the big o-n-e
Posted by culinaryneophyte on September 9, 2011
Not since I was dealing with first-day-of-school jitters has the end of August/beginning of September been particularly eventful. For the last four years or so, I’d just been chugging away at whatever articles or projects were on the table, and the only reason I’d even bat an eyelash is because the volume of school buses would make my hour-long morning commute even longer.
This year’s a little different. See, 2009 was one of the best years of my life, and 2010? Quite the opposite. But during late August/early September, I found a little bit of salvation, and it wasn’t until the one-year anniversary of these little milestones that I realized just how important this time of year has been.
First, I bought a new car. A car that — unlike my last POS — didn’t require $800 tires and maintenance every 30 feet. A smoother ride during an otherwise bumpy time made a difference, so here’s a ‘birthday’ shoutout to my little “Elantr.” (The “a” on the car’s tag was missing, which was almost a deal-breaker for this linguistics enthusiast.)
Around this time in 2009, I also started the “365” project, which prompted me to take one photograph each day for an entire year. (Shockingly enough, nearly 25 percent of my photos were of food.) The mission of shooting something — anything — every day forced me to change my perspective and find the beauty in all things, even if I spent the entire day inside my bedroom.
Most importantly, I started this blog. I wasn’t a blogging “n00b” at the time; I had run and written an entertainment/odd news blog for nearly two years, but it became more chore than chum, and I let it fall by the wayside. I wasn’t in love with the writing I was doing at work either, and passed a lot of time there on a great site called StumbleUpon, where you enter your interests and it takes you to fun websites you’ve probably never seen.
One day, I hit ‘stumble,’ and the screen filled with glorious baked goods — more specifically, a cupcake containing an entire Oreo cookie and marshmallow goodness. I had stumbled upon Picky Palate, which is still one of my most favorite food blogs today.
Feeling ambitious, I baked up a batch and taste tested them on my friends. Instant classic. (They still ask me to make these, like, once a week.) “So that was fun,” I thought. “But what do I do with this leftover stuff?” Specifically, cream cheese. I again took to the Web, and found an awesome recipe for macaroni and cheese that replaced half the cheddar with cream cheese. Again, I fed my friends. Again, they were pleased.
Finding success in the kitchen was a great feeling, and it really took my mind off a lot of the crappy things going on outside the kitchen. Even if/when something I made totally flopped, I usually emerged with a smile on my face and a story to tell. The logical progression was to share my stories with the people with whom I was ultimately sharing my finished products. The easiest way to do that? You’re looking at it.
A lot of “blogiversary” posts take a look back at their content over the years, and most gasp in horror at how little they knew and how bad their photography was. Well, I still don’t know everything, and my photography could most definitely be better. My goal before my blog’s second birthday is to buy a fancy shmancy camera so I can finally get on foodgawker, post more often, drive traffic to my site, get my cakeballin’ off the ground and attempt macaroons (because they’re pretty and temperamental).
Thank you to everyone who has visited, favorited the site, encouraged me and provided feedback both good and bad. You’re pretty forking awesome.