Friday, January 7, 2011

0 A Recipe Retrospective.....

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Before I delve into the next round of recipe posts, I'd like to briefly pause to take a quick look back at 2010, as a "year of cooking & recipes in review."

Yeah, I know most people have probably already posted their New Year's reflections by now, but hey, I've been spending a disproportionate amount of that time working very hard in order to complete my upcoming cookbook. So, cut me some slack, OK?! :) Also, I didn't blog over New Year's, mostly because, like most people, I was spending that time having fun. :)

Frankly, right now, it's more important for me to pump out recipes than it is to sound off about my goals or deepest hopes & dreams. Also, I've already done that personal accounting offline, & have charted my course with a clear sense of direction. I know what needs to be done & am just doing it.

So don't worry, this isn't going to be one of those posts where I will suddenly feel the urge to get confessional with my audience & unload any baggage from the previous year. ;) Nor will I prattle on ad nauseum about infinitesimally small details concerning the inner workings of my life that probably are of absolutely zero interest to anyone, except for maybe myself & a few select people. I don't even think my cats would stick around for that. ;)

I will likewise spare you any highly analytical dissections, deeply personal regurgitations, year-end post-mortems, or other such procedures that sound like they'd be better left to a medical examiner's table. ;) Nor will I be reciting The Illiad & The Odyssey in their entirety, so you can just relax now.  :)

And last but certainly not least, there will be no trite segment entitled, "lessons learned." This a recipe blog, not a business conference. :)  

Yes, readers, this is actually going to be fun. :)

If you were to peruse the categories section of this blog's recipe archives (i.e., see the tag cloud labeled "Food Index" on the right sidebar of this blog), you'd see that I've pretty much covered most of the major, general cuisine types from around the world, with only very few omissions here & there. (And, for the ones I haven't yet covered, you can be sure that I'm planning to rectify that in the not-so-distant future!)

In fact, there are 29 different nationalities & regions currently featured on this blog, and that was still the case at the close of 2010. :) Sure, there are some overlapping categories [i.e., Middle Eastern & Lebanese, or recipes like Som Tam (Green Papaya Salad) that are considered to be both Laotian and Thai, etc.], but still, you've got to admit, that's pretty darn diverse. And if you count the "fusion" category, that makes an even 30.

In terms of scope, there are, at present, recipes from 5 out of the 7 continents. That's every continent except for Australia & Antarctica. (A recipe for vegemite, anyone? Haha!) Not too shabby, eh?! And OK, let's face it, Antarctica doesn't really count since there's no such thing as native Antarctic cuisine. :) And no, the example of Ernest Shackleton eating sardines from a tin way back in 1901 doesn't count either. LOL.

Other wild & crazy facts & figures:

--In 2010, I wrote 231 posts, the most ever of any of the years that I've blogged! And, not only that, but the difference in the number of posts written in 2010 as compared to previous years is HUGE. Here's how that breaks down by year: That's 193 posts more than in 2009; 189 more posts than in 2008; and 167 more posts than in 2007. Can you believe that?! Whoa, I did a lot of writing this year! Of course, a lot of that was due to the fact that I've been in a writing groove ever since I kicked it into high gear to try & finish the cookbook as soon as possible.

--I wrote recipes & general posts for every month of 2010, also a big change from previous years. On average, I created 19.25 posts per month, with posting frequencies ranging from a low of 8 per month (in January) to a high of 36 per month (in February). I posted a total of 166 recipes in just 2010 alone, and that's not even counting the multiple backdated posts I'd added for previous years to preserve the numerical sequence for the 29 or so recipes I'd deleted after converting to 100% original recipes sometime around March 14, 2010.

Yeah, I'm a total math geek who goes cuckoo for metrics. :)

I'm sure there are other facts & figures I could rattle off, but as I mentioned above, this is supposed to be a brief retrospective of 2010. ;)

In summary, not only have I posted a ton of recipes & general posts, but I've really grown so much as a chef. Additionally, I've made several new, completely original dishes, many of which are never-before done ideas in food. Examples: Star-Spangled Strawberry Mousse Tartlets Decorated with Fresh Seasonal Berries, in which I placed star-shaped mousse "cutouts" on top of a matching, cinnamon-clove spiced hazelnut crust cut-outs & then decorated them with fresh seasonal berries. Then, there was Miso-Egg Drop Soup, which, after a bit of investigation on the web & elsewhere, also appears to be a completely unique recipe.

And now that I've tallied the progress of the past year, I'm ready to put 2010 behind me & am looking forward to 2011 with great excitement & anticipation.

Happy Cooking & Best Wishes For a Happy, Healthy 2011!

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