Happy Birthday to PIE! It is hard to believe that I launched this little project a year ago today. Now, here we are 138 posts later, and I’m still hungry. I was a little bit worried that I might be thoroughly sick of food by now.
I thought you might be curious to know how the year panned out. I can see statistics on the “back side” of the blog so that I know what posts are popular and which ones die on the vine, so to speak. For those of you who have been with me since PIE’s birth, you will be familiar with these posts. For any newcomers, these are posts you might want to check out.
1) Donna’s Good Luck Potatoes
2) Mustard Tarragon Salmon
3) Fried Pickles…Spicy pickles and Shiner Bock
4) Croque Madame
5) Baked Chicken Spaghetti
6) Whipping Cream Cake
7) Green Chile Breakfast Casserole
8) Tortellini Salad
9) Goat Cheese and Artichoke Dip
10) Lemonade Cupcakes
I love all of the ten listed. And, while they are all great, sometimes my favorite posts to write do not necessarily become popular. I’ve learned that the only sure thing about blogging for me is that I will never fully understand it. So, I’m also going to list some of my personal favorite posts. There are two in particular that come to mind as having been completely gratifying to write and photograph, and because I enjoyed the people and the process altogether.
1) Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream: This was at my mom’s house which is, I am humbled and thankful to say, still standing at Possum Kingdom Lake after the recent fires. Making homemade ice cream with my mom and her husband, Bob, and the kids is always a treat. The process is part of the magic. And, hand cranked ice cream is wonderful sights and sounds and tastes all mixed up together. The first cold taste off the dasher is a child’s, and an adult child’s enduring summer memory.
2) The Quintessential American Apple Pie: This post was the product of a phone lesson I received from Jon Rowley. He also sent me a box of precious heirloom apples from Washington State to make the pie. The post is about the pie, yes, but it is also about Jon, and pie making, and old friends and all of the new friends I made in Galveston at the Foodways Texas Symposium (another favorite post).
Then there are the posts that I actually return to over and over again. These are the ones I pull up on my iPad and use in the kitchen. These are the recipes that I most hope you have tried because they bring me so much joy personally.
1) Chocolate Chip Cookies: These are the only cookies…in fact this is the only dessert…that Pitts, my husband, actually asks me to make. This is our ritual cookie. We sit on the sofa after a long day and eat hot cookies right out of the oven. The kids haven’t figured out that we do this all the time, as there is no evidence of it in the morning.
2) Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake: This is my favorite. This is what I am making for myself today for my own birthday cake, because this is what I WANT on my birthday and I can’t get it anywhere else. Pitts will grill a steak for me. And we will all eat warm chocolate sheet cake with Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream. That is my comfort food.
3) No-Knead Bread: I had never made this before PIE and now I make it weekly. If I haven’t convinced you to try making homemade bread, let me try again. This is easy. And, it is so very good. Try.
So, that is a small recap of the year. Every post has been fun for me. I’ve learned a million new things in the past year, not the least of which are how to operate WordPress and Photoshop. Today, not only is PIE turning one, but I am turning 40. I have never been so happy about a birthday in my life because it seems that if you decide that you are never too old to do something new or risky then you are simply never old. When I showed up at law school at The University of Texas in the 90’s, I thought I was just about the smartest, most interesting, and most self actualized person on the planet. In the span of about 10 minutes I found out that I was not even close to being the smartest or most interesting person on the planet, and that I hadn’t even begun to learn about life. That was the most profound 10 minutes of my life because in learning how much I didn’t know…I was instantly aware of the vast and wonderful troves of information that I still had the privilege to learn.
Cooking is just one of those bookshelves in the library of life. I will continue to stroll down the aisle and pick up cookbooks and put them down to grab yet another. I will continue to cook. I will continue to learn. And, I will continue to tell you about it. So please do keep coming back. I’m rather enjoying myself. Now, I’m going to go bake my birthday cake…just the way that I like it.
Oh, and one more thing…this is happy work, but it is work. You can help me a great deal if you share PIE with a friend. Help me grow this, and I will be able to (and want to) do it longer. If you like a post, share it on your Facebook page, Tweet it, or share it on StumbleUpon. All you have to do is hit one of the little buttons right under this post (or any other) and PIE will do the work for you.
Our time is our most expensive ingredient. My mom taught me that. I appreciate every moment you have spent with me. And, I hope you return often. And, speak up…make comments. I love hearing what is on your minds.
Love and thanks,