Weekly Photo Challenge: My 2012 in Pictures

I will admit to being more than a bit surprised when my blogging friend, Ruth, suggested I take part in the WP Weekly Photo Challenge: My 2012 in Pictures. It’s a testament to her skills for persuasion that I’ve actually decided to take part, flu and all.

Here are 12 photos that I’ve shared this past year. Because the recipes of Mom and her Sister, my “Zia”, form the heart of my blog, it is only right that I begin with a photo of Zia, in her element, not long before her 90th birthday. With Zia to open the collection, who better to close than my Marilyn Monroe?

Thank you, Ruth, for the suggestion and encouragement. For those interested in seeing how this challenge should be met, click HERE to see Ruth’s response.

Click HERE to view the Challenge and its participants.

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Click to enlarge each individual photo.

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Ravioli Day with Zia

Ravioli Day with Zia

Homemade Mozzarella

Homemade Mozzarella

Paglia e Fieno Ingredients

Paglia e Fieno Ingredients

The Ponte Vecchio of Florence

The Ponte Vecchio of Florence

Crocuses on St. Joseph's

Crocuses on St. Joseph’s

Caprese Cocktails

Baby Artichokes

Michigan Peaches

The Stuff of Jams

The Case for Figs

The Case for Figs

Our Day at the Beach

"Marilyn Monroe", Hybrid Tea Rose

“Marilyn Monroe”, Hybrid Tea Rose

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We will return to our normally scheduled programming on Wednesday.

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125 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: My 2012 in Pictures

  1. Gorgeous post, John! Loved the photo of Zia when you first posted it, and it still made me smile today! With your love of roses, can I suggest that you visit my friend Glenda’s blog at Passion Fruit Garden? She’s based in Perth and grows over a hundred different roses, and writes regular posts on them. Here’s the listing for her “Rose of the Week” category:
    http://passionfruitgarden.com/category/rose-of-the-week/

    All the very best for a fabulous 2013! xx

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    • Thanks, Celia, for steering me to Glenda’s blog. I hit “Follow” after looking at the first few roses. They’re gorgeous! She must have a beautiful garden.
      Thanks, too, for your kind words. No review of my year would be complete with a photo of my Zia, front and center.
      I hope 2013 is a wonderful year for you and all whom you hold dear, Celia.

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  2. Yes! Excellent choices in response to the challenge, John. I’m excited you decided to participate, flu and all. Wow. I knew your post would be wonderful. It is incredibly satisfying to see the summation of the Bartolini Kitchens efforts for 2012. Maybe you will inspire fellow food bloggers to follow suit and post their year in photos. Smidge? Greg? MD? Chica? Claire? Fun to make stock and now time to take stock of all the delicious posts we have heartily enjoyed. Happy New Year to you and feel better soon.

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  3. I like each and every photo!! Of course, Zia touches my heart, her smile is very warming. I struggle with taking photos, but definitely see yours keep getting better and better! The shots of your roses are always stunning and the food of course, makes me want to sit down and join you!
    Hope you feel better soon, there’s a New Year ahead of you with lots of cooking and photo shooting to be done!!

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    • Thanks, Lynda, for leaving such nice compliments and well-wishes. I’ll agree my photography has improved but your photography, as well as pretty much all of the blogs I follow, is in another class altogether. It is a skill, though, and just like making ravioli, the more you do it the better you become. :)
      This “bug” is going to run its course, no matter what I do about it. I’ll be fine in a couple days.
      I hope 2013 brings you and yours great happiness and peace, Lynda.

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    • Thanks, Richard. I’m sure I’ll be back up to snuff in no time. As for choosing the pics, I went with the ones that had received the highest praise during the year. Why not consider doing it yourself? You certainly have plenty of photos from which to choose. :)

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  4. Zia’s photo is my favorite! The dog at the beach comes second, the figs come third, the others tie for fourth place… :-)

    Flu = NOT FUN

    Hope you recover quickly… Have a Wonderful New Year!

