Gluten Free For Good


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I’m having a little trouble staying on task lately. I had a “beet the winter blues” post under way, but couldn’t polish it off. Then I decided to tackle “the differences between boys and girls.” After a couple of days wrestling with that one, I had an epiphany. The differences are monumental, endless, glorious and can be represented by a marshmallow. Unfortunately, those random thoughts were too difficult to gather together and put into sentence form. But I’ll work on that, as it’s food-related and worthy of further contemplation.

Here’s the problem. I’m distracted and can’t seem to stay focused. I think I’m lamenting the passing of the decade. A whole decade of my life just whizzed by and I hardly had time to notice.

Yes, a whole decade. That’s TEN years. And don’t give me that stuff about how the decade really isn’t over until the end of 2010. You could make that argument if you want to go all the way back to 1 AD (or 0 AD), but it doesn’t matter, ten years is a decade and it’s over. To add insult to injury, ten years ago was the turn of a century. So the first decade of this century is over. Doesn’t that sound significant?

What do you have to show for it? Were there any profound lessons learned? When 2000 dawned, did you have lofty goals for the next decade? Did you accomplish the things you set out to do?

So much for losing 5 pounds (my current goal, which sounds rather trivial right now). I want to climb a big mountain. Rainier, Fuji, Orizaba – something like that.

Melissa’s 2010 Bucket List in no particular order
• Climb a big mountain
• Finish the last 250 miles of the Colorado Trail
• Complete advanced yoga teacher training
• Climb Colorado’s 14ers
• Write a book
• Lead transformational workshops (long story)
• Get over my jitters of public speaking
• Build a cabin in the mountains
• Nurture friendships, treasure family time and meet some of my blogging friends
• Volunteer at the American Mountaineering Center
• Ski more
• Get involved with the Colorado Ski & Snowboard Museum and Hall of Fame
• Have dinner with Charles Krauthammer (don’t ask)

What’s on your bucket list? Tell me – you might win a prize.

If you don’t want to think about it, here’s a pesto recipe instead.

spinach pesto
what you need

4 cloves garlic
2 cups packed baby spinach leaves
1/4 cup fresh oregano leaves
1/4 cup fresh dill
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese (or a blend of Parmesan, Fontina and Asiago)
3 tablespoons raw pine nuts
freshly ground black pepper

what you do
1. Chop garlic in food processor, add spinach, herbs and 1/4 cup of olive oil. Pulse to chop finely. Add the rest of the ingredients and process until slightly smooth. Drizzle over cooked potatoes or use as a dressing for potato salad (or whatever else comes to mind).

Go forth with bucket list in hand. Don’t let the next decade pass without accomplishing your goals and realizing your dreams.
P.S. Yes, I realize a bucket list has nothing to do with buckets.

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32 Responses to “bucket list & spinach pesto”

  1. Peter says:


    bucket list for me:

    attend burning man
    complete marathon or triathalon
    visit every continent
    scuba certification
    write a novel
    own a restaurant
    play drums professionally

    obviously not all travel can be accomplished this year but it’s a goal!

    as well as utilize my garden more and have a better harvest, lose body fat and continue to get stronger. that’s it for now.


  2. Melissa says:


    Sounds like a great list! I’m with you on the book writing and visiting every continent. Wow, I had never heard of Burning Man. Just went to the website and some of the art is amazing. What an incredible event.

    Speaking of professional drummers, did you know Ginger Baker is still playing the drums. Can’t believe he survived the 60s. He lives here in Colorado. Here you go….

  3. Terry says:

    I am with you on beet the winter blues. Where O where is the sunshine? So here’s my 2010 bucket list:
    love running
    take up TaeBo again
    have family dinners
    CCS certification
    gainful employment
    have a BIG garden
    visit Israel
    live better
    love more

    Thanks for making me stop and think about the year ahead.


  4. lo says:

    OOoh. Dill and spinach pesto — that sounds wonderful… but so does refocusing. I must admit to being a bit scattered myself this new year.

    I’m actually always a bit scared of bucket lists… but here goes!

    Work out regularly — and love it.
    Pay down debt.
    Save enough money to remodel bathrooms.
    Abolish worrying.
    Embrace community.
    Love more — and better.
    Find work that encompasses my passion.

    We’ll see where that list takes me… thanks for making me put it out there in the world!

