Lettuce Eat Kale Celebrates First Birthday

by Sarah Henry on March 31, 2010 · 51 comments

in food flotsam & jetsam

Humor me here, dear readers, as I take a moment to look back on a year of lettuceeatkale.

Can you believe 12 months have passed — give or take a day or so  — since my first post?

LEK has gone from birth to barely sitting up, to crawling and walking. No night terrors along the way. Just one post shy of 100 and over 1,000 comments.

Slowly but steadily I’m building an audience for my musings on school foodkids and cooking, urban homesteads and growing greens.

As well as posts on food in books, films, politics, on the street, and in our homes. Food foraging, food justice, frugal food folk — all here as well. And giveaways too. And a bunch of other stuff.

Fittingly, yesterday I saw my traffic reach it’s highest numbers yet. I suspect my post on Jamie Oliver might have had something to do with that. Timely and all. My pieces on choosy chowhounds and lunchbox suggestions have been popular. So was my defense of Alice Waters against unfair attacks in The Atlantic.

But sometimes there’s no rhyme or reason to which blog offerings attract a following. Musings on granola, favorite food films, and how to be a good dinner guest generated a wave of interest. Go figure. (‘Fessing up to food indiscretions, on the other hand, people eat that stuff up.)

I’ve had fun writing about my friends, making new ones in the food and blogging world, and meeting food folk doing worthy, interesting, and downright groovy things.

Since I started this online experiment I’ve been asked to contribute to the food politics blog Civil Eats and the hyper-local site Berkeleyside.

I’ve received kudos for posts on persimmons, growing the next generation of chefs, and professionals who pursue their culinary passions after hours, among other subjects, over at Food News Journal.

The New York Times Bay Area Blog even had nice things to say about me.

Enough horn tooting. I’m sure some of my posts have missed the mark but let’s not talk about those today.

Today, we celebrate. You can start singing now.

Coming this year for Lettuce Eat Kale:

  • My own hosted site. Honestly. Truly. Any day now. Just you wait and see. You’ll be the first to know I promise.
  • A Lettuce Eat Kale Facebook Fan Page (Mostly so my professional friends don’t have to wade through photos of my kid to get to the food stuff.)
  • A six-figure book deal, movie contract, and my own reality TV show. Doubtful. Just making sure you were paying attention.

Now it’s your turn. I’d like to hear (I think) what you have to say about this site. Why you come here, what you’re looking for, what you like, what’s missing, or what you want to see more of.

Not fishing for compliments here (though I’ll happily, and hopefully graciously, accept them) just want to spend some time mulling over how my baby might look a year from here, with a little help from my friends.

Blowing out the candle now…

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{ 51 comments… read them below or add one }

Melanie Haiken March 31, 2010 at 11:24 pm

Happy 1st birthday, LettuceEatKale, and a few well-deserved tips of the champagne to you. It’s been quite a ride, and you’ve covered more ground than many bloggers/writers manage in thrice the time. Horn toots well deserved, and love the photo!


Sarah Henry April 1, 2010 at 12:15 pm

Thank you, Ms. Melanie. You have one coming up soon too, right?

I’ll bring the champagne cocktails & we’ll both have to try not to get headaches;)


Sheryl Kraft April 1, 2010 at 3:46 am

Happy, happy birthday. From the name of your blog to your witty style of expressing so many interesting topics, you’re sure to celebrate many, many more!


Sarah Henry April 1, 2010 at 12:16 pm

Thank you, Sheryl. Who knew such a quirky name would get so many compliments?


Amy Sherman April 1, 2010 at 8:11 am

Congrats on your first year! Here’s to many more to come.


Sarah Henry April 1, 2010 at 12:21 pm

Hi Amy,

Thanks — and I’m sure I can learn lots of tips & tricks from a seasoned blogger such as yourself!


Roxanne @ Champion of My Heart April 1, 2010 at 8:26 am

Congratulations. It only gets better.


Sarah Henry April 1, 2010 at 12:21 pm

Good to know, Roxanne. Thanks.


marthaandme April 1, 2010 at 8:26 am

Congrats on your one year blog-anniversary! I enjoy your site so much and always come here ready to be surprised. Wishing many more successful years.


Sarah Henry April 1, 2010 at 12:22 pm

Nice to know I surprise ya sometimes, marthaandme. And thanks for the kind words.


Frugal Kiwi April 1, 2010 at 8:50 am

Well done you. Keep it up! Looking forward to your new self-hosted incarnation.


Sarah Henry April 1, 2010 at 12:23 pm

Thanks, Frugal Kiwi. And me too (on the hosting front).


