Sunday, July 26, 2009

Gleanings from a Year as a Food Blogger

My ancient laptop sits on the other arm of this (recliner) chair, a comfy perch to plan menus and write blog posts.
My one-year anniversary as a food blogger was a week or so ago. I marked the day with a quick blog post, and a few days later gave away of pair of vintage pans (won by Amy of My Famous Recipe go read her cool blog!) But I still have lots more to say, so get ready for a few more anniversary posts!

Here are a few stray reflections on the past year:

until I became a food blogger, I never thought:
1. I’d be a food blogger
2. It'd make a difference whether our meals were ready while there was still natural light outside
3. I’d buy a plate or bowl for the sole reason that it would look great in photos
4. I’d cook with bacon at least once a week
5. I’d bake with yeast, even once (and now I have a separate bread blog!)
6. I’d buy a coffee grinder just for spices
7. I'd put seeds on top of my rolls and bagels because they'd photograph better

cool things I discovered because I had a food blog:
1. blackberry crumb cake (my #1 favorite recipe discovery this year)
2. the joy of yeast baking
3. that I could prepare foods that I used to dislike and find - sometimes - that I love them now
4. Benton's bacon

my new favorite people:
1. Dorie Greenspan
2. Dan Lepard
3. Peter Reinhart
4. Mark Bittman
5. a small army of my fellow food bloggers

kitchen tasks that used to freak me out (and still do):
1. caramelizing sugar
2. baking in water baths
3. beating egg whites

kitchen tasks that faze me no longer:
1. making bread
2. tempering eggs

drawbacks from my increased time in the kitchen:
1. the mountain of dishes (I've always cooked every day, but now it seems to involve more bowls, pots and pans)
2. the number of times I’ve had to reorganize my kitchen drawers, “pantry” and freezers
3. not wearing my wedding rings because I take them off to knead bread and forget to put them back on.
4. a few stray pounds that showed up and don't want to leave

spiffy new equipment:
1. digital scale
2. coffee grinder just for spices
3. digital thermometer

cool cooking techniques:
1. searing green beans. And greens.
2. braising sweet potatoes
3. vodka pie crust
4. searing meat or fish and finishing it by cooking in oven

things I'd never thought I'd say (but that sound normal to me now):
1. "no, you can't eat that yet because I haven't photographed it"
2. "I had to make this, but we can't eat it, do you want some?"
3. "yes, I made that bread"


Mary Ann said...

This is a great post. I love all the things that you have written down and I have said all of them too. love it

Jessica said...

I *heart* this post, Nancy! You seem to have captured the very essence of food blogging (to my mind, at least). I love your musings on your first year in food blogging, and I look forward to the second year! I also just love the first picture of your chair with the cookbooks stacked on the arm: it looks like a very comfy and happy place to be. I'm so glad that I was able to follow your progress through (most) of your first year.

Cathy said...

Yup, you pretty much nailed it! It all sounded very familiar to me, although I haven't yet bought a coffee grinder just for spices (great idea though!) I'm glad that you identified your single favorite recipe of the year - I'll definitely have to make the blackberry crumb cake with my next bucket of blackberries! Great post!

Engineer Baker said...

Haha - spot on, definitely. Especially the "I had to make this, but can't eat it - you want it?" I say that all the time at work! It's awesome that blogging has led you to all those new techniques and recipes and people. Even more so, I'm glad this is just the start of the journey for you - it means I have more time to read up on all your adventures!

Audrey said...

8. I'd have friends I've never met!

Reeni said...

Congrats on your year of blogging! You seem like a pro! This post was so cute and funny. I think we can all relate. Have another delicious year!

Anonymous said...

This was so fun to read. It's obvious that you enjoy blogging, and the rest of us benefit from it because your posts are so enjoyable to read.

I'm looking forward to your second year!

Pamela said...