  5. ROFL about your potential posts … although I have no doubt that you will finish them up and I will be wowed by them!

    Now, I thought bucket list was things you wanted to do before you die … not just in one year. But of course, if you look at them all with one year in mind, I guess you’d get more of your bucket list accomplished and more quickly. Okay, here goes:

    ~Speak at major conferences on eating gluten free easily with the gfe approach
    ~Continue gfe blog
    ~Make gfe a well-known, accepted concept for eating gluten-free
    ~Write a book (not sure if a novel or non-fiction, more likely the latter)
    ~Purchase the lot next to our mtn/river property
    ~Build a cabin-style home on the original barn foundation of said lot
    ~Resume yoga on a regular basis BEFORE work
    ~Resume walking and other aerobic stuff I enjoy several times a week
    ~Travel, travel, travel … Europe, more motorcycle trips, more of U.S.
    ~Seize more opportunities
    ~Life life to the fullest (live well, love much, laugh often)

    Oh, there are more specifics, but that’s all I can think of right now. Guess I better get all these on my vision board. 😉


  6. Cid says:


    I also think the past ten years have flown by under the radar. Goodness only knows what resolutions I made back then but losing a few pounds is on all my lists and will be again. I’ve enjoyed the past decade for all kinds of reasons but to be honest, I’m not too sure about the next one…. the whole aging thing and I don’t get along. Nevertheless, being young and foolish wasn’t my thing either so maybe this decade will be the best yet…. yes it will.

    My bucket list will range from the sublime to the ridiculous …. no surprises there! :

    Note to self to stop collecting buckets… mine always end up as cement mixing vessels so when you need a clean one, it means buying more 🙂

    Eat better and less of the bad weight-gaining stuff, therefore lose those excess pounds and be proud.

    Take that indigo tie dye workshop I’ve been promising myself for ages.

    Try not to become embroiled in life’s trivial concerns and concentrate on the important stuff. It’s knowing when to walk away.

    Meet up with my good friend Melissa… now this is important!

    Write a letter to my daughter to be opened at times of need… while I still have all my marbles! This always seems like a good idea, I know people who have these and have found them worthwhile for future generations too. Quite what my great, great granddaughters and sons will make of me I don’t know but there are so many questions I’d have liked to ask my ancestors.


  7. Miles says:

    A great idea!
    Mine? well, right at this moment it would be:
    Learn Spanish so I can run four of our restaurants properly,
    Learn French for the same as above
    Try and get a work-life balance.
    Think that’ll do!


  8. Li says:

    Spinach pesto! I was just saying I wanted to find a recipe for this!

    Bucket list for 2010 (so far):
    Find a publisher for my novel
    Exercise at least 3 times a week
    Devote more time to my knitting
    Start studying Spanish

    Cheers, Li

  9. Chris Van Burgh says:

    Wow-this came at a great time. After diagnosis and “you’ve go this long to live talk,” I stopped my “bucket lists.” Not good! Thank you for the nudge to get back at the fun and goals of LIVING!
    more yoga
    back to the mountains
    go on retreat
    Back to Alaska
    Take dad to Newfoundland

  10. Lauren says:

    A bucket list is a fantastic idea. Best of all, it can be built on and expanded as life evolves and you discover new passions =D.

  11. Melissa says:


    Great list, although I had to look up CCS certification. 🙂
    Live better and love more says it all!

    Thanks for the inspiration.

  12. Melissa says:


    I LOVE it when you stop by because I forget how much I enjoy your recipes (even though you eat wheat cooties). I just can’t keep up with this growing blogosphere. We always think of major things when putting together a list of “must dos” before we step off, but remodeling bathrooms has been something I’ve wanted (and needed) to do for years. I’ll stick it on the bottom of my list. Thanks for the reminder!

    I think we’re all on the “love more” path. And finding work that encompasses passion is key to happiness. I’m SO lucky with that one.


  13. Melissa says:


    Yes, I’ve got a closet (technically speaking) full of half-written posts. The boy/girl one has me perplexed, but I do think it’s worth working on. We’ll see.

    Yes, I meant this as a bucket list in the traditional sense. Do these things before you “kick the bucket” so to speak. I like to use the term (thanks to my Aunt Betty), “stepping off.”

    Live life to the fullest — live, love and laugh. Yes! I also love the “travel” part, but I’ll pass on the motorcycle. 🙂


  14. Melissa says:


    I wouldn’t expect anything less from you (from the sublime to the ridiculous).

    Okay, somewhere on both our lists is that dinner at Table #5, so we need to make that happen one of these days.

    Knowing when to walk away. Oh man, that’s a good one and ties right into not becoming caught up in trivial concerns. It’s amazing how much valuable energy can be wasted on the unimportant stuff.

    Oh, the “letter to your daughter” idea is sublime. I’ve always encouraged my kids to write really thoughtful cards as gifts to people they care about. A loving comment is worth way more than a gift. I love the thought of having a letter to open in a time of need. That’s wonderful.

    And of course your ancestors are going to refer to you as the off-beat and colorful one!

    Thanks, great list!

    P.S. I’m thinking you could donate that bucket collection of yours to one of your gardening crushes.

  15. lo says:

    … and I love stopping by your place because it’s a great source for inspiration — both with regard to food AND life. We might eat some wheat cooties, but we love expanding our horizons. In fact, I’ve got some GF goodness cooking up in the kitchen right now 🙂

  16. Melissa says:


    Yes, you definitely need a work/life balance since each item on your list has to do with running restaurants more efficiently.

