I started this blog 1 year ago. Sometimes it's been incredibly easy. Sometimes it's been a royal PITA. (You know I always give it to you straight.)
But mostly it makes me wonder...why am I not rich and famous yet? Ok, not really. But maybe a little.
Birthdays, anniversaries and other related milestones are often a time for reflection. So here goes.
A little over a year ago, we decided to move back to Louisiana after being away for about 12 years. After we got settled in, we plunged (back) into S LA culture. We had taken it for granted when we lived here and didn't realize what we had until we moved away. You know--the classic don't know what you've got til it's gone thing.
We had to make up for that...even if it sometimes gets to the point of cliché.
Now that I had unrestricted access to local ingredients and didn't have to rely on family to ship things to me, I went crazy greedily making and scarfing down all the dishes I grew up with.
But that wasn't quite enough. I found myself wanting to know more about the history of and stories behind the food I was excited about. I dug through the Louisiana cooking section at the local library, I watched local cooking shows on PBS and cable access channels, I attended local cooking demos that I knew would also give me info on the history/origin of what was being made, and I listened to the people around me. Even if their stories weren't about food on the surface, most of the time there was a local food connection. This may seem like obsessive behavior, but people around here want to know where things come from. If you meet someone they'll ask you, "Who's your daddy? "Where you from? Are you Catholic?" They want to know your origin. My theory is that this stems from families being ripped apart when the Acadians were exiled from Nova Scotia. It's become second nature to explore a person's heritage to see if there is some familial connection.
But back to why I started this blog. I was so excited about being back here that I didn't want to forget how I felt or the recipes or methods of cooking them. And I wanted to share the experience too. So I decided to document it in a blog...something I was actually never interested in doing. But to my surprise, I found that despite the fits that blogging sometimes gives me and despite the fact that my poor family suffers through staring at a plate of food, waiting to eat it while I try to get just the right shot, I kinda like this! And to my surprise, I actually have readers...regular "followers" even. I think that is so cool! Thank you for sticking around and for your comments. That is much appreciated.
At this 1 year mark, I decided to make some cosmetic changes (including a slideshow, background, layout changes...polka dots were never really my thing, so that had to go). I hope you like the new look. The content will stay pretty much the same except that I have plans to include posts on events such as festivals.
Also at this 1 year mark I though this would be fitting...
* At the time of this post, there have been 4,113 visits to my blog. That's about 4,112 more than I thought I'd have.
* At the time of this post, I have 21 followers. Not as many as some food blogs, but more than I dreamed I'd have.
* The post most searched for and viewed by a mile is the Cajun Rice and Gravy post. My first post. I'm not sure what to think about that! Did I peak at my first attempt?
*I'd also like to mention a few of my favorites:
I Want Dat Dressed--the shrimp po'boy post. I had a fun time writing this one and researching the history of po'boys. And I love po'boys. And the story about my grandma still makes me shoot drink out of my nose.
See Ya in the Gumbo. This is another favorite of mine--again because it was interesting to dig into the origins of gumbo. It also made me stop and think about how important this dish is here and why we love it so much. It's also a rare moment where I got a little soft and mushy and sentimental. I try not to let that happen too often.
Finally, A River Runs Through Bananas Foster. This topic sent me thinking about how things were when I was growing up. And I got to relive the sights and sounds of living just blocks away from the Mississippi. Ok, ok. Maybe I get more sentimental than I want to admit. Fine. Anyway, I had a nice time thinking about playing along the river and I thought the connection between the river and the only way I eat bananas was pretty darn cool.
So, this post is self-indulgent. Isn't that what birthdays are for?
I can't promise it won't happen again.