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    • Thank you, Sally. I, too, love that photo of Zia. She’s at her best when she’s making pasta. And that pic of Max at the beach pretty much sums up our trips to Michigan in Summer. He gets to romp without a leash and enjoys every minute of it.
      As for the flu, well, this, too, shall pass …
      Wishing you and yours the happiest of New Years!

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  5. What a wonderful way to end the year. I have so enjoyed your wonderful food blog. I’ve learned much and fed my family well off your recipes. Glad you took Ruth’s advice. Praying for your speedy recovery. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

    BE ENCOURAGED! BE BLESSED!

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    • Thanks, Betsy. I may not meet your tomorrow deadline but I’ll get through this soon enough. On the plus side, this is probably the most rested I’ve ever been for New Years. :)

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  6. All lovely photos, especially Zia and Marilyn Monroe. I am intrigued by the shadows in the Caprese Cocktails photo – the shadow in the back, I see someone offering a toast; the shadow in front, I see a bear and a mouse behind the bear.
    Hope you get rid of the flu real soon.

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  7. Pingback: The twelve months of 2012 « Kerry Dwyer

  8. Love the pictures John! I’m not sure I could pick a favorite. I love your picture of Zia, because she’s a special person and an inspiration, but I cannot resist a dog in action!!! But, those figs are so gorgeous as is the picture of Florence! Wonderful photos! Happy New Year John!

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    • Thanks, Tanya, for leaving such a nice comment. This was a nice exercise and it afforded me a chance to go back through all of the year’s photos. What a year!
      Have a wonderful New Year, Tanya!

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    • Thanks, Charlie, for the compliments. That pic of Max still makes me smile. He gets out on a beach and becomes a puppy all over again.
      I hope you and your beautiful family have a wonderful New Year.

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  9. Lovely photos. I really like the one of Zia, in large part, I think, because I feel as if I know her so well from everything you’ve written. She sounds like a neat lady. And I was scratching my head over the Marilyn Monroe reference until I saw the picture! Very funny. ;-) I hope you have a Happy New Year!

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    • Thanks, John. You probably haven’t followed my blog long enough to know that Marilyn is but one of my “celebrity” roses. Along with Marilyn, there’s Queen Elizabeth, Judy Garland, Helen Hayes, & Elizabeth Taylor. Not knowing that, I can imagine you might have been a bit confused. :)
      Wishing you and your family a most Happy New Year!

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  10. Ha ha – I was expecting a photo of Marilyn Monroe movie star and I was about to say, “I bet Zia is better company and better cook!” Great pictures regardless – Happy New Year ;-)

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  11. Not an original thought to offer! A lovely array of photos with your Zia in her right place as the Matriarch, and I also love both that perfect rose and the frolicking pup! Take care of the flu, John: sounds as if you won’t be dancing the light fantastic this year. But the we here are counting down the hours at the moment and you have another sleep to go :) ! Happy New Year and thanks!!

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  12. All these photos are great, but the one of the homemade mozzarella + tomatoes makes my mouth water. (Now I’m off to raid the refrigerator for a poor commercial substitute…)

    Hope you’re feeling better soon! What a bummer to have the flu over the holidays. :(

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    • Thank you so much. Making mozzarella is tricky business but, when successful, a platter like that one pictured makes it all worthwhile. It is such a trea!
      I’ll be fine soon enough. I’m just glad that I felt fine for Christmas. I had a very good time with my family and would have hated to have missed it. Thanks for the well-wishes.

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    • Thank you and you’re so right. This challenge gave me the opportunity to review the year through my photos, certainly a different experience for me. It was definitely worthwhile.

