Thursday, December 03, 2020

The Days To Christmas

We have old carols that talk about the twelve days of Christmas and their is a play called Twelfth Night, too. In days gone by Christmas was really celebrated between Dec. 24th or Dec. 25th and January 6th, Epiphany in the Christian tradition. These days people start taking down their tree on Dec. 26th, so celebrating Christmas as a season happens now, after Thanksgiving, or at least starting Dec. 1st.

I've finished 15 years of blogging. Hard to believe sometimes, but other times when I use the index to find a recipe I'm really glad I've been at it for a while because it's become a digital recipe box that I use often.

When my photo app on my iPhone came up with a collection of 'Tasty Bites' showing food photos from 2017 I realized that I have some great photos of food on the blog, too. It got me thinking that maybe I should take a walk down memory lane and highlight a year at a time between now and Christmas. It will be fun for me and might give you some ideas for things you might like to make or bake between now and then...or it might bring back memories for you, too, if you have been following this blog for a while. Blogging has become passe' now and the hoardes no longer do it, having moved on the other platforms like Twitter, Instagram, SnapChap, TicTok and more. Still, if you want my take on blogging since I got in the game fairly early one, read on.

I started in late 2006 when blogging was still kinda new. Today there are probably hundreds or thousands of food blogs and lots of gorgeous photos of food, but back then people were still finding their way. Blogs had for a few years been a growing way to express yourself and to record your life...kind of like a slow and wordy version in some ways of Instagram or SnapChat. 

The idea of focusing on food was still relatively new and unexplored. There weren't a lot of super blogs with high ticket prizes...The Pioneer Woman blog hadn't started yet, for example. There was an interest in using blogs to connect with others around the world, so one of the things I found pretty quickly were the challenges and blog events. 

Some that had some history already when I started surfing around were Stephanie's Blog Party and Sugar High Fridays. Both of these encouraged you to make a dish to match a theme and then blog about it and send the URL to the host (or hostess) of the sponsoring blog. It was a great way to both have a focus for what to make and blog about and a way to 'meet' other bloggers interested in food and in baking. It was rare to have a prize, although some bloggers created badges that they would email to you to put on your blog if you participated. Because there were usually only a handful of participants it was fun to go around and visit the blogs and see what the others had done. 

As the number of food bloggers increased geometrically that became harder and harder to do as larger numbers participated. I think the early days were more fun! I'm sure that those who were true pioneers thought that when I started there were getting to be too works like that. Anyway, during the first year and a half that I blogged I 'met' some amazing bloggers, some of whom I'm still friends with.

So what did I cook and bake in 2006 that you might be interested in? A lot of the recipes were for blog parties or blog events. For example for the Retro Recipe Challenge in mid-November 2006 I made Pineapple Upside-Down Cake, for the Souper Challenge later in November I made Butternut Squash Soup, for the Blog Party #16 I made Focaccia and Pesto Chicken Triangles and for Sugar High Fridays #25 I made Cognac Prune Truffles, which sound strange but were delicious.

In December I really got started on the blog as recipe box with posts on various cookies that were later included in cookie assortment tins that were mailed to family for Christmas. Recipes included Chocolate Shortbread Hearts, Saucepan Fruit Bars, Viennese Linzer Bars, Applesauce Spice Cookies, Persimmon Cookies, Santa's Whiskers and Chocolate Biscotti. Many of those are still favorite cookies to bake for the holidays.

Along the way the readers got to meet Sweetie, my dear husband, also K, our daughter, Grandma L, and they were given snapshots of my life, which is what blogs are for, really.

I hope that you find a cookie recipe or another recipe to make from the 2006 offerings, even though it only encompassed less than three months. Next time we'll have a full year to look at and we'll find out about The Daring Bakers phenomenon and you'll be introduced to more family.

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