Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Flavored Hospitality

Well, it sure has been a busy month here @ Months of Edible Celebrations. Creating an online calendar of daily food events has been a fantasy of mine for more than 10 years. And, although it entails a constant awareness of dates, events and circumstances, it is precisely what I want to do at this time of my life. There's an endless amount of encouragement and endearment out there in the blogsphere. Frankly, it's mind boggling. On this cold, blustery, rainy, snowy day I have decided to bask in the pleasantry of it all. I also have an announcement to make!

The Neighborly Blogger

Honestly, I don't know when the blogging world came into being. Perhaps, it was there all the time. Over the course of the last two years, it has become a frequent term used in my presence. Kathy wrote this, T.W. went here, Lidian's ad brightened my day, and I visited here, there and everywhere. Most of the people I know don't blog. Less collect cookbooks and even less really care about the history of the food they consume. They all however, speak of "wanting to do something." "Oh if I could only get this done", "I have a great idea I should write it down." I want to learn more about ? Well, you get the drift. Then, there are those who critique the world I blog in. "You spend too much time in front of that computer" they say. I believe they would be happier if I just spoke to them, alone, and on the phone, any phone! I don't like talking on the phone! Just because I no longer have to go to the office everyday, doesn't mean I want to rehash what happened on...fill in the blanks with your favorite T.V. show... I'm not too fond of T.V. Actually, I don't do well in group settings. That's probably the reason why I enjoy blogging. To oneself one can be, or not. The choice is mine and, yours.

Like many bloggers, I am often curious to know who visits here. Sitemeter seems to offer a glimpse, but, I'm not quite sure of its accuracy. We all love comments. There's no denying, comments are a day brightener. They are also a form of verification. The oohs, aahs and promises charm our ambitions while eagerly anticipating our expectations. Like the meals we eat to fortify our bodies, writing about our favorite recipes, cookbooks, culinary events and happenings, reinforces our most ambitious desires. And, much like the sturdy broccoli plant, who flowers again and again, many food bloggers blossom. Their efflorescence can be seen and appreciated in places like etsy, zazzle and within the scopes of their home within the world of blogging. Keep this in mind for, I have an announcement to make, but first, I want to tell you about the two amazing awards which have been bestowed upon my blog.

The Your Blog is Fabulous Award was presented by Cynthia from Gherkins & Tomatoes. Cynthia approaches food and culinary history as passionately as I do. Her article The Hunger of Vincent van Gogh is so engaging, quite frankly, I wish I could have written it and am in awe of the details and effort that it encompasses. Receiving an award from Gherkins & Tomatoes is truly an honor. Although I am so bad at gracefully excepting awards, (I'm also very bad at receiving gifts) I don't feel it would be fair to accept this award without following her example. I realize it sometimes becomes quite time consuming acknowledging each award bestowed, so please don't feel compelled to pass them along. I'm almost ashamed to say, I have gotten other awards that I chose not to participate in because I was overflowing with things that needed to get done. 

I'm not going to mince words here, I had a hard time choosing. I guess it's the mother in me but I don't agree with giving to one without giving to all. That said, this award doesn't seem to take up much time, which is a good thing but, it does require "identifying five great bloggers." As we all know, this is no easy task. Here goes:

1. The Food Company Cookbooks blog is written by "fellow" cookbook collector, Kathy. Kathy's approach to sharing her collection of cookbooks is always informative and reflects her obsession with food and cookbooks.

2. T.W.'s "culinary slice of life" is shared at his blog, Culinary Types. Culinary Types radiates with culinary travels, family & friends, and good ol' comfort food. T.W.'s culinary education resonates in his most passionate posts.

3. Blue Collar Catwalk A small town girl's guide to big style is a new blog started by extremely talented daughter in law, Kyla. Living in a small town in PA can sometimes taint the desires of an amazingly gifted fashion maven. Kyla does it with style, grace and frugality. LOVE you sweetie:)

4. Time to fess up. I have been a "lurker" at Cookbook Catchall for quite sometime. As a matter of fact, her link has been in my side bar also for quite sometime. I delight in the fact that she takes a no nonsense approach to her passion for tackling new recipes. Slathered with useful tips, tempting recipes and beautiful photographs, it is worth a trip just to stop in and say Hi!