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  13. Very special photos! I love the photo of the Caprese Cocktails with the shadows. And Max playfully enjoying the water is a favorite, too, but Zia leads the way. I hope you both have a very special year in 2013. I have really enjoyed spending time with you this year, John. I am sure you’ll be delivering up some more special recipes and family memories in the coming year! It’s a wonder to me that you have so many family recipes to choose from! :-)

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    • Thanks, Debra, for writing such nice compliments — but you always do. :)
      I’ve enjoyed getting to know you and your family, Debra, in 2012 and look forward to getting to know you better as 2013 progresses. I was very fortunate to be raised in that two-flat where there were 3 very talented cooks at work every day. Those 3 ladies really knew their stuff! It’s a pleasure learning their recipes. You can almost feel their presence in the kitchen.
      Wishing you and your wonderful family a very Happy New Year, Debra!

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  14. John, your photos are so striking. Each one is special in its own way, but it’s your picture of your Zia that touches my heart. I remember this picture from the original post; she looks so lovely, like everyone’s favourite aunt! Second is that picture of Max at the beach; it simply captures the essence of a day well spent.

    Feel better soon! I was sorry to see you’ve ha the flu, but hopefully you’re back on your feet for New Year’s. Wishing you all the best for 2013 and looking forward to more good things from the Bartolini kit hens!

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    • Thanks, Mar, for writing such a nice compliment and for the well-wishes. No pictorial review of the year would be complete without Zia in the forefront. Without her help, I would have run out of recipes long ago. As for Max, well, to know me is to know my Max. :)
      I’ll be back at 100% in no time, not to worry. I hope 2013 is a very good year for you and yours, Mar.

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  15. Your photos have me craving summer food John! Especially the Caprese and peaches. Mmm! Happy New Year to you and Zia! Looking forward to following along (and making more of your delicious food) in 2013! :)

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  16. Wishing you a quick recovery and lots of R and R. All of your photos are gorgeous however, I love Zia and all of here stories and her smiles, so of course she is my favorite. As far as your still shots, the one of your peas is quite stunning. However, I can’t really choose as I love them all. Take care of yourself and wishing you the very best in 2013! BAM

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    • Thanks, BAM, you are so very kind. Zia is the very heart of this blog. Her photo had to be front and center. This was an interesting exercise for me. I’ve never considered the photos to be separate from the food/recipes. To go through them and select some to stand of their own was a new experience, one that I enjoyed.
      Don’t you worry, BAM, I’ll be in tip-top shape in no time.
      Wishing you and your family peace, love, and joy in 2013.

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    • Zia is the most welcoming person, Maureen. She would love to have you visit and you’d both have a wonderful time. Max was meant for the beach. He absolutely thrives in the water. He’s something to see.
      I hope you and your family have a Healthy and Happy 2013!

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  17. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: My 2012 in Pictures | Promenade Plantings

  18. I guess the flu influenced some of your choices after all, i see bowls and bowls of vitamin c! I missed the beach post though somewhere along the line, what a happy happy dog! Have a lovely day john, the sun is out!! Hope you are feeling better.. c

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    • Thank you, Celi. I had a better night last night, even Dr. Max gave me more room. He must think I’m improving. That pic of him at the beach was one of a number I shot when I visited Zia last Summer. I shared one in my Vacation Post and this one was on Facebook.
      Isn’t the sun glorious? What a great start for the New Year! I hope 2013 is a good year for us all!

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  19. These photos are incredible John! Happy New Year to you too! I love that one of Zia but then again the Ponte Vecchio in Florence is wonderful too, with the way you captured the reflection. The shadows that the Caprese salads make are so cool, it almost looks as if it’s a monster chasing a bear.
    Your beautiful photos make me wish for summer light; only five more months to go.

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  20. Oh no, the flu? Boo. I hope you’re feeling better, John. I hate hearing that your sick :(

    Your photos are simply perfect. I’m glad we aren’t supposed to pick a favorite! This is a beautiful selection. I just love Zia’s photo. You can’t help but see what a great 2012 it was for you. Cheers for another great one in 2013!

