A Scrumptious Year.
As we stand on the precipice between new year and old (how’s that for an opener?) I need to stop and catch my breath. Take stock. Look around some before leaping into 2011 with both feet. What a year it’s been! One of change, growth, discovery, and of course, food.
- Finally learned how to “put up” food thanks to Leni Sorensen’s class. Successfully put up 4 jars of tomatoes, and 8 jars of hot peppers. Could feel my grandmothers smiling down at me. Sure hope more classes of Leni’s are in my future.
- Besides Leni, met some incredible “food people” for the first time, including Mollie Cox Bryan, Brian Geiger, the Mas to Millers team, and Rowena Morrel.
- Got to whet my appetite in the art of food critique by acting as a judge for the Best Barbecue at the Main Street Festival, and the Cville Pie Fest. YUM!
- Cooked *WAY* more than I ever have because I needed to for the blog. It was a real boot in the ass that I needed to move forward. Quit worrying if it will turn out, and JUST COOK.
- Finally learned to make bread. And pho. And pie. And green tomato pickles.
- I grew Swiss Chard for the first time. Turned out so well I’m going to plant Kale, Turnip Greens, AND Swiss Chard next year.
- Went to a gorgeous beer dinner at Horse and Hound Gastropub.
- Learned a bunch of new food photography skills, which is still an alien species to me.
- Had one helluva truffle lunch at Palladio.
- Ate Thomas Keller’s signature chicken ‘n waffles at Bouchon Bistro. Hint – he puts bacon in the waffle batter. *drool*
- Discovered Craig Hartman’s pork belly barbecue *double drool*
- Had the best pizza of my LIFE at Nino’s in Brooklyn, NY.
- Had some incredible meals at Zinc, Tavola, Brookville, Zynodoa, Ten, Camino, and Cassis (we still miss you!)
- Gained more readers, followers, “likers” and fans (Thank You!)
- Was voted Charlottesville’s Best Food Blogger by C-Ville Weekly! (Thank You Thank You!)
- Appeared on television twice! :D
- Participated in a nationwide blogging contest, making it to the 3rd round! Yes!
- Participated in a nationwide fundraising blog event (Share Our Holiday Table) on behalf of Share Our Strength, a nonprofit whose goal is to end childhood hunger in the US by 2015.
- Expanded the blog by including food memories, while at the same time exorcising some childhood demons in the process :D
- Created two new weekly features (Friday Food News and Scarier Than Spider Hair Monday) because frankly, just reviewing restaurants gets old real fast.
- Made the giant leap of “part-time hobby” to “full-time vocation” – and so far, so good. *crossing fingers, holding breath*
- Wrote *way* more posts, hopefully improving my food writing skills along the way.
- Got to know some “foodie fundraising” nonprofits in the area. A huge goal of mine for 2011 is how can I use this blog for good? How can I write, and raise $$$ at the same time?
- Talked about, wrote about, tweeted about Charlottesville Restaurant Week. This event has grown so much, and I can’t wait for the next one in January!
- Gone to a gazillion food-related events and talked food with all kinds of new foodie friends.
And I’m grateful. So grateful to everyone who stops by, reads, maybe offers a comment here and there. A suggestion. A critique. Thank you so much. For the support. For the cheerleading. You’re the reason this blog stays dynamic (hopefully) and relevant (double hopefully). So raise a glass. Here’s to great food in 2011! Cheers!