Dirty thirty? Thirty and flirty? What other things do people say when you turn that ripe old age of 30? Yep, today is the day, and I’d be lying if I said that I’ve had no anxiety leading up to today. Media and society has a tendency to paint turning 30 as a turning point in a woman’s life: “she should probably have her ducks in a row”… “after 30 it’s harder to stay fit”… “after 30 dumb life decisions should be avoided”… “her body begins to look like her mothers’”… and that “she is reaching her… cough… peak”! The past year has been pretty epic, tons of big changes, TONS of fun, and tons of figuring out what makes me tick/happy. While I don’t see my 30th year being all that different than my 29th, I do feel that I can chock the past year up to “getting it out of my system”. We will see… ha.
Set to the Alice in Wonderland tune- “Happy blog’versary to you. To me?” Today Putting Up with Erin turns one! When I started the blog a year ago, I was in the midst of writing my dissertation and was in dire need of a creative outlet. I’m not going to lie, I’m kind of surprised it lasted this long… Putting Up with Erin not only allowed me to explore my creative side through “cooking” but also, and maybe more enjoyable, through photo, web, and graphic design. Many people have asked, “do you do it for the food, the blog, the comments, or the stats?” I continue to blog because it gives me the opportunity to learn more about seasonal foods, as well as the experience of going to the farmers market, meeting farmers, and getting creative with flavor pairings. In the past year the blog has survived a major life move, several flavor muses, and a handful of kitchens (thanks to all my friends who participated in Friends Putting Up with Erin). The fresh start that came out of relocating to the NE was probably the best thing I could have done for myself and the blog.
I’ve decided to summarize a few year one milestones for ya (it’s statistics… I couldn’t help myself). Through various avenues of online exposure, the 6 recipes highlighted below received the most attention in the first year. Total monthly site views have gone from ~1,500 to roughly ~19,000. Personally, I’ve been interviewed for a couple news articles, featured as a writer in the upcoming winter issue of Darling Magazine, and will be co-authoring a textbook chapter on fermentation next spring.
I’m kind of dragging my feet here, it’s well into tomato season and I haven’t yet pulled out my pressure canner. I don’t know about you, but my tomato consumption (due to the large amount of stews/soups/chilies I make) skyrockets during the winter months. My over enthusiastic plan for this winter was to put up enough tomato concoctions (sauces, pastes, stewed, diced, etc) to last me through the winter without buying a single canned tomato product… but then… I remembered the last time…
… Last summer, before the birth of this here blog, without a care in the world and absolutely no plans for the day, l I was frequenting the Baltimore Saturday morning farmers’ market, when I came across a vendor selling tomato seconds (i.e., tomatoes that aren’t as pretty as the rest). I quickly scanned my mental rolodex of canning ideas, and over-zealously and sooo naively decided that I wanted to put up 25 of generic marinara sauce. Super! This lead to the not so successful bike trip across town, to return home and realize that not only was this going to be an all day affair, but also that in order to avoid using a crap ton of citric acid additive that a pressure canner was needed… which I didn’t have at the time (my enthusiasm was waning). Hours (like 7 of ’em) later not only was every vessel in the kitchen that somewhat resembled a pot in use, but every inch of me and my kitchen was splattered in red sauce (remember your childhood art project where you blew paint through a straw? Ya like that…).