Today is this blog's third birthday - and the first time I've ever managed to remember the anniversary. Lemon drizzle cake is in order.
I started Joanna's Food on a whim ... I'd made kedgeree in a new, heart-healthy way, which I knew could be improved; I didn't want to forget what I'd done, so I needed to make a note of it and my manuscript recipe book was already full to bursting. I didn't bother to think up a fancy name, but stuck to the purely descriptive. It didn't occur to me then that anyone apart from me would read this stuff, I just thought it would be easier to share recipes with friends because I'd be able to print them out. Ha!
I've always blogged principally to please myself (which is why there are periodic posts about flowers, especially tulips, sweet peas and dahlias; and about anything else that takes my fancy). I've been too lazy to venture beyond the Blogger template, although that's going to change in the coming weeks and months. And I'm not tech-y enough to make the most of the tools that exist to maximise traffic ... I am happy to have made some good friends in the blogosphere, to have had some fun days out with other food bloggers, to have taken part in some great blog events, and with Ilva (Lucullian Delights) and later Michelle (The Accidental Scientist) to have founded Heart of the Matter. Thank you all for reading this far - the community of food blogging means a lot to me, and has been very supportive at times over the past three years.
To be serious for a moment, this blog has always been principally about the journey our family made after my husband's heart attack. We were lucky, despite the terrific shock we all had, despite the intimations of mortality. We were given advice by the medics which was difficult to put into practice ... here is the record of our baby steps.
Proper food, cooked from scratch at home, mainly vegetables, more fish than meat, pulses (though I can't claim that any of my family love them as I do, frozen peas the honourable exception), plenty of olive oil, a little dark chocolate, not too much fuss. And, mostly, we've done it.
Cake, you may wonder? On a blog where no-one's supposed to eat butter, and everyone's supposed to be cutting down on fats? Well, it's not an everyday event here; this one's comparatively light; it's made with fruit, as are virtually all the cakes I make (lemon zest has lots to recommend it) ... and today we're following the 80:20 rule
A few key posts
Looking through three years of posts, I see that there are gaps which need filling (for instance, I thought I had written about citrus zest, but no). Here, though, is a random selection of things I wish I had known when we began
Some basic rules
Onions, garlic - and skordalia
Getting started - and homemade muesli
Rosemary citrus salt
Affordable superfoods (winterish)
Shaken hot water pastry
Mount Athos diet: chickpea patties
Butterbeans with lemon and maple syrup
Olive oil pastry
That list was compiled quickly, and, checking over it, I see that I haven't included any fish recipes ... every time I post one, I get an appreciative comment or email from Ed Bruske, the amazing DC gardener and Slow Cook who grows vegetables in his front garden less than a mile from the White House (and if you want to see a film about composting, you'll find he's got lots of sensible things to say on the subject). So here's a link to the entire fish section to trawl through if you feel like it ... you'll find lots of things to do with oily fish. And I'm pleased to discover that the fish section of this blog is the second largest, beaten only by the vegetable section. You'll also find my all-time most-read post, the extremely delicious baked scallops ... I hope that a few of you have made them already, and that, if you have not, you might give them a try.
Links to some of the blogs I love
Book the Cook
Bread Water Salt Oil
Figs Olives/Bay Wine (not active at the moment, but we live in hope)
Tanna at The Half Cup
Kate Hill's Kitchen Adventure
Venice Daily photo (not active at the moment, but what a back catalogue!)
Today I am mostly ... counting blessings and living in the moment
Those are filed in my feed reader under the heading blogs I read daily. I hate the thought of leaving out the section headed fantastic food blogs, and the one headed great garden blogs ... but I'll come back to them another day soon, or maybe even later today if I find another moment.
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