Welcome 2012!

Another new year has once again arrived and although I am not usually one to look back, I decided that I wanted to do a short recap of 2011 and what it meant to me. 2011 was an eventful year for us, both good and bad, and I’m hoping that 2012 is a much better year for us all. On a good note, we had a very productive season in Umbria at Il Casla di Mele, our Umbrian farmhouse rental, and met the absolutely nicest people who stayed with us the past season. We truly had a great 6 months in Umbria and although it went by too quickly, we loved every minute of our time there and are already looking forward to our return this spring. Even our olive harvest was exceptional in 2011 and we picked a record 19 cases of olives!

Personally, it was a busy year for me online, as I launched my new Umbria Travel site in the spring, my new Recipe Rebuild blog that I share with my daughter in September, and just before the year ended I completed my Italian Food Forever redesign which took many weeks to accomplish. I love my new look though and thank Lindsay @ Purr Design for understanding my vision.

For our family, 2011 was bittersweet though as my dear sister-in-law Rose-Anne passed away at just 52 in November, and we found out that my Aunt had died the very same day. We also had a few serious family illnesses that required hospitalization this fall, and the very week I received my blog design and needed both hands to start loading content I slammed my right index finger in our antique farmhouse door and broke it (ouch), requiring me to wear an awkward splint for a month. The positive side of 2011 brought new family members into the fold including our three Umbrian chickens (Henrietta, Rosie, & Ginger), and best of all, in September we were blessed with our 5th grandchild, a beautiful, sweet baby boy named Leonardo to add to our family.

I am starting 2012 out fresh, with a new clean look to my blog and for 2012 I plan to develop many more healthy, delicious Italian recipes that I can share with you, my blog visitors. Italian Food Forever has been online now for almost 10 years now, and I want to thank each and every one of you for making IFF as popular as it has become, and for inspiring me to do more, be more, and for always encouraging my passion for Italian cuisine.

What are my goals for 2012? I want to eat a little healthier, exercise a little more regularly, and take time every day to truly appreciate all that I am blessed with in my life, particularly my family. I want to slow down, take more time to “smell the roses”, and not stress myself out so much on unimportant things in life. I want to widen my horizons a bit and improve my photography, take a few online courses to improve my computer skills, and if it kills me I will learn to speak Italian better this year! I also hope to have yet another productive season in Umbria in 2012 with our farmhouse rental, and look forward to meeting all the new guests we will meet this year and get to share our little piece of paradise with.

I hope you all had a family fun filled holiday season, and I wish you the very best for 2012!

Deborah Mele



  1. Happy and healthy New Year to you Deborah. Just love the new site and I look forward to more great recipes and reading about the house in Umbria. My family and I are planning visit Italia this summer for my cousin’s wedding. Will be great to see the relatives again! Ciao e auguri!

  2. Dear Deborah!

    Happy New Year to you and your family!

    I wish you all the best, good and productive season 2012, lot’s of new recepies and wonderfull food photos 🙂

    Smiliana from Croatia

  3. Hi, Deborah. Happy 2012. My husband and I speak of you and Louie and our time at Il Casale di Mele often. We always reccomend it to others. Our condolences for your losses and tanti auguri for your new grandson. We also had 2 new grandchildren this year – Gianna and Rocco – that makes 7. Stay well and c’e vediamo ancora.

  4. Deborah,
    A lovely year end letter. Sorry to hear about the negatives in the fall. I love the new look of the web site and Recipe Rebuild. I look forward to trying some healthier alternatives. All the best to 2012, Jack

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