Ten years ago I posted my first recipe for this blog Classic Italian Soup in Reverse. My previous blog projects prior to this were each one-year type explorations (My Year of Reading "Year Of" Books - 2009 and Celebrating the States - 2010). I don't remember if I had any intentions as to how long this project would last, but I don't think I expected it to hit the decade mark. There are now over 600 posts, which would indicate that although I missed a few weeks along the way (sometimes several in a row) and some of the posts are not actually for recipes, and some recipes were prepared, but never blogged, it would appear that James and I have (more or less) kept up with preparing and posting "one new recipe a week".
There have been some surprising favorites including:
- Ratatatatouille - We are not big fans of eggplant, but we love this
- Salmon and Blueberries - No, really.
- Tomato Pie - I famously hated tomatoes as a child (and into my early adulthood). I love this pie.
- Fish in a Packet - I've tried many variations, including a few of my own since this first try
- Apple Gruyère French Toast with Red Onion - Again I say: no, really
And some not-so-surprising favorites including:
- Lobster Quesadillas - Thank goodness National Quesadilla Day and National Lobster Day are the same day or we might not have tried this
- Ham and Havarti Sandwiches - A most excellent picnic food
- Simply Sublime Poached Eggs with Mint and Yogurt - sexy
- Grapes Rolled in Ginger and Almonds - also sexy
- Peanut Butter, Bacon, and Banana Sandwiches - not sexy, but decadent
- Spaghetti with Tomatoes, Bacon, and Onion - this may be the recipe I've prepared the most times since I first made it in 2012. Easy and delicious comfort food.
At least two recipes we prepared and blogged about twice (we really love both of these dishes:, I don't know why we didn't remember making them the first time):
Important lessons learned:
- The essential step of mashing some berries in making super moist muffins from the Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins recipe
- Lebherz Oil and Vinegar Emporium is the best place to get infused Olive Oil and flavored vinegar
- Indispensable cast-iron skillets really are indispensable
- When unsure about wine pairings remember this: Malbec goes with everything
Some other important things I've learned:
- I learned to not only enjoy cooking, but to enjoy eating. I am probably 20 pounds heavier than I was 10 years ago. Some of that I will chalk up to aging and menopause, and some of it I will own as just the weight of a person who really likes food.
- Although we still prefer cooking with gas, since we bought our near-the-beach house we have learned to cook on an electric stove, and James has become our resident expert on the Big Green Egg.
- I am very happy that I already knew how to cook and to keep a well-stocked pantry when the pandemic hit. We have eaten out perhaps half a dozen times since last March, and otherwise prepared our own meals, and although I will admit to sometimes wanting to have someone else cook for me I at least have not gotten bored with our excellent repertoire of good meals. I not only know how to cook from recipes, I also know what to do with whatever ingredients I have on hand, I know what to do with leftovers, and how to make good substitutions, as well as how to salvage a meal that seems un-savable.
- We enjoy sharing our meals as well. We especially like our Christmas Eve lobster dinner and Thanksgiving tradition with friends. I think our most memorable meal must be 2013's Chinese Thanksgivikkah. Wow! Was that really seven years ago?
Nothing exists in a vacuum. Our personal lives are inherently tied to all that we do including cooking.
- Those who have been following the blog for many years may have noticed that we stopped referring to our only child as our "daughter" a few years ago and started using "our wonderful child" or "our kid". We are the proud parents of an adult trans child, who is also an exceptionally good cook, and who knows how to pick out a gift for us
- In the first year of this blog we lost our good friend Anna whose death was memorialized in this post about eggnog muffins.
- Between us we have lost three parents: Pam's father and stepfather, and James' mother. Posts that mention them can be found here, here, here, and here.
- When we married in 1987 we had three living grandparents between us. We lost two (Pam's grandmother and James' grandfather in 1995 and 1996 respectively) long before we started this blog. James' grandmother lived until 2016. My grandmother loved Peppermint Schnapps. We made this cocktail and posted it in her honor early in our blogging project. James' grandmother was immortalized with this post shortly after her death. I did not find any posts in which we mentioned Granddad. But I have to say, he really wasn't much of a foodie.
- In 2017 and again in 2018 we hosted a student (who is now a friend) from Georgia (the country) in our home. If we had not known Luka we probably never would have tried Khachapuri-Georgian Cheese bread.
- Our 22-year Easter tradition of dinner with our friend Jackie (mother to our good friend Jenny) and her family and friends was interrupted this year due to the pandemic. The missed meal became more poignant when Jackie passed away this summer. Posts about our contributions to Easters past can be found here, here, and here.
Finally, I have this to say: I am a good cook, and proud of it.