Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Happy (belated) blogoversary: Seven (Χρόνια Πολλά με τα Επτά)

Magda, from My Little Expat Kitchen, has invited me to take part in a little game called Seven. Since I am not good at remembering my blog's (or anyone's) birthday, but I am good at connecting ideas, I can now take the time to congratulate myself on entering my fifth year of food blogging, and to thank you all for tuning in to read me.

Here's my list of 7:

1. My most beautiful post
Generally speaking, I have always combined food stories with photography from my town. The island of Crete is closely related to the island's food. For this reason, I have chosen Taste Crete as my most beautiful post, because I showcase the best in food that my region has to offer, and possibly some of my best food photography.

lefka ori covered in snow fournes hania chania
My food blog writing can be summarised in this photo: a view of Lefka Ori from the olive groves in the village.

2. My most popular post
I never expected to be a fasolada expert - admittedly, it's one of my husband's favorite dishes and I even manage to make it to number 1 from time to time in Google's page-1/top-10 search results. So I guess my fasolada must be pretty good...

And this happens to be one of the most popular photos of fasolada on Google - a certain little boy eating his mother's home-made fasolada.

3. My most controversial post

I'm generally regarded as a controversial Greek food blogger, not because of my recipes, but because of my ideas about the Greek food scene in general. I refuse to sacrifice my integrity for the sake of covering up fallacies about Greek food, both within Greece and abroad. Although the comments in my Greek food myths and legends post were very positive, the ideas I have expressed are like a slap in the face to other Greek food writers who do not take into account the modern changing times, are too regionally based in their generalisations, and/or are generally speaking in cliches.

Since writing my myths and legends post, the Wikipedia entry for gyros at the time has been greatly altered, but still manages to make mistakes: "In Greece, the meat is typically pork or lamb, but can occasionally be chicken or veal." WRONG! In Greece, the meat is typcially PORK or CHICKEN (never lamb), and occassionally BEEF."

4. My most helpful post
Another surprise for me: following closely after fasolada, my most popular post is all about how to freeze aubergine. We grow a lot of eggplant in our garden, which prompted me to find ways to freeze it. I was also prompted to write this post because I was constantly being told (by ignorant people) that aubergine can't be frozen (?%&*$!).

eggplant aubergine
Don't discard them if they seem to shrivel - eggplants taste even better when their moisture diminishes.

5. The post whose success surprised me
My favorite chocolates are Roses made by the Cadbury company, which don't feature in my life these days at all (they aren't available in Hania, and if they were, they'd be super-expensive), but they were a very integral part of my youth in New Zealand. I wrote a story about Roses chocolates, and I believe that this post became very successful because Roses are a very special kind of chocolate, wrapped in a unique way, with different fillings and flavours replacing older ones over the years, which is the main reason why people google them. For similar reasons, my post on natural cake icings is becoming very popular, as people look for more natural alternatives to decorate their food.

roses chocolates
Roses wrappers are not as charming as they once were, and they never carried warning signs like "Contains nuts or soya products" like they do now.

6. The post that didn't get the attention it deserved
I can't find just one post that didn't get the attention it deserved; there are quite a number of them. I believe that this happens because people come to my blog for different reasons, among which are for my stories about Greek/Cretan life, tourist information about Hania, and recipes associated with a Greek festival or a regional Cretan dish. This last reason is the one that brings most readers to my blog: in other words, they came here by accident (ie Google sent them, hence my popularity in making fasolada or freezing aubergine). To do my blog justice, one needs to read the stories associated with my food. The recipes are only a cover-up of something deeper.

Had these two children been born in Hania under similar circumstances 100 years ago, they would both most likely have been victims of infant mortality.

7. The post I am most proud of
Until I decided to write about koliva, a recipe that is very important in a Greek person's life cycle, I had never made it before. A Greek cook cannot call themselves accomplished (at least in my opinion) if they have never made koliva.

chickpea flour and roasted seasme seeds koliva ingredients
koliva koliva

*** *** ***
A part of this game involves asking other bloggers to take part in the Seven game, presenting their own sevens list. My blog has taken me to places I never expected to go to, and I have met many good people through my writing. For this reason, I'd like to introduce you to some bloggers who, for various reasons, have shown interest in my work:
1. Heidi (she has visited Crete and she writes in Danish - use a translator tool!)
2. Carrie (she make beautifully decorated cakes)
3. Vicky (she writes in Greek - use a translator tool)
4. Mia Mara (she writes a bilingual blog with her friend)
5. Anna (she gives Greek food a new lease of life in the US)

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