5. Granny Two Shoes appears to be new to the blogging world. I'd like to give her a warm bloggers welcome by passing on this award to her. Her blog is a great stop over for a quick silly putty recipe or a Mexican Hot Chocolate. Welcome Granny:)

Following Cynthia's example, and almost reflecting her 5 addictions, I offer my five culinary addictions in no specific order.
1. Perked coffee-only perked coffee for this girl. I think it has to do with the aroma of perked vs. dripped...
2. Mallomars! (does that cover blogging about them too? Yes!)
3. Cookbooks
4. Wine (in my favorite Tiffany wine glass:)
5. Seasonings-you all know I don't bake, often; but boy oh boy do I cook and I LOVE adding anything and everything when it comes to herbs & spices:)

Karen, the blogging "foodvixen" honored me with the Proximity Blog Award. This is what the award says:

This blog invests and believes the PROXIMITY - nearness in space, time and relationships! These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers!

I'm inclined to believe that Karen, her blog FoodVox and I enjoy the tassels of blogging greater than the occasional tussle we may encounter when attempting to accept such a delectable award gracefully. Unlike Karen, who once organized "175 breakfasts, 625 lunches and 85 three or five course dinners all in one week" on a regular basis, delegation is not my forte. You really need to go over and introduce yourself. You won't be disappointed. Thank you Karen:) The award entails the passing of the torch to eight bloggers. Once again, not easy and compliance is optional:)

1. Dennis Villegas-The blogsphere is an engaging place to learn about different cultures. Dennis shares his experiences and compassionate photos on his blog from Manila.

2. A visit to Mae's Food Blog is always garnished with an assortment of exciting travels and culinary show stoppers. May I recommend Virginia Woolf's Kitchen; absolutely fascinating and Edible Art: Photos from the Fort Worth Modern Art Museum as two must sees.

3. Murder on the Menu is Janet's interactive mystery company which organizes "mystery dinner theater, parties and events in San Francisco, California..." She sometimes hosts mystery bookgroups which offer literary dinners. She has recently added Dying for Chocolate to her list of blogs. I appreciate Janet's devotion to collecting mystery cookbooks and wish her much sweetness in her new endeavor.

4. Acey, who lives in the Philippines, has a blog called musings, ramblings, lalalalife. Filled with surprises; good & bad, and oodles of whimsy, she doesn't cook much but boy oh boy she loves to learn about food, especially sweets:)

5. I often recommend Finding La Dolce Vita to those seeking traditional Italian recipes. (6/3/09 Mary Ann has recently decided to leave the blog world for a while. Hopefully, she will be back again.) Maryann whipped up some electrifying dishes just like I remember. Maryann says, "Make every day sweet by surrounding yourself with the love of your family, great food, beautiful music, and a generous portion of laughter." When I was a younger girl, my elders were forever pinching my cheeks while they puckered up and kissed me. They called this type of kiss a bitsageel. I'm sure I didn't spell it correctly but I have a feeling Maryann knows what I mean:)

6. A blog in my blogroll and one I often "lurk" at is, Taste With the Eyes. Lori Lynn offers intriguing recipes often sprinkled with history and mouth watering photographs. 

7. I wasn't going to include Courtney who host the Coco Cooks blog as a recipient of the Proximity Blog Award because I know how she feels about awards. Actually, she shares my feelings precisely. As she says on her blog, "I am horrible with the whole award /meme thing. It doesn't mean I don't appreciate it." Courtney is a devoted food blogger who just launched her own column at the Chicago Cooking Examiner. Her blog is a perpetual place of endearment and her posts are filled with "food porn," well executed recipes, adorned with humor and flight. (Sorry Courtney but you oh so deserve this award:)

8. Do you restaurant hop? I use to. Jan still does and boy oh boy does she have more than a mouthful of knowledge when it comes to all things having to do with restaurant-ing. Restaurant-ing through history is the kind of place you visit with tea cup in hand. It's difficult to pick out a favorite post of hers but, if I absolutely had to, because someone told me I would be rewarded with a box of Mallomars, I would suggest  The saga of Alice's Restaurant.

the announcement

Like I said, an online calendar of daily food events has been a fabrication of mine for a while now. So, I've decided to expand Months of Edible Celebrations into a hang on the wall type calendar. I've been thinking about this for quite a few months. For now, I would just like to let you know a little bit about my plan. Your feedback is more than welcome. As a matter of fact, I'm really interested in what you all have to say.