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    • Thank you, Sarah. These things have to run their course and mine is certainly doing that. I’ll be fine, rest assured. In the meantime I’m taking it easy. All’s well.
      I must say, Sarah, that I’m glad you’ve returned to the blogosphere. It’s a better sphere with you in it. :)
      Wishing you and your DH nothing but the best in 2013.

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  21. I’m sorry that you have had the flu. I hope that you return to full health soon. Have a wonderful New Year John. I thoroughly enjoyed your last year of posting and your photos were a nice reminder of some terrific dishes that you made.

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  22. Oh, dear.. see what happens when I’m late blog reading? I find out a fellow blogger has been struck by that nasty flu that’s going around!! I’m so sorry to read this.. and am wishing I could airmail you some comfort food!!! I’m so glad you did the year in photos.. I was really struck by the high calibre of photos you’ve taken.. the shine on the peas is so gorgeous.. the rose is so beautiful.. and one of my favorites has to be the look on Max’s face.. it’s a look of pure joy as he frolics in the waves:) Of course, Zia’s beautiful face was the perfect way to begin.. Anyway, I hope you feel like frolicking with Max again soon!! Take care, John! xx

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    • You are so sweet, Barb, and I know you would send food if it was at all possible. This “thing” just has to run its course. I’ll be fine.
      Thank you for being so complimentary about my photos. That’s high praise coming from someone whose own photos I so admire. Of course Zia, Max, an Marilyn had to be included. The others just kind fell into place. Although some were the most favorably commented upon, not all were. If I do this again, I think I’ll follow your lead and post those that are the most popular. Once I find those 3 or 4 photos, maybe I’ll do stick figures for the remaining 8 or 9 images to make a dozen. :)
      Thanks again for your compliments and concern. This, too, shall pass …

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  23. John, I’ve so loved following you this past year. Each of the photos you’ve picked illustrate why…at the center of them all is a large, generous, caing heart. That you would put your beautiful Zia first, bounding Max in the middle and Marilyn’s beautiful rose at the close underscores what we’ve all come to know about you….you take the precious things in life seriously and you have fun with the rest! Happy to know you John and wishing you all the best a year in a good life can bring! And I so hope you’re feeling well by now!

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    • That is such a kind thing to write, Spree — and that’s why I so enjoy visiting your blog and seeing your comments on mine.Your kind and generous spirit is evident in every entry you post and comment you write. It’s been a pleasure meeting you this year and, in fact, it’s been a highlight.
      Wishing you and yours every Happiness in the New Year!

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  24. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: my 2012 in pictures « What's (in) the picture?

  25. Wonderful wrap up, such a colourful, warm, varied and delightful year. I’m so glad I got on board to see most of it first hand but the compilation, and the juxtaposition of the images together is very effective. Happy New Year… ok I’m a bit late but I’m catching up :)

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    • Thank you, EllaDee, leaving such a nice compliment. Photos aside, I am glad to have “met” you this year and hope that 2013 is a great year for us all.
      Don’t feel like you have to write something on my posts that you might have missed. I know what it is like to go away and return to an Inbox full of notifications. Feel free to skip mine. :)

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      • I won’t get to everyones posts Ifrom holiday time but I don’t want to miss any of yours, and it might take me a while but I will read them… that’s one of the great things about the email notifications, they’re there to go through at leisure… otherwise I’d get bit lost… and I always find I want to leave a comment for yours not like I have to :)

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  27. I love Aunt Zia’s dress (my daughter’s favourite colour is purple). She has a great smile and looks quite strong for someone who was going to turn 90. I must get some tips from her on what not to eat. I love Max’s photo too and the rose of course, a single stem on my dining table would bring a smile on my face. Thanks for sharing. Best wishes!

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    • Thank you, Liz, for leaving such nice compliments. Zia is something, isn’t she? One of my favorite days with her each year is ravioli day. (Another is sausage day.) We chat and reminisce while we make enough ravioli to fill her freezer for the next few months. Couldn’t be a better time. :)

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