On July 16, 2011 I published my first post on From the Family Table. It was about a fresh green pea soup made with pea pod stock. So, this is the fifth anniversary of my blog. During that time I have published 353 posts and nearly as many recipes. Looking back on that first effort I am struck by the amateurish image and the clumsy narrative. I think – at least I hope – that things have gotten better.
Five years ago my two daughters were at low points in their careers, and so I thought that working together on a cookbook might give them a break that they needed. We agreed on cooking with corn as a theme as there didn’t seem to be any books quite like that. (I soon discovered that the premise was wrong.) I started reading about the history of corn and collecting recipes from wherever I could find them, including the original editions of the Boston Cooking School Cookbook (by Fannie Farmer) and the Joy of Cooking. I learned a great deal. Cornbread alone provides enough material for a thick cookbook. In fact, it already has – several times.
In the meantime, the careers of both girls took off. Sarah became caught up in opening a new restaurant, and now she’s working on her own cookbook. Carol took on added responsibilities in her office, and now she is busy and happy with family and professional activities. Needless to say, their interest in the cookbook project faded. At the same time I was buying and reading books on food styling, food photography, and book publishing. One of the books made a strong recommendation that in this modern world a blog was required for recognition. Recognition, of course, was needed to provide credibility with editors and publishers. I had visions of book contracts, photo shoots, and maybe even a TV spot or two.
Five years have passed, and to date nothing has happened with the corn cookbook, I don’t have any book contracts, nor have I gotten any solicitations from the Food Network. What I have gotten is a lot of satisfaction in writing and imaging the food that I make or enjoy in a restaurant. More importantly, I have made friends all over the world. And even though I have never met most them, I have gotten to learn about their families and their adventures, marvel at their cooking skills, and share in some of the joys – and disappointments – that go with living life. I’d like to thank all of them – I wish I could do it personally – for their readership, their gracious comments, and their generosity.
I’m not sure how much longer I can think of new things to write about. It gets harder the longer I write and the older I get. But I’ll keep doing it as long as I continue to enjoy it. Thanks again to all of my internet friends. I plan to celebrate the day with cake and candles. Oh, and maybe a glass of nice wine while I sit in my back yard and enjoy the sunset.