2012 Recap

It's always a good feeling to look back on the past year -- in pictures and in words -- to see where you've been, what you did and didn't do, and what you accomplished. I take pictures far more than I write, which used to be the other way around a decade ago. It is now so much easier to take a picture and file it away rather than sit down and pen a few thoughts. Most of my pictures remain private and unshared, while others are uploaded to my Flickr photostream.

2012 Significant Events

Yes, I voted!

2012 was the very first year that I voted in the USA. It was well over 18 years since I voted last and it felt great to have my say. We became citizens of the US exactly one year ago today.


I worked with Escoffier School of Culinary Arts to present and teach Culinary India, a workshop at their Boulder campus. I was able to bring to Boulder the unadulterated taste of Indian food from the length and breadth of India.

Students at Culinary India
Culinary India, a workshop

We did not use curry powder and only one dish used a teeny amount of garam masala, underscoring that there is more to the flavors of Indian food than these two spice blends. Teaching with renowned food historian Ammini Ramachandran, Top Chef Suvir Saran and successful Atlanta restaurateur Asha Gomez made it a dream come true.

I also started writing a monthly column for Whole Foods Market Cooking, at first for their Boulder blog but soon went national. My 2012 columns are linked to from this page.

2012 Travel

Medha made her first long trip far far away from us in summer of 2012. Her middle school Social Studies teacher organizes tours through Smithsonian Student Travel to the East Coast every year. This year he took them to Boston and New York City. Of course, I wanted to go along but it was time to cut the apron strings and let her travel on her own. This tour was an incredible learning experience for her. She was armed with a prepaid debit card for her expenses and apart from a Yale sweatshirt she so desperately wanted -- thank you, Rory Gilmore -- she was very thrifty and wise in her spending. She traveled light, with one small duffel bag and a small drawstring backpack. She didn't lose anything and brought her camera back intact, too! Highlights of her trip included seeing Maroon 5 live on the Today Show! If you have a middle schooler or a high schooler, I highly recommend these tours. If you have the extra moolah, you can go with your child as a chaperone.

We didn't make any international trips in 2012 but we did finally make it to two destinations that have been on our list forever: Mackinac Island and Santa Fe. Despite living all those years in Chicagoland, we never made it to Mackinac Island. It's almost like we had to move away to make it happen.

Mackinac Island, MI
Riding the 8mi loop around the island

We celebrated Medha's birthday on Mackinac Island. We splurged a little, stayed on the island itself and did things slightly differently. Mackinac Island is not our usual kind of destination. It's cutesy and very touristy. And as Medha put it, "the good kind of fake." We were able to fit in some bike riding and long walks, sunsets and even sunrises. That made me very happy!

Birthday girl

We also finally made it to New Mexico, mostly Santa Fe and a little bit of Taos, with brunch in Albuquerque with friends. I climbed my first ladder into a cavate at the cliff dwellings at Bandelier National Monument. That's where we took one of the pictures in our New Year's card. It may have been a small ladder but for me, it was a big deal! The Farolitos Walk on Canyon Road in Santa Fe is famous for its community spirit, and that's exactly what we found.


We drove over a rift valley—which means a lot to me as I grew up near the Great Rift Valley—that dropped 800ft into the Rio Grande as a gorge, in our quest for Earthships.

Earthship to Jupiter via the Moon, come in please!

Earthships are completely sustainable dwellings built using recycled materials. They are completely off-grid for everything from power to water to sewage. Mind blown!

2012 Food Swaps

2012 was the year that I started going to food swaps. My very first swap was at Stonebridge Farm in Lyons, CO.

Chive Vinegar
Chive vinegar and muffins

I went to several swaps and was the official photographer for the swap at Isabelle Farm, a local farm in Lafayette, CO.

Isabelle Farm
The store at Isabelle Farm

Food swaps are a wonderful way to meet like-minded people and I have made many new friends this way.

2012 Portraits

I made a brief foray into the world of portrait photography, mainly for my friends' children who were seniors in high school.






I did a couple of impromptu couple portraits at one of the food swaps, too!

Paul & Teri
Paul & Teri

Rey & Erin
Rey & Erin

and portraits at a family reunion for a local Maharashtrian family.


2012 Friends and Family

It was a year of meeting friends I have known online and cementing those relationships IRL as well as reunions with old friends in Chicagoland.

Ammini, who is very dear to me

I have known Ammini for the past 7-8 years and it was a total high to finally meet her and spend time with her. She embraced me and my family like we were her own. I've always known that she is a remarkable woman but she is also warm, kind and very loving. I am very grateful to have her in my life.

Big wide grins with Soma of eCurry

Soma and her family came to Colorado in the middle of fire season. Soma is just as lovely as she sounds on her blog. Her pretties are really adorable and so well-behaved! It was an honor to meet Soma's Dad and listen to some of his wisdom. Our husbands shared the same alma mater and were even there at the same time but did not know each other then. The conversation between them was quite predictable!

With charming Nupur

Yes! Nupur was in Colorado for a few days late summer and we were able to swing our schedules to meet for dinner in Denver. She is every bit as charming as I knew she would be and her little Lila just stole our hearts. And yes, she and her husband also share the same alma mater as my husband. No need to tell you which way that conversation went!

Dear friends from India came a'visiting...

The Visiting Kumars
The Traveling Kumars

and a whirlwind trip to Chicago meant...

Chicagoland friends
meeting close friends after over 6 years


a mini family reunion at The Bean

We capped off the Year of Friends with a Flickr reunion in Albuquerque, NM the day after Christmas.

With Don and Dot in ABQ
With Don and Dot, two of my oldest Flickr pals

An impulsive trip to Santa Fe over winter break included a special Christmas brunch with my Flickr pals Don, Dot and her husband Mark. Everyone's going back to Flickr or so they say. For the record, I never really left as I continued to host my pictures for IFR on Flickr although I admit that I was not as active as I used to be. That activity seems to be picking up again!

2012 Medha

Medha started high school in 2012 and with that transition came a whole new set of challenges. It was a very interesting parenting year, probably the toughest thus far. She had grown into an independent young lady who is charting her own course, on her own terms, and we are very proud of her.

Marching Band Finals
My baritone player

Marching Band Finals
The low brass section at CBA Finals

FMK low brass section
Low brass section annual group pic, courtesy Ashley Kirchner

Thank you to everyone who supported the fundraiser for her marching band by buying local Colorado peaches as well as donating directly to her band. The Fairview Marching Knights placed third at the Colorado State Marching Band Finals and it would not have been possible without your support.

Most of all, thank you to each of you for reading and commenting on my blog. I hope to see you all through 2013!


evolvingtastes said...

Cool! Nicely done.

Indian Food Rocks said...

ET, thanks! I had a lot of fun doing this!

anna in spain said...

You have such a beautiful family, Manisha. Medha is gorgeous...of course! She takes after you!

Dorothy said...

Wonderful recap of an amazing year in your lives. And, capping it all off for me was the brunch and reunion near Albuquerque!! And I will see you more often on Flickr...promise!!

Unknown said...

Wow!Seriously, wow!

Indian Food Rocks said...

anna, thank you! And I wish but she really takes after her Dad!

Dot, yes! We must do it again! Hugs!

Joyce, thanks!

Soma said...

:) will do it all over again Manisha.. anytime. Hope T sticks to her plan to move to CO when she grows up. Thansk for all the help and the beautiful evening.

Loved ALL the photographs... do continue with the portraits. Besides good photographs, they are full of feelings, warmth and happniness.

Want to meet Medha.

Soma said...

lot of typos... forgive me. can't undo and edit :(