I haven't been able to view too many blogs in recent times. I manage to read some through my Google Reader, but there are so many more that I simply cannot view. I don't know what the matter is, but I hope it gets resolved soon. I miss commenting on people's blogs, learning new stuff from there, trying out new recipes and then blogging about them.
I noticed a lot of blogs had a round up of the year that went by and finally managed to read Nupur's blog. Now I know what this is all about. It looks like several food bloggers started their blogs sometime this year. I thought I was terribly late to join the wagon, but I know I am not. There is a food blogger born every day.
I had been blogging for quite some time when I chanced upon Nandita's blog. I had never visited a food blog before. And I definitely did not think of starting my own. For some reason, I thought food blogs were run by people who make exotic stuff everyday. So, how could I, someone who has made one black forest cake (that too some 14 years ago), think of having a food blog? Most of the stuff I make would come under the express meals category. Most would, again, be what I consider "normal" food. But Saffron Trail was an eye opener.
Despite the fact that I didn't expect so many of you to visit (and I am ever so thankful that you do), I decided to start my food blog. It all started with a humble post on the 2nd of May, 2007. I thought that I could use my blog as a permanent recipe diary. I collect recipes from just about everywhere. My mother remains my greatest source of recipes, not to mention inspiration. My journey with cooking and baking started over two decades ago. Ann Pillsbury, Tarla Dalal and Sanjeev Kapoor have had a role to play in furthering my interest.
Blogging took my interest to a whole new level. Cookbooks can teach you how to make Penne Genovese or Navratan Korma, but how many sources do you have for Kaddu ki Sabji? Recipes are handed down through generations and I am now able to try stuff out. I am able to cook with several vegetables that weren't part of my repertoire. I had not known what to do with Kaddu or Tendli. I have never cooked with Horse Gram before. I'd never attempted to make pizza by myself. (On the non food front, I'd never thought it possible for me to do a free fall into the Ganges 25 feet below.) But when you have a whole bunch of people egging you on, telling you that you can do it, you have little choice but to trust them and yourself.
I have so much to be thankful for this year. This food blog and its success will be a biggie. Success, not in terms of its popularity (I have a long way to go on this one!), but in terms of the sheer number of friends I have made. The fact that I am trying out new things is a bonus. The fact that I now know that participation in food blogging events is not by invitation will count as the cherry on the cake. Be it WBB, RCI, JFI, AFAM, MBP, TST or the A-Z (which I joined in only from S), I have enjoyed participating in each one. It has been like a mini challenge that people posed and even with some really ordinary dishes and some lousy photographs, I still feel like a winner.
My top 5 posts this year would be:
These have either been my tried and tested pieces or things I have been courageous enough to experiment with. It is difficult to say why the five above or the eight below made it to this list, but since the choice was up to me, I picked these.
The best dish from each month:
June: Easy Aloo Tikki
July: A Date with Maggi
August: Tropical Cupcakes
September: Baked Cashew Onion Pakodas
October: Middle Eastern Salad
December: Candy Cake
My best meal this year (that is featured on this blog) would be Breakfast Burgers
Discovery of the Year: That I can substitute oil for butter in cakes.
Restaurant of the Year: Earth
Post of the Year: This tribute
Ingredient of the Year: Yeast
What will 2008 bring to The Singing Chef? More soups, more salads, lots more cakes and bakes. I noticed that there's an RCI dedicated to Konkani food next summer. So, you can all look forward to more amchi recipes. My big cooking resolution is about not sharing cookbooks. I am not in a position to promise regular posts and so can't say that 2008 will see 366 posts on The Singing Chef. But I fully intend to try out more stuff: from cook books, from your blogs, from just about everywhere. I hope to take another step in the right direction by cooking healthier stuff. I have started and need to do more on these lines. I hope to get a little more organized as far as the kitchen and fridge go. Starting January, I'll resume my commute across the three states of Haryana, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh as my office shifts base to NOIDA. So, I have to do everything possible to ensure we still eat everyday and that we eat healthy everyday.
My other blog has suffered a bit because of the food blog, but I will revive that and use that space for my non food related ramblings.
I wish each of you and yours a very happy 2008. May it be a year you remember for all the right reasons. May it bring you every happiness. May it keep us all as close to one another as we are now and allow us to embrace new people, thoughts and foods. Bon appetit!