Tuesday, October 7, 2008

My first blogiversary

It was one year ago today I published my first blog post, although it would be another five days before I published anything much worth reading and a month or so before anyone started reading. This is post number 200 which comes out to somewhat over a post every other day. Huh. I hadn't realized I had written so much. Pretty good for a single-person hobby blog. The CSA helped a lot in forcing me out of my cooking ruts, giving me unusual ingredients to work with and lowering the bar on what's interesting enough to post about. The on-going ice cream experimentation helped too.

It looks like I've got seventy-some regular readers--another number much higher than I expected. If I'm understanding my stats right, most of you started reading a couple months ago; that's' around when Short Order, the New Times food blog put me in their blogroll so I'm guessing people are finding me through there. Thank you all for reading; I hope you're getting some entertainment out of watching me flail about in the kitchen. If you've tried any of my recipes myself--particularly if you improved on them--I'd like to hear about it. I'd also like to thank Kat from A Good Appetite and Trina from Miami Dish my only two regular commenters (of course they have food blogs of their own. The line between interested enough to comment and interested enough to blog is a very thin one.)

On the random passerby front my most popular posts are about hot Mexican carrots and frogmore stew, both with well over 200 unique views since I posted them in late May. I can't say I understand that at all. These are about the simplest recipes I've written about and both had dozens of variations on the Web before I posted. Somehow I'm the third Google hit for "Mexican hot pickled carrots". I've dropped off the radar for "frogmore stew" but I was on the first page for it during July.

Also popular is my rather harsh review of Abokado although it's dropped to Google's second page. Everyone else seems to like the place so I'm hoping they've improved. Fair's fair that my early review falls out of sight if so.

More happily, my post on Malaysian recipes using curry leaves is getting a good number of views and a few people are looking at the other curry-leaf-related posts. My hon tsai tai recipe got some play too (mainly in a couple of geographically localized spikes after other CSAs included it in their shares) . If I had known I would have done something more interesting with it. My tahu goreng post is an up-and-comer with 39 views and 5th place in Google after only a month. Only four people actually spent the time on the page to read it though.

Beyond the whole popularity contest deal, I'm pretty pleased with my series of ice cream posts. There are a lot of interesting and original recipes in there. I like my event reports too; I don't know if readers get anything out of them but they make me pay closer attention to and reflect on what I'm doing there and what I'm eating which makes me appreciate it more and gets me out of making much small talk with whoever's at my table. I think my quiche series where I try to come up with a good savory crumb crust is kind of interesting too. I've got an idea for the next step in that just as soon as I clear out some space in my freezer and free up some of my storage containers.

So what else is in the future? The new season of CSA is coming up which should give me a good bit of blog-fodder. I spoke to Margie from Bee Heaven Farm and she expressed an interest in having a message board for subscribers on her website; I looked into it but the software requires a more competent sysadmin than I can be. In lieu of that, I'd like to open my blog up to guest posters. I'd be particularly interested in hearing from folks who bake and/or grill since I don't do much of either and this blog could use regular correspondents to cover those areas. I'll mention this again if I get a mention in the newsletter and CSA folks start popping by to take a look.

I may wind down the ice cream thing as I'm running out of ideas for flavors that are both interesting and not too weird for my coworkers to eat. If I can find a better audience, I can see this going longer. I could see playing around with unusual pizza or stir fry variations, too. And I'm considering trying a recipe from each week's Top Chef episode once the new season starts. That could be fun. I definitely want to write up more local events and maybe write up some dinners out like I did on my Seattle trip. I don't know if I want to do proper reviews though. They're hard to do fairly when you're dining alone like I am. I'm open to other suggestions if you folks have any.

Otherwise, let me just thank you again for reading and say that I'm look forward to doing this for another year. Or getting tired of it and quitting. One or the other.

Edit: I have been reminded that I should mention that it was on the suggestion of a coworker, Sarah Cantrell, that I started this blog. I had started my experimental ice cream project a couple months earlier and would send out e-mails with some discussion of flavor of the week when I brought the results into work. Sarah suggested I share my thoughts with humanity at large. I had a number of objections to the idea, several of which, such as the huge-time-sink issue and the compulsion/obligation rather than actively fun activity problem, turn out to be quite valid. I think she'd like thanks; I'm not at all sure setting me on this path is anything I should be thankful for.


kat said...

Congrats on making it a year! I just discovered you recently, I think because you helped me out with the watermelon granita. I really appreciate your more scientific approach to cooking. I'm with you too, joining a CSA has really bumped up my cooking & my blogging!

Anonymous said...

Bill, count me in as one of your faithful readers. Goodness knows that I don't cook and half the time don't know what you're talking about, but I enjoy reading about it. Also, please keep the ice cream coming...this coworker appreciates it!


Sarah C. said...

ha! just saw the "thanks"...as we already discussed, that was an amusing misunderstanding.

happy (belated) one year anniversary!