IFR Flashback 2007

I didn't know until just now whether I would do a review of my own blog for Nupur's Best of 2007 event. For several reasons:

  • I did a lot of contemplating - review and rewind - when I hit a major milestone in my life;
  • 100 posts in 2007 looked like a perfect number to be at whereas this post will increment it by 1. I am no fan of 101 mainly because it is so overused and beaten to death.
  • I am rather lazy and I generally don't like my time to be governed by the calendar of events that abound in the blogosphere.
  • I also have a thing against conforming. If everyone is doing it, I generally will not - unless something I do happens to fit into the broad scope of the event. Or it is something I truly enjoy. The event is usually an after-thought.
Yet, 2007 saw me participating in many events out of my own free will. The first one being the March Against Plagiarism. That may have been a one day event but I have continued my efforts in my own way through the year, doing my best to create awareness of proper etiquette and best practices when it comes to using previously penned material as a basis for one's own post.

The other two significant events have been NaBloWriMo and NaBloPoMo. The former in October and the latter in November. I started NaBloWriMo 11 days late but I made up all 31 posts by including the daily posts I wrote in November. There was no way I would have been able to write 31 posts in 21 days. While they qualify as posts, I didn't do any one-liners or posts with a single image and no words. At least I don't think I did! It was tough to write every single day and while there were the hecklers in the last row to be pandered to, I did it more for myself than for anyone else. And write I did - every single day - from Oct 11 through to November 30. Some posts were better than others; other posts were pretty pathetic. All in the day's work!

2007 also saw me venture out of my comfort zone into cuisines that I knew nothing about. My series on Native American cuisine was an eye opener and a rather satisfying journey on all fronts! I hope to continue exploring Persian cuisine through the coming year.

I wish I could say that my blog is structured. That I have a definite posting plan or that I have a focused theme. I write about life in general, with food and conversations that happen along the way. Sometimes those conversations are downright hilarious, and other times, they are heart-wrenching and sometimes thought-provoking. And they are sprinkled all over my blog. My blog is unstructured because it is my playground. Where I can be unfettered and free. Very like Medha's weekends. I strongly believe that it is not just children who thrive on a good dose of unstructured time every now and then.

So here's looking back at my posts in each month of the year 2007. Last-row hecklers, you may please stop sniggering as I am well aware that in some months there may not be many posts to write about!

January brought us Nutty Green Beans. It was an exhausting month, with snowstorms dropping at least 6 inches of snow on us every week. While my husband enjoyed the mild winter in Bombay, I was out shoveling what seemed like endless fields of snow. The Nutty Green Beans recipe is one of our all-time favorites and it also brings back memories of those lonely cold nights when the winds howled through the bare trees. We have lots of snow this winter, too, but - and this is a very important 'but' - I am warm during the day and at night!

February was an eventful month! Indira launched Dining Hall and invited me to be an Administrator for the blog. My husband returned from India to an earthy dinner of Cluster Beans with Puy Lentils as a substitute for kale vatane or black peas.

March is synonymous with Ammini Ramachandran on IFR. Ammini's cookbook Greens, Grains and Grated Coconuts, Recipes and Remembrances of a Vegetarian Legacy was released by iUniverse to rave reviews everywhere. This book is 'The Joy of Cooking' for vegetarian Kerala cuisine and Indian Food Rocks was honored to be the first food blog to review Ammini's cookbook. Paal paayasam kicked up quite a storm on more fronts than one! Yes, my favorite hecklers, you know what I am talking about!

April marked the 4th anniversary of the first real post I made on Indian Food Rocks.

May saw me take a vacation without my family, a first for me! My sister and I reveled in some alone time in San Francisco. Before I went, I treated the family to a Very Berry Shrikhand, a fruity version of the shrikhand with blackberries.

June saw me reminiscing further on my trip to San Francisco, especially our jaunt to Chinatown. And I lived up to my promise and reminded everyone that it was time to pickle those lemons and limes. My friend Lee lugged kale vatane all the way from Texas so that I could make the real chitkyachi bhaji! And we went off on one of my dream vacations: we drove through Maine to Halifax, Prince Edward Island and Cape Breton and back. On our way there, we saw the most spectacular sunrise, a picture of which I uploaded - unedited - to my blog.