    Let’s rework this one
    1. Spend more time traveling and taking wildlife photos in exotic places that have nothing to do with work
    2. Enjoy wonderful meals with friends. Meals that you have nothing to do with you working
    3. Enjoy a major fishing trip with your brother that has nothing to do with finding food for your restaurants
    4. Get front row seats and backstage passes to concerts by all your favorite bands

    Nothing to do with work!

  17. Melissa says:


    Yeah, someone wants the recipe! I love spinach pesto. It’s wonderful drizzled over soups.

    Knitting! I used to love knitting and haven’t done it for years. Thanks for the reminder. Studying Spanish is another thing I’d like to do.

    Gosh, I’m adding to my list with each comment!


  18. Melissa says:


    Gosh, you just continue to amaze me. I’ve followed your comments on the Grant Farms Facebook page for ages and have always been so inspired by you. Your reminder that we should have goals of LIVING is so profound. Like Cid mentioned above, sometimes we get so caught up in the trivial aspects of life that we don’t focus on LIVING! Thank you for the reminder. Thank you for the inspiration. And thank you for the special light and good energy you bring to my life. I appreciate it, even though we’ve never even met. Your reach is that powerful.

    Okay, your list — go on a retreat. Yes, I love that idea. I’m going on a working retreat next week to Kripalu. That might be the perfect retreat for you. If you don’t know about Kripalu, look it up and get their catalog. They have some amazing “healing” retreats. You’d love it!

    Take dad back to Newfoundland. I don’t know what that is about, but it brought a tear to my eye. Dads and daughters sometimes have the most amazing connections. I did with my dad and I miss him so much!

    Thanks, Chris. You’re a dear!


  19. Melissa says:


    You are wise beyond your years, girl! I love the idea that you built on and expand the list as life evolves. For the rest of you, Lauren is a teenager (sorry, Lauren, but you always amaze me).



  20. Melissa says:


    Please post your gluten-free goodness recipe on your blog! I’ll be right over, and I’ll bring a thermos of hot tea.


  21. Miles says:

    Sounds a hell of a lot better than mine…thanks!


  22. We get 10 decades in life, is how I look at it. A century, all told. Each ten-spot takes a while to get through. We are never the same when we come out as when we went in. The older we get, the more we realize how precious is each moment, not to mention each 10 year-group of moments. Thank you for giving so much of yourself during this last decade, Melissa: inspiring, teaching, making the world a better (and yummier) place to live for the rest of us. Gluten free for GOOD is right! xo Diana

  23. I agree with you on climb a 14er. I’ve always wanted to do that.

    Other things on my bucket list include:
    Buy a vineyard in Tuscany
    Learn to ski
    See the Pyramids
    Write a book
    Be able to take a TRUE breather before I take the LAST breather. LOL!

  24. Sheila says:

    Such an inspiring group of followers you have here, Melissa.

    1. My bucket list:
    Learn all I can about organic farming and help my family’s 214-year-old farm get it’s second wind
    2. Write (a blog, column… comic strip – ha ha) about farming
    3. Take the time to marvel at my son’s life as it unfolds and stay connected to him
    4. Become fluent in Spanish; continue volunteer work in Guatemala
    5. Lift up my family and friends so they are darn sure of how much I love them before I “step off”

  25. Melissa says:


    Sorry about that, but a bucket list should be about fun and joy, not more work.


  26. Melissa says:


    I love it! And I agree, we should plan for a century and hopefully, like you say, we learn and gain greater appreciation for every precious moment.

    Thank you for your kind comments, Diana. You are on the same path. Inspiring, teaching, living in the moment, and sharing with others. I also appreciate what you’re doing with eat2evolve!


  27. Melissa says:


    A vineyard in Tuscany? Tell me where and when and I’ll be visiting. I love that region and there’s nothing better than a glass of fine wine on occasion!

    I also love the idea of visiting the Pyramids. Great list!

  28. Melissa says:


    You are so right and you’ve also become a special part of this group of readers. Yes, I’m very fortunate with the wonderful friends I’ve met through blogging. I’m looking forward to you starting your blog/comic strip — I’ll definitely be a follower as we are on the same journey with this. You as your family farm’s second wind, me enjoying the benefits of more farmers growing organic foods for the rest of us. Can’t wait to see how all this unfolds with you!

    Peace, love and organic farming!

  29. Karen says:

    goals next ten years
    figure out what I want to be when I grow up, or atleast have fun trying.

  30. Christopher says:

    MJ: I’m behind on my reading of your blog – – looking for uses for tons of Kale. BUT, I can help w/ the Charles Krauthammer dinner. seriously – would be a fun adventure.

  31. Melissa says:


    I’m with you on this one. I like having some goals, love having fun, but growing up is totally over-rated!

  32. Melissa says:


    I’ll come to your house and cook dinner (kale included) if you invite CK and make sure he’s sitting next to me at a private table. The rest of you can eat in the kitchen.

    Love you!

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