Happy anniversary to me

January 20, 2010

This has been such a frantic week that I failed to note that Monday was the one-year anniversary of this blog.

I can’t say that I ever thought that something that started with me wanting an outlet to write would wind up a year later with me counting comments so I’d know how much money to send to Haiti relief efforts. Nor did I have any idea where it’d take me in the intervening 12 months.

I’ve really grown as a cook in this past year, and a great deal of that has been because the blog caused me to focus on my cooking. It caused me to look at what I was cooking, and eating, and why. It encouraged me to branch out and try new things. It drove me to research, to read hundreds of food blogs (I still read a dozen or so on a fairly regular basis; some, like Michelle’s Thursday Night Smackdown, I obsessively read every day). So let’s chronicle some food-related achievements/changes/developments in my world in the past year:

–NEW INGREDIENTS TRIED: So many I can’t count them. Lamb. About two dozen new spices (garam masala, smoked pimenton, fennel, coriander, cardamon, fenugreek, juniper berries, caraway seed, assorted different kinds of pepper). Parsnips. (I’d never cooked, or to my knowledge, eaten, a parsnip prior to about six weeks ago. Go figger.) About 50 different kinds of cheese. Chayote. Jicama. Spanish chorizo.

–NEW KITCHEN PARAPHERNALIA ACQUIRED: Cast iron dutch oven. Citrus zester. Wire rack for cooling baked goods. 12 linear feet of spice racks. Immersion blender. I know there’s more but I can’t recall right offhand. At least 50 cookbooks.

–CHANGES IN EATING/SHOPPING HABITS: I buy a LOT more fresh veggies. I cook more. I buy less junk food. I eat out a lot less often. I don’t remember the last time I ate a fast food meal if you don’t count Burger King French toast sticks, which are a sick, guilty pleasure in which I indulge about once a month.

–DISHES I USED TO HAVE TO GO TO RESTAURANTS FOR, AND NOW CAN FIX AT HOME: Fried rice (thank you, thank you, Mark Bittman!). Bouef bourguignon. Chicken liver pate. Moussaka.

–INTERNATIONAL CUISINES I’VE NOW TRIED AT HOME: That would be in addition to everyone’s basic Mexican, which was about as far afield as I had previously ventured. Let’s see: French, German, Spanish, Vietnamese, Thai, North African, Turkish, Belgian.

–NOW-FAVORITE DISHES I’VE TRIED COOKING FOR THE FIRST TIME: Posole. Moussaka. Tagine of chicken. Bouef Bourguignon. Carbonnades a la flamande. Choucroute garnie.

I’ve read a year’s worth of Thursday Night Smackdown, the  blog that made me decide to start my own, and all the archives. Occasionally, I approach being as funny as Michelle. Not often. Thanks, Michelle, for the inspiration.

Oh. And I’ve lost 25 pounds. Now, I’m not sure if that’s because (a) my metabolism finally adjusted to quitting smoking 2 1/2 years ago, or (b) I’ve all but quit eating fast food and junk food and eat so many more veggies, or (c)  I quit taking anti-inflammatories for my arthritis (they make you retain fluid), or what. I’m just grateful.

Anyway, for you and y’mama ‘n ’em and anyone who’s out there reading, thanks for hanging around with me from time to time. We’ll see where we go in the next 12 months.

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One Response to “Happy anniversary to me”

  1. Rose M Jackson Says:

    “You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces – just good food from fresh ingredients.” ~Julia Child


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