home, on the beach

KVI on New Year's

This afternoon, we gathered at our favorite beach on Vashon for a New Year’s day picnic with friends. It was cold — every kid came dressed in a coat and wooly hat with ear flaps — and our plan to have a bonfire fizzled when we read there is a burn ban on right now. But we all laughed.

One friend brought brown rice rolls in nori, a smoothie made with frozen blueberries and rice milk, napkins for us. We brought turkey slices slathered in good mayonnaise rolled up tight. Oranges ready to be peeled. There was hot herbal tea in a mason jar.

Last night, Danny braised white beans in olive oil with a Parmesan rind and rosemary. They simmered in the slow cooker all night long, growing plump but crisp at the edges toward the end of the cooking. It feels good to eat food like this — food that requires attention and slowing down — on the first day of the year. Years ago now, this was the first dish Danny ever made for me. I felt madly in love with him already, but I worried before I took that first bite. What if he wasn’t a very good cook? After the first bite, I sighed. Happy. I’ve been following that feeling with him ever since. We made them again to test the recipe for our first cookbook back in 2009 but we’d forgotten them since. I love that he made them now, for the first day of the year. Something is returning.

Everything begins again.

There’s something about water for me. It’s about change and embracing, letting go and acknowledging that time moves on, like breath, like children growing, like the start of a new year. Or maybe it’s not metaphorical at all — Shauna, stop the connecting, the teaching, the making every moment into meaning — but purely physical. I feel spacious under big sky with the water lapping at the broken-down driftwood falling apart at the seams.

We had an incredible year. 2014, you were something else.

Bring on the new.

This year’s word for Danny and me is calm. It felt good to be home, on the beach we know so well, with some of the friends we want to see again and again in 2015. We’re looking forward to seeing you more often here this year, friends.

Thanks for being here.

KVI on New Year's III

KVI on New Year's V

KVI on New Year's VIII

KVI on New Year's VII

KVI on New Year's VI

KVI on New Year's II

KVI on New Year's IV

12 comments on “home, on the beach

  1. Kathy

    it is a welcome sight to see an old friend after such a long time. I’ve missed you and your sweet family. When I needed help and comfort the most your kind words and recipes were just the right medicine.

  2. Megan M.

    I love the beach. Every time I get a chance to go to the beach, there’s a distinct change in the way I carry myself. My shoulders relax and time seems to move a little slower. I’m really glad that my son shares my love of the beach. Our favorite beach is Second Beach on the Olympic Peninsula.

  3. Woody Williams

    “feels good to eat food like this — food that requires attention and slowing down…” Yes.

  4. Brenda

    Beautiful and what a gorgeous day at Vashon. Thank you for all you’ve done to improve the awareness and lives of those that need to eat GF. Know you and your family have made a difference and, it’s appreciated.

  5. Joan A. Kugler

    How beautiful but cold. Happy New Year to the whole family. Hopefully we will see each other this year.

  6. Patti Cheatham

    And there are those wonderful beans braised in olive oil that I so dearly love. I remember the first time I laid eyes on that recipe in the cookbook. I thought “oh heavens how creative, how simple, how decadent, how I can’t wait to braise these beans! I’ve made them more times then I can count now. My husband has a love affair with everything I’ve made from The Gluten Free Girl and the Chef, A Love Story!

  7. Stephanie

    We’ve been eating waffles from the cookbook all of this past week. A super batch led to a quadruple batch with 18 in the freezer and lots consumed. Now, for the last couple days of vacation, sounds like it will be those beans! Happy New Year!

  8. Denise

    As a dietitian helping my husband run a 7.5 acre certified organic fruit/vegetable farm, I feel very privileged — we have so much good food! We eat gluten free as well, and I have thoroughly enjoyed your books, recipes and posts. Keep inspiring people with your love of food and of life. I look forward to more of your posts and recipes in 2015!

  9. Jenn Sutherland

    So happy to see you back here, Shauna. 2014 was indeed a big year for just about everyone I know and love, and we’re all excited to see what 2015 will bring, building on lessons learned in 2014. I’m aiming for more calm, space, breath as well as I reboot in a new role and return to my restaurant roots. Cheers! xoxo

  10. Paige

    Awww I love every bit of it! I feel calm looking at those pictures. Thank you for the beautiful pictures and words! So glad I found your blog in 2010…you’ve been our favorite ever since 🙂 Thank you
    2015 here we go!

Comments are closed