Oh so many of the food blogs I visit have such delightful offerings. I relish their enthusiasm and sheer love of sharing. However, I must give credit to my daughter Michele for this most recent inspiration. You see, Michele is not a blogger, yet. However, she loves to cook and bake. She often visits blogs in my sidebar but rarely, if ever leaves a comment. (Uh oh, I raised a lurker:) It isn't that she is shy, let me tell you she isn't! It isn't that she is antisocial, the girl owns the title Mrs. Sociable. Anyway, she often complains about my lack of gorgeous, mouth watering, ever so tantalizing images. As she puts it, "Mom, sometimes, your blog is boring!" Now, I respect Michele's opinion probably more than anyone I know. She can be harsh with her opinions, sometimes a wee bit salty but always honest. At first, I tried to explain to Michele that this blog is regulated by months, dates and events. Sure, I could probably whip up a dish to photograph, include the source recipe and add a dab of historic significance and make her happy. No can do. (I feel I would lose the essence of the calendar platform I oh so wanted to provide.) So, after many sleepless nights, a few trips around the food blogging world and way to many Mallomars, I devised a plan. Heck, I even started a new blog just for the purpose of the Months of Edible Celebrations Calendar. It's still under wraps but well on its way to being finished. I don't know if you know this but I already have three other blogs. The great thing about those blogs is they require less attention. The Tasteful Inventions blog may slowly be incorporated into this blog but for now, its on its own and fulfills my intentions. The Kettledrum tests my schedule at the end of the month when I usually post the food events for the upcoming month but it too resides in peaceful surroundings.

This project is going to be a year long event. Each month I will be highlighting a celebrated food day from this blog. Since I want the calendar to reflect the kinds of days that I have posted on the google calendar, created at the inception of this blog, it more than likely won't include the typical days usually included on the most calendars. I'd much rather have a calendar brimming with red letter days pertaining to food. I'm creating the calendar for my own personal use. As a matter of fact, I've decided to offer 10 calendars for free! I haven't completely worked out the details so for now, I would really like your opinions. I can hardly contain my excitement although, it may not seem like it as I type. That's probably because I don't want you, my treasured visitor, to think I intend on capitalizing on this endeavor. Quite the contrary. This blog, like so many of the food blogs I visit, is a true labor of love. The love of food, history and culture as I uncover it on a daily basis. My ambition is to enlighten my readers with dollops of culinary parlance in my own measurable way and hang it on my new kitchen wall in Pennsylvania.

I look forward to your feedback. What do you think?

This is going to be my last post for January. The end of the month is always a busy time organizing next months celebrations while choosing cookbooks to feature and recipes to include. The Kettledrum needs to be filled and I want to finish the new blog before the end of the month. I won't be writing much on the new blog but I want it to look inviting because it is where I will be posting the pictures and recipes which I will be putting on the kitchen calendar. I will, however, be checking my comments and visiting as usual. Have I said thank you lately? Thank you so much for visiting and sharing. It truly is a bloggers' world of flavored hospitality.


  1. Louise it was a pleasure getting to know you this year. I love your genre of food blogging. Thank you so much. You know I appreciate it more than I could ever express on my blog. I love the idea of the calanders. Im excited! You have been posting a lot this month and the amount of detail you put in, I would be exhausted. See you in Feb my friend!

  2. You are always so encouraging Courtney. I too am glad we've "met." It's a long way off but I will probably be visiting Chicago at the end of the year...

    I've had a bit more free time with the economy being the way that it is. Business has been slow but it usually slows down this time of year so I figured I would enjoy it while I can.

    I'm so glad you are excited about the calendar. I have a few more things to figure out but I just know it will be FUN!

  3. I think the calendar is a great idea, Louise. And honestly, if it turns into something you can capitalize on, there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn't!!

