'm now struggling to accept this and move on with life in a positive direction. You have been, and will continue to be, a huge help in reminding me to look on the brighter side of life. Here's to 2007!

At 12:01 PM, Blogger Bengali Chick said...

Happy New Year Shauna. Your blog posts always make me smile! Can't wait to buy your book.

At 2:28 PM, Blogger superbadfriend said...

Congratulations on your book!!! Can't wait.

Happy New Year!


At 3:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those are two pretty life changing events! Congrats on both you upcoming marriage and your book deal.

At 7:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I don't believe I've ever commented before on your blog, but I just wanted to pass along how thrilled I am for you! May 2007 bring you many blessings!

At 4:56 PM, Blogger seven said...

You two are just beautiful :)
I come to your site when I need a lift, whether it be a recipe or just life. Thankyou.


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