military

Hello everyone. You may have noticed that I haven’t been on social media, or posting to this site, for the past few months.

In February, right around the time of my last posting, a friend of mine took his life. Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time I’ve grieved for a fellow military service member under these circumstances; suicide is a tragically prevalent occurrence among active duty and veterans. But Bryan’s passing really pulled the carpet from under me. I had visited Florida just a couple weeks before he took his life, and we had excitedly chatted about his next assignment, which was going to require him to be in top shape. “Let’s meet up soon to talk diet stuff”–his last words to me.

I’m still processing this grief: I am equal parts angry, bitter, and saddened. Our final conversation was left unfinished, the perfect metaphor for all the relationships severed by his one, ultimately cruel, act. But the best way for me to work through this frustration has been to retreat from social media, and use that extra time as an opportunity to strengthen my bonds with those around me. I’ve always been a private person (this whole “blog” thing really unexpectedly blew up on me), and so it felt right for me to step away for a while.

At the same time, I was becoming keenly aware that my online presence is missed, and so I decided to jump on to let you know that I’m fine, and I’ll be back soon. I’m in the revision stage of my next cookbook; we had to go back to the drawing board a bit, but overall I’m very happy with how things are turning out. The good news is that I trimmed out quite a few recipes from the book, and so I have plenty of new, excellent recipes to share with you once I get back into the swing of things. It’s going to be a bit longer still, as I also have some work-related travel over the summer.

Thanks for sticking around, and for your patience, and I’ll be in touch soon.

Russ

Hey everyone, just a quick note to let you know that there won’t be a recipe this week, or next Tuesday either. Our family is in the middle of moving from Pensacola, Florida to Norfolk, Virginia; in fact, today is the day where the movers come and load up all of our boxes. Later this week we’ll start our extended drive through Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina before settling into our new home in Virginia late next week. Along the way, we’ll stop and visit our friend Sarah (aka The Paleo Mom) and her family, and a couple other friends who live near the route we take.

After 17+ years in the Navy, and over a dozen deployments, I’m fairly competent at moving across the country – but it still leaves me with a sense of melancholy each time it happens. When we first moved to Florida in 2014, we were a family of three; upon leaving, we’re a family of four, with Elliott joining us about a year and a half ago (the picture above is the photo I took with the boys for Father’s Day this past weekend). We’ve made a lot of great friends, and one of the many wonderful things about the age we live in is that they’re only a click/text/Skype away.

From a cooking and writing perspective, I’ve hit a few milestones over these past few years – I wrote my second cookbook, made the NYT bestseller list, started a third cookbook, and embarked on a book tour that spanned three months and 13 states. I’m excited to see what Virginia has in store for our family.

So I’ll see you folks in a couple weeks, once the hubbub of moving has died down and I can acclimate to my new kitchen. In the meantime, be sure to enjoy the summer weather – and while you’re at it, check out some of my favorite summertime recipes:

Ahi Poke
Gazpacho Cold Vegetable Soup)
Ital Stew
Grilled Romaine Salad
Vietnamese Chicken and Cabbage Salad
Huli-Huli Chicken Wings
Argentenian-style Tri-Tip with Chimichurri
Pad Priew Wan Goong (Thai Sweet and Sour Stir-Fry with Shrimp)