MyKidsEatSquid April 1, 2010 at 8:55 am

Love your blog! I’m looking forward to many more fun, insightful blog posts.


Sarah Henry April 1, 2010 at 12:23 pm

Thanks MKES. And speaking of fun blog names, I’ve always loved your moniker.


Dianne Jacob April 1, 2010 at 9:21 am

Looking forward to your new celebrity status and six-figure book deal, dahhling. Congrats for making it this far. Perseverance is an excellent skill.


Sarah Henry April 1, 2010 at 12:25 pm

Written like the top-notch writing coach that you are, DJ.

And, sweetie, honey, darling (channeling my inner AbFab for the occasion), where to do lunch when the royalties start rolling in?;)

And, um, if there’s a food writer around who doesn’t yet know you and your wickedly good book Will Write For Food (currently a favorite mantra of mine) then scoot on over to find out what all the fuss is about: http://www.diannej.com/blog/


michelle April 1, 2010 at 9:56 am

Congratulations Sarah!
Over the past year I’ve happily learned lots about things I didn’t even know I wanted/needed to know about, found out about local options and activities I’d never have known about otherwise and been introduced to people in my community that I’m really pleased to be aware of and would never have stumbled across otherwise.
Looking forward to each new blog in the coming year and hopefully many more!


Sarah Henry April 1, 2010 at 12:27 pm

Thank you, Michelle, I love that people from my regular life like to read my ramblings — like you don’t hear enough of it in person:).

I so appreciate your funny and insightful comments, often after others have weighed in and frequently with a totally different POV.

Looking forward to stumbling around some more in year 2 as well.


Jane Boursaw April 1, 2010 at 11:29 am

Happy Birthday, Sarah and Lettuce Eat Kale! I remember when the blog was just a baby … sniff … they grow up so fast… :-)

And I wouldn’t count out that book deal, TV show and movie. I call first dibs on an exclusive interview for Film Gecko. :-)


Sarah Henry April 1, 2010 at 12:32 pm

Deal! So glad to get to know you in the virtual world, Jane.

And so appreciate the hand holding in those early, uncertain days.

Anyone reading this wanting to build a blog — or build on what they’ve started — check out Jane’s cool course, right here:



Alexandra April 1, 2010 at 2:05 pm

Happy One Year to LEK! I really enjoy this blog. It allows me to dream of living in a balmy California with sensible folks who shop in open-air markets and pay attention to what their children eat.

In the second year, I would love more visits to organic gardens and a report on whether/how the EPA effort to limit toxic chemicals in our environment, led by Lisa Jackson, is finding support among the local foodies and/or organic gardeners.


Sarah Henry April 1, 2010 at 5:30 pm

Duly noted, Alexandra. I’m a bit of a fair weather farmer myself, but now that Spring is here I intend to make more of an effort to gather reports from the fields.

And thanks for the kind words, though I’m not sure how sensible I am.


Lisa Waterman Gray April 1, 2010 at 3:44 pm




Sarah Henry April 1, 2010 at 5:31 pm

Thank you LWG. And thanks for stopping by. I look forward to meeting you in person at IACP later this month.


Cheryl April 1, 2010 at 3:47 pm

Brava, Sarah, this is a milestone worth celebrating. When your blog grows gray hairs, I’ll lend you my tweezers to pluck out its chin hairs. (I have no idea where that came from.)

It’s always a pleasure hanging over here, and I look forward to doing so on your new hosted blog.

Now can I have cake?


Sarah Henry April 1, 2010 at 5:32 pm

Chin hairs? Who said anything about chin hairs? This is not birthday party talk, my dear friend;)

As for cake…can you imagine some? That’s about as real as it’s gonna get.


Nani Steele April 1, 2010 at 4:05 pm

Never thought you’d turn 1 again, eh?

Keep up the good humor, mate-love reading your posts, always funny, always informative. Let me know when you get that 6 figure deal-will treat you to burritos, hah!!


Sarah Henry April 1, 2010 at 5:34 pm

Hello Nani,

Nice to see one of my new food friends in the mix. Thanks for your sweet comment and have no fear, the burritos will be on me!


Ruth Pennebaker April 1, 2010 at 4:24 pm

Love your blog, Sarah. Happy birthday!


Sarah Henry April 1, 2010 at 5:35 pm

Thank you, Ruth. And for your sweet message offline as well.


Camille Noe Pagan April 1, 2010 at 5:12 pm

Congrats, Sarah! I’m newish to the site but really love it.