Great post, Nancy! I would love to hang out in that chair where you do all of your posting and planning! Looks like a great place to be during a rainy day with a book or during a snowstorm, with a blanket and a cup of tea!

Love your blog and I look forward to more of your Anniversary posts.

NKP said...

Great post! Happy one year!

Di said...

As I look down at my hands while I'm typing and realize that my rings are still sitting on the counter above my kitchen sink.. lol. =) Great post, Nancy.

Megan said...

As we sat down to dinner tonight, Alexander said, "Do you need to take a picture of this?"

He's 10. What have I done to him???

Mermaid Sews said...

Happy anniversary, great post and great blog, I have been a satisfied follower.

The Food Librarian said...

Nancy, I love this post! I'm still scared of caramelized sugar! :) You hit all the fun quirky stuff we now deal with! :)

Deb in Hawaii said...

You captured it exactly! Happy Year 1!

Madam Chow said...

Perfect summary of my experiences, as well. I particularly relate to "a few stray pounds." Sigh.

Anonymous said...

Ha! I love this post. It's true, so true. What's funny is that our families have gotten used to it too.

dharmagirl said...

what a beautiful post, nancy! i am so glad that you started this food blogging adventure. your blog is a wonderful spot to learn, to connect, and to feel at home.

Fit Chick said...

Wonderful post Nancy! I just had my first bolgaversary and have a give a way, still time to leave a comment. I am also making bread, I even got a grain mill, me grinding my own flour, go figure, LOL. See what blogging does to us, just love it!!!

Unknown said...

This may be one of my very favorites posts that I've read on a food blog Nancy! I love it! I found myself nodding my head as I read through and just relating to so much of it. Hope you'll keep sharing your experiences with all of us :)

Cristine said...

Oh my goodness! I am laughing so hard because I have said many of those things. My favorite is "having" to make something and then giving it away because I didn't really want it in the first place. Ahhhh... the life of food bloggers! Happy belated blogiversary!

Barbara said...

Congratulations on your year of blogging! I love following you- keep up the great ideas and good recipes.

Teanna said...

Hahahaha hysterical. Great, great post. I especially loved the "I HAD to make this..." part at the end. I always think it is so ridiculous when I'm like, "Sorry, I can't go out tonight, because I HAVE to make this pie" or waking up at 5 am to finish baking a loaf of bread which I shouldnt' have left proofing all night but fell asleep! Hahaha! Congrats on your one year!

Maria said...

Great post! I love your blog, keep the fabulous posts coming!

Tangled Noodle said...

You've encapsulated everything that I've experienced with food blogging! I will celebrate my 1st year in October and every minute has been an incredible joy and a huge pain in the ever-enlarging butt! However, I wouldn't give up a thing. 8-D

Anonymous said...

Nancy, this made me laugh so hard! I've only been blogging a couple months, but I already have noticed doing some of those things, especially "Do you want this? I had to make it" and "No! Stop! I haven't taken a picture!". And reading this also made me realize I haven't put my rings back on either... I can't wait to see what you come up with in the next year! Congratulations again!

TeaLady said...

Sooo Funny!! I couldn't help but smile all the way through. And to think cooking/baking was just something one had to do. I think we all say the same things - and never thought we would - especially the cook with the lite......

Great post.!

Kayte said...

So much fun to read this, and so YOU! I loved it all...and I am so lucky that you started blogging and preparing foods and sharing your enthusiasm as my family and myself have benefited greatly! Love the photos over here always, too!

Katrina said...

GREAT! Love this post. I think you're a great blogger and all that goes with it!

Joanne said...

Congratulations! I really love this post. It is amazing how being a food blogger can influence not only what you cook but how you treat it once it IS cooked - "Honey we can't eat before I plate it and take a picture of it."

Leslie said...

I've loved your anniversary reflections (even if it took a couple of weeks to be able to read them!) You are such an inspiration to so many of us that it's hard to imagine you being hesitant to do anything (I am so going to get you over your caramel speed bump!)