Yesterday marked the first anniversary of this blog and it seemed fitting to mark the occasion in some way. This is also my 150th post.
The blog started ostensibly as a means of sharing my food experiences. I think of it as a food diary inspired by writers such as Nigel Slater. I have always loved food and last year I realized that I was having some wonderful food experiences in Central Ohio, but I had few friends locally who shared my passion for farmers markets and extraordinary culinary experiences. The blog was a way of sharing my experiences with my friends and family scattered around the world, who I knew would share my interest. The readership has grown beyond my circle of friends – and it is extremely gratifying when I meet someone who tells me that they read my blog. I love receiving comments and appreciate the thought that people put into sharing their experiences, recipes and feedback.
As a food diary the blog is a mish-mash of restaurant experiences, home cooking, farmers markets and other food events with a sprinkling of food reviews. I generally only share things I have enjoyed or want to share or record. Mostly I have more ideas and experiences to write about than time and I have a running list of ideas. Sometimes I think it would be better to focus on one angle, but life is a mixture of eating at home, eating with friends and family and eating at restaurants.
As I said, I started the blog partly because there was an element of loneliness in not being able to share my food passions with those around me. I could buy amazing produce but I didn’t have enough people to cook for who appreciated that the tomatoes were heirloom and the beef pasture fed.
Blogging has introduced me to so many friends and opened doors to many amazing food experiences. The first local connection I made through blogging was to go to one of Lisa’s (aka Restaurant Widow) monthly dinners. It was a wonderful event, held at the North Market and through Lisa’s dinners I met many wonderful people who shared a passion for good food and good company.
Jim Ellison (aka CMH Gourmand) was an early commenter on my blog. He invited me to a cookery demonstration at the North Market, told me about Slow Food Columbus and Columbus Underground, took me for my first meal at Alana’s for the first time and has been a fount of Columbus Food knowledge and a great friend ever since. Jim has also been a collaborator on all sorts of food projects and adventures – most importantly Taco Trucks Columbus, which lead to a TV appearance and all sorts of other fun.
Jim informed me that by fortunate coincidence I lived only a few houses away from Slow Food Columbus founders Bear and Colleen Braumoeller and so it was that a few days later I accosted a couple in the street who seemed to match his description. Not long later I was invited to a ‘use it or lose it’ post wind storm pot luck and the rest as they say is history. The sidewalk between our houses is now a well trodden path and I am enormously thankful for their friendship and the warm welcome of Highland Estates. Bearleen (as they do not like to be called) also hosted the most spectacular party of the year. A party to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the repeal of prohibition, complete with era appropriate cocktails, dress and of course food.
Slow Food Columbus is a wonderful group, not just for its fabulous events my favorite of which is still the Flying J Dinner but also for the friends I have made and the interesting people I have met. Indeed, my boyfriend, fellow taco-trucker and daily dining companion, AD (aka TacoDrew) is someone that I met through Slow Food. The local chapters are called convivium and SFC epitomizes the definition of conviviality: fond of feasting, drinking, and good company; sociable. As well as having fun, I have also learned a lot through Slow Food about a variety of subjects including local food systems, coffee, whisky and paw paws. I think I can blame Bear for my taste in expensive whiskies, olive oils and acorn fed ham.
Taco Trucks Columbus has really shaped 2009 and the response we have had (over 50,000 hits), the exposure and the feedback has been gratifying and exciting. I love it when people try a taco truck for the first time and tell us how much they enjoyed it and when the owners tell us that they have had a lot more ‘gringos’ visiting their trucks.
I met my friend Suzanna (aka Cochon d’Inde) after a mutual friend told her about my blog. Sadly, she now lives in NYC, but she was a willing accomplice on many of my food adventures this year and we have shared many cakes, pastries and good times over the last year. I can’t wait for a weekend visit to the Big Apple in August.
I have had so many amazing food experiences over the last year that it is hard to pick highlights. Some of the best restaurant meals I have had this year were at Alana’s, Details, Kihachi and Roka (in London). Another notable events was a Pistacia Vera tasting at Hills Market. I have enjoyed each and every Slow Food event and I have had many wonderful dinners at Highland Estates. Of course the company of family and friends, as well as the food is what makes so many of these events special.
I now own a mushroom log, am an expert on Mexican street food, have appeared on more Columbus Foodcasts than I can count, have been on the TV news and the front page of the Dispatch, live with a coffee and nicotine addict and am entered into a bacon cook off this weekend. It’s been quite a year! Thank you to everyone who has read, commented on and proof-read my blog (particularly my parents); And to those who have facilitated and joined me in my food adventures whether in person or vicariously.