July was hot, busy and leisurely at the same time! Quick meals on the grill were the norm.

August had us hiking into the Rockies and enjoying local flavor.

September was the month for the neighborhood camping trip in Moraine Park to hear the elk bugle. We practiced in our backyard and enjoyed some patal bhaji.

October rocked! I turned 40, went on to win some really cool Click badges for my picture of a high-key egg and was also bitten by the NaBloWriMo bug.

November was equally busy, if not busier than October! I jumped on the NaBloPoMo bandwagon and blogged like one possessed, dug into my archives - both food and photo - and churned out 30 posts! My picture of the wagon with red wheels from this post was Schmapped, much to my delight! The biggest high of that month was when I found my Mom's recipe for nankatai.

December saw me ease back from blogging and revert to an unstructured schedule. I was very touched when Medha wrote her note to Santa Claus and I felt really blessed and honored to be a part of her life. I thought I would take a break from Click but some things fell into place and I was able to avoid being a no-show.

I hope you enjoyed reading my blog as much as I enjoyed writing it. It's been a very fulfilling journey for me. I have loved reading all your comments and feedback, and I have felt immensely important when you based your posts on mine. I have loved it when you made fun of me and let me have the same honor in return. I have made some very special friends along the way, some of whom I met, others whom I have talked to and many more that I have exchanged emails with or chatted with.

2008? Expect more of the same from me. Where life takes me, what thoughts cross my mind, what Medha comes up with...I will share it with you!

Thank you, Nupur, for inspiring me to look back on 2007 and what it meant for Indian Food Rocks and for me.


Stella Devine said...

Hi Manisha,

I am so glad you did NaBloPoMo and I came across your blog. I find your combination of food and life inspirational and I look forward to continuing to read your posts through 2008.

Happy New Year!

P.S. I got my new pressure cooker for Christmas as requested! I made saag gosht with it, but didn't use enough water so it was too brown for a photo. I will keep trying and when I get it to work properly, I will send you a picture.

amna said...

looks like you had a great year :) wish you a greater 2008!

sra said...

A very happy new year to you, Manisha!

Anita said...

Who are these hecklers?! Even in the blog world, my! But if you enjoyed it... :D and they egged you on...

I am so glad you are here and share your thoughts and family (and some recipes!) here. I enjoy visiting with you! Some of those 'conversations' really make my day!

Happy New Year to you and yours!

Srivalli said...

Manisha, your posts are lovely to read. Always look forward to know what new thing you came about with loads of pranks by Medha...looking forward to another great year at IFR.

Wish you a very happy new year!

Nupur said...

I'm glad you decided to write this post :) Wishing you and IFR another exciting year of food, travel, life and engaging conversations that we get to overhear!

Kalyn Denny said...

Very fun reading about your year! I love these year-in-review posts!

Padmaja said...

Incredible year manisha!! Wishing you n family a very happy new year

Momisodes said...

Manisha, I loved your post. I'm so glad to read that you too have an unstructured blog because it is your playground..I feel the same :) I've really enjoyed your blog since we met through Nablopomo, and I look forward to more in 2008!

Wishing you and yours a happy, healthy and prosperous new year!

Raji said...

hey manisha
thats a beautiful post
wishing u a happy new year too
have lots of fun

JS said...

Manisah, I wish you and yours a wonderful New Year, a year of peace and goodness for all. I will get the cauliflower subzis right, I guarantee! And of course I'll be back regularly to enjoy your comments and your food. I subscribe to Indian Food Rocks, of course, so I'll always know when you've posted.

bee said...

here's wishing many more fabulous years to a fantastic blogger and a pioneering blog.

Linda said...

You surely do Rock, Manisha dear. Thanks for being such a wonderful inspiration! Wishing you and your lovely family all the best in the New Year! :)

Aarthi said...

Awesome post Manisha... Your blog really rocks.

Reeta Skeeter said...

Wow love the 7th pic... really liking your blog :)