Sarah Henry April 1, 2010 at 5:35 pm

Hi and welcome, Camille. New is good. Come join the party.
Cheers, Sarah


Roz Cummins April 1, 2010 at 7:09 pm

Congratulations! I certainly hope that you made a nice cake for your blog’s birthday.


Sarah Henry April 2, 2010 at 2:48 pm

Hi Roz, nice to see ya here and thanks.

As for cake…I did have a cupcake from CupKate’s, the mobile cupcakery in Berkeley, I’ve written about: http://lettuceeatkale.wordpress.com/2009/11/19/street-cart-cuisine-think-global-eat-local/

Moist chocolate cake, caramel buttercream, and sea salt flakes. Divine & more than did the job: http://cupkatesbakery.com/


jacqui April 1, 2010 at 8:47 pm

Congrats, Sarah!
I have loved the name of your blog so much since I first heard of it.

And like Camille, I look forward to reading it more.
Well done.


Sarah Henry April 2, 2010 at 2:54 pm

Hi Jacqui,

Thanks and nice to see another Ozzie in the mix. I now know I have two followers from Sydney named Jacqui:

What are the odds of that?


Susan April 2, 2010 at 5:28 am

Happy 1st Birthday to your blog, Sarah! I love the vivid photos you use and the passionate, in-depth way in which you write about food. Keep up the great work!

P.S. Somehow I missed that you were mentioned on the NYT Bay Area Blog, but that deserves kudos, too!


Sarah Henry April 2, 2010 at 2:55 pm

Hey Susan, Thanks for your sweet note.


jennifermargulis April 2, 2010 at 9:19 am

Happy birthday blog! That’s quite an achievement!


Sarah Henry April 2, 2010 at 2:55 pm

thks, jennifer.


Jesaka Long April 2, 2010 at 2:56 pm

Congrats on your blogiversary! I can’t believe your fantastic blog is just a year old. Even though I don’t have kids, I do have lots of nieces and nephews, so I’m very glad to have found you.


Sarah Henry April 3, 2010 at 8:36 am

I like that — blogiversary — thanks, Jesaka. And if you tool around the archives a little you’ll see that I write a lot about food stuff for adults as well.


Anna Chan, The Lemon Lady April 3, 2010 at 11:44 am

Happy Birthday Lettuce Eat Kale. Sarah – You’re real. That’s what I like about this blog. You are a real person out there living, learning, having fun with what is going on in the Foodie world. And, you made me feel special for a day too! I had the pleasure of making a new friend in you! :) So, yes…I will be a reader for a long, long time. Besides the fact that you are an entertaining writer.

Is there anything you miss? Because you seem to be everywhere and sure do meet a lot of neat, groovy folks doing great things in the Bay Area and beyond. Cheers to many years of happy blogging. Anna, The Lemon Lady


Sarah Henry April 3, 2010 at 5:15 pm

Thanks Anna, for your lovely message.

One of the best parts about this blogging business is getting out in the real world and reporting on what people like you are doing to make a difference. It’s always inspiring to discover what someone is doing to make their community a better place for everyone. So I take my hat off to you, Lemon Lady, and others like you.

Is there anything I miss? Lots of stuff, my dear, the job of a journalist is never done but I have a great time trying to cover as much of the food beat as I can.


jacqui van Heyst April 4, 2010 at 10:44 pm

Hi Sare, Congratulations! Yep a year sure does fly by these days. But look what you’ve achieved in this one. Fantastic. Love and thoughts,


Sarah Henry April 5, 2010 at 8:09 am

There you are! So nice to hear from you, Jac. Thanks for the kind words and for all your support on this little experiment.


Jane April 5, 2010 at 7:13 am

Hi Sarah,

Congratulations, what a year! Here’s to an even more successful year ahead. Your posts are insightful, educational and a lovely read. Thank you for keeping us informed. Hopefully we can celebrate together in the not too distant future. Happy First Birthday, Jane


Sarah Henry April 5, 2010 at 8:12 am

Thanks, Jane. I really appreciate your feedback on my posts — and your strategic behind-the-scenes input. And, thanks too, for spreading the word in Singapore.

Would love to celebrate with you in person — and soon — but who knows when we’ll be in the same country again???


The Writer's [Inner] Journey April 6, 2010 at 4:18 pm

Aw! Happy Birthday to you LettuceEatKale! Your posts are always so fresh I foresee many more birthdays ahead!


Sarah Henry April 6, 2010 at 6:48 pm

Why thank you, Ms. M. I certainly hope so.


Adair@Lentil Breakdown April 13, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Sorry so late with my congrats (was food-touring in NYC). Glad to see
all your well-deserved support!


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