Can you believe it? My baby blog is FOUR years old! As always, we’ll go on a delicious trip down memory lane, revisiting some of my favorite recipes from the past year in PGEW. Photos & links to the recipes will follow shortly, but first: a love letter to what has become one of the most important, life-changing things I’ve ever encountered…
Four years ago, I had a silly idea about starting a food blog that finally showed folks some of the ways I got around my new, painfully small budget. I figured I’d make a couple dishes, show off some of my “signature” meals that I’d cook for the occasional boyfriend, and throw in some common sense tips to make it easier for other folks to battle the recession. Nothing big. Nothing fancy. Just a little food blog to add to all the others that were popping up more and more frequently. That little blog, of course, was you.
I never thought you’d do so well and grow up to become not just a blog, but a community of people who like making the most of what they have, whether it’s a little or a lot. People who want to add some enjoyment to their lives in these rough times. People who are trying to lose weight. People who just want to get back in the kitchen again. All of a sudden, you’re not just a recipe & tips blog – you’re a real website with an awesome community of readers who can’t wait to see what you’ll feature next.
It’s been fun to nurture you like a mother would nurture a child – rolling with the punches of growing pains (so. many. Blogger. hacks!), learning what’s best for you as you grow. I remember the first photo I took for the first recipe I posted; if I recall correctly I took it using my Razr of all things (remember when those were cool?)! Considering the device that was used, it wasn’t half bad (I’ve always paid attention to plating & presentation, so that helped), but I did make sure to improve the quality of photos – and of my writing – as the years have gone by.
You’ve seen me through some of my darkest times, helping me to get rid of some of the perpetual angst I feel at always wanting to do more but never being able to afford to do so. Those times when my gas was shut off because I couldn’t afford to pay it, and I could neither cook in my kitchen nor take a hot shower (but I made do with my portable electric range and a bucket); the layoffs and long periods of unemployment; all those times I’d come home fearing the words “Three Day Notice to Pay or Quit” taped to my door; the illnesses (oh, the illnesses…). It’s been a really rough road, but you are what’s kept me going, kept me sane when I’d rather just curl up in a ball and shut everything out.
By telling these stories and creating new things in my nano kitchen, I found comfort and an outlet for my frustrations. It’s both therapeutic and cathartic to cook away one’s sorrows and invent new joy for oneself everyday, no matter how small. It’s even more comforting to know that by sharing all this hell and the resulting heavenly dishes, we’ve helped other people in similar situations feel less alone. And when I got that very first email after the CNN.com piece that sort of catapulted you into the spotlight – the one from that single mother who’d just been denied food stamps that day and had no idea what to feed her 3 young sons until she stumbled upon that one recipe – I knew that what we were doing was far more important than just taking pretty photographs of tasty looking food and attaching witty, random prose to it. We were making a difference.
And so, my baby blog, here we are at your 4th birthday, or blogiversary, whathaveyou, and I couldn’t be more proud of you! You’re helping people, you’re helping me; you’ve inspired me to become a better writer and a much better photographer. You look so different for many reasons, yet you’re familiar with all your lovely deep blue accents (which I’ve held onto steadfastly!). And soon, there will be a book inspired by you, that will hopefully make a difference for even more people as a book is more accessible than a computer for some. It’s scary (in a good way) to be doing this and making that leap, but exciting to know that people really like what you’re offering. And that maybe, just maybe this means that the end of this personal hell might be closer than we think.
So, congratulations, PGEW.com! Congratulations to “The Little Blog That Could” on four amazing years of recipes, tips, pictures and other wonderful things! It’s been an incredible ride, and I can’t thank you enough for continually making me strive to do better in everything I do. I can’t wait to see what this next year brings for us!
PGEW Milestone: MAJOR site redesign, including an actual logo (for once). : )
Thanks for taking this trip down recipe memory lane with me! Here’s to another fantastic year of fun, food, and staying on budget! : )