    P.S. I dislike telephones also. Aggravating things, they are. :)

  4. Food history is fascinating. I love visiting your blog and seeing all the fun stuff I didn't get to study in high school US History. :)

  5. Thanks so much for the award! I think an online calendar of food events & celebrations would be great.

  6. I'm checking out Kyla's blog. And I'm glad you spend so much time blogging! I learn a lot!

  7. How do I thank you for the sweet and kind words you write about my blog.I am so overwhelmed by your kindness. Congrats on your awards. I am proud to be among these wonderful people. Thank you so much.
    I always got the pinched cheeks and the "faccia brutta" kisses :)

  8. Thank you for the award, Louise. That is very nice of you.

    I agree that the Food Calendar is a wonderful idea and will be of great help to many food bloggers and culinary researchers out there.

    Your blogs are truly awesome. I couldn't give you praise enough for sharing your expertise. I may not be a food blogger but I am a food eater, so I always appreciate your delightful articles.

    It also surprises me because I often can relate to your articles, despite the fact that we live in different cultures. Food can unite people.

  9. Hi Karen,
    Once again, thank you so much for the award. I'm excited about the calendar. I think it will be a fun project. I've been getting so many creative suggestions. One suggestion was to donate the profits, if there are any:) We'll see how it goes. I have many details to work out. Stay tuned...

    Hi Adele,
    I'm so glad you enjoy your visits. I no longer have children in school and often wonder whether food culture is part of the curriculum. If not, I strongly suggest it should be:)

    Hi Mae,
    You are very welcome. Your blog is always a fun trip garnished with tidbits of fascinating information. Thanks for the encouraging vote on the calendar.

    Hi there Duckie,
    I think you will enjoy Kyla's blog. She shares your creative talent in many ways. Thanks for dropping by...

    No thanks needed Maryann. It might be the Italian in me or just my personality but I say it as I feel it. Your blog is Fabulous! Faccia (face?) brutta (is that the pinch?) I'm going to check with my sister but I'm quite sure we are speaking the same language:)

    You are very welcome Dennis. I find your blog an inspirational journey to closing the gap of the cultural divide in sometimes the most subtle images. I also appreciate your kind compliments. I'm just a food blogger sharing my cookbook collection; one book at a time:) I'm hoping the calendar will accent that food unity.

  10. Hi Louise! I am honored that you chose to acknowledge Taste With The Eyes with this very special award! I, too, have forged many wonderful friendships via the blogosphere. It continues to amaze me!

    Good luck with your calendar. It sounds like an excellent idea. I like how you have your own unique uncompromising style!

  11. That sounds like a fantastic idea, Louise! Can't wait to hear more about it...

  12. Online calendar sounds awesome.. nice idea. sure, i will add this feed to my blogroll. thanks for visiting my blog.. appreciate it.

    i am also thinking of making some changes to my blogroll.. if a person adds my blogroll url to his google reader, he should get updates of all blogs.. as of now it is not updating in the reader because i added the blogroll in the sidebar element.

    any ideas how to make the feed come from side bar element?

  13. louise, you're too sweet!!! thank you!!! :D i'm so happy, thank you!!! :D i love your food blog, too. :D

  14. Hi Lori Lynn,
    I'm delighted you are happy with the award. Your blog is an elegantly served "feast for the eyes" and truly inspirational. I'm not sure about "uncompromising style", but I do know the designing of the calendar is going to surpass my expectations and that really excites me. Thanks so much for visiting...

    Hi Lidian,
    It took a little fiddling but I think I got the new blog for the calendar up and going and I'm pretty pleased with it at the moment. Stop by and see it.

    Hi Mahimaa,
    Thank you so much for stopping by and adding my link to your blogroll. I'm delighted to have stumbled upon your Indian Vegetarian Kitchen. The recipes look quite inviting. I'm actually trying to figure out the sidebar feed code myself for the new blog. As of yet, I haven't but, I will keep trying:) Let me know how you do. I will do the same.

    you are so very very welcome. now, cook something up and join the red letter day event so your creation can be featured on the calendar! i know you can do it:)

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Through this wide opened gate,
none came too early,
none returned too late.

Thanks for dropping in...Louise