Saturday, December 29, 2007

BEST OF 2007, MY 100TH POST AND A SURPRISE!!!



I reminisce how I came into being a blogger. It started off from my visit to Kerala, n my strong urge to learn more of Kerala Cuisine, n then my fervent search on Google for Mallu Recipes, n then me stumbling upon a world of mallu bloggers who maintained impressive blogs & blogged not just about Kerala Cuisine but also various other Cuisines.

The world out there was mesmerizing. Food - a subject which has always been soooooooo very close to my heart, is a fiery passion within me - is so loved by many others, who share the same passion & zeal. Ladies (…& some Gentlemen too!!) who are from all walks of life – professionals & homemakers - n from all parts of the World, coming together in the Cyber World, with one sole aim –raving about their passion – FOOD. I was completely gripped by the world there, n there was this strong urge inside me – if only I could also be a part of this wonderful world ………then there was another voice inside me – " forget it Shella, do you think you could be like those girls, are you out of your mind, don't go on to make a fool of yourself". The voice asking me to be a part was more compelling than the one which hindered me from doing so…..n so with inhibition in my heart, I browsed the templates, thought of a name to give, thought of an address, carefully chose my words – there was a lot of caution considering the sense that I have to at least look decent, if not "wow" in the Blog World, but at the same time, somewhere I had the feeling that this is not going to last much longer……..its just going to fade away.

My first post on 9th Aug' 07 was a random one, n my visit to other blogs led visitors to mine. ……n so started my journey – one post followed another. And I would check almost every hour to see if anybody had visited and left a comment. A comment on the blog meant a feat during those early days, and believe me they still mean a lot.

I have to whole heartedly thank Anita of "My Treasure My Pleasure" who was the first one to hold my hand n add a link on her Blog to mine – it gave me such a sense of joy, then there is darling Seena of "Simple & Delicious" who showed me the way to the Food Blog Desam, and then there is Cynthia of "Tastes Like Home" who added me to her Feeder & left a comment that she wouldn't want to miss anyone of my recipes – she really made my day, n is a sweetheart.

The concept of taking a pic from my mobile camera did not appease me, n hence 2 /3 of my earlier pics were downloaded from the net – which reminds me that I have to mention it on the relevant posts, but slowly I began using my humble mobile to click those pics. As of date I have mastered the art of making the best use of it. Believe me, 99% of the pics on my blog are courtesy my friend – the Nokia 6630.

For about 5-6 posts no-one in my real world had any idea of what I am upto, then one evening very diffidently I opened the page and let Rajeev lay his eyes on what I had so lovingly created. The joy on his face was more than a triumph. His exuberance filled me with so much courage & he said that he was so proud of me & encouraged me to go on. That was the final push that I needed.

To my utter delight, I was gifted with a very beautiful Sony 8 Mega Pixel camera for this very purpose from my husband, its another thing that owing to the pressures on my time, I still continue using my Mobile due to its utter convenience, i.e. availability at all times n all places, ease of downloading thru the boons of technology (Bluetooth).

I have always wanted to be a good baker, but my earlier catastrophes in the oven lead to me to believe that baking is not my cup of tea – but the Blog World had such tremendously talented bakers that my inner baker struggled to come out & give it a shot once more. Since then, I have been giving a shot at a few cakes n muffins, n though there have been disasters yet again, but I am getting more gutsy by the day, to not let it go so easily.

The most embarrassing incident was when I had Rajeev's friends over at my home working on a Project late into the night, n I had a request from hubby dear to bake a cake for one of them Kunal (we all call him KP fondly) who was celebrating his birthday the next day, n it would be past 12 a.m. by the time they would leave. As luck would have it, n something for which I really wanted to kick myself, I tried my hand on a new recipe, n my inexperience with the oven n the ingredients that go into it, resulted in an awful bake – the cake tasted good, but refused to bake from the inside. Poor guy, he nonetheless cut the cake, n everybody was gracious enough to pick on the sides of the cake n yet say "the cake tastes good bhabhi"!!! I so adore them all for that night……but that made me resolve on one thing for sure, half the ingredients before trying your hand on a new recipe. I am so sorry KP, n I will surely make it upto you one day (hopefully your next Birthday) with a more edible cake. I was terribly sorry to waste so much of stuff, but I managed to cut the cake n microwave it to cook it fully & passed onto a needy boy on the streets – who I am sure must have enjoyed my disastrous baking.

I am yet to try my hands at more non-vegetarian cooking owning to the fact that my hubby is a preferred vegetarian, but he is very sweet to gulp down a chicken or a fish here n there only to please me. I love him for that n much more – for waiting patiently to lay his hands on the food (however hungry he might be) so that I could test his virtue of being patient, while clicking at various angles & lights of the food. Being a witness of all those disasters while baking, n yet maintaining a muffle over the food that went waste (he is highly averse to wastage of any kind), for sensing the need and surprising me with the camera, for being a walking advertisement for my blog, for being my critique n helping me with valuable suggestions – the list is endless, n I love him n thank him for being there and bearing with me.

I have to thank my mother-in-law for being such an excellent guide & truly teaching me how to cook. Sharing her age-old secrets, n at the same time constantly learning new things and passing them onto to me. She always inspires me to try something new. She is the best mother-in-law a girl would ever want to have. If I ask for more, I am going to be a greedy pig. I also miss my father-in-law so very much. He would have been really happy to see my blog & surely make his wise contributions. May his soul rest in peace.

I have to thank my mother, who is an excellent cook, but has been constrained because of both her own & my father's dietary restrictions. I totally owe it to her for passing on her skills to me. I still remember days when she used to bake excellent cakes, she could never go wrong. She would let both me & my brother lick the remnants of the chocolaty batter from the dish in which she'd mixed it. As a youngster, I remember sitting down with her late into the night, preparing Christmas goodies, ghujia, namkeen, rose cookies, donuts, murukku, ginger wine, in a span of a week or so before the D-Day!!! Those were really fun days. I miss them sooo much, n know that they will always remain engraved in my heart, n really hope that I shall be able to pass on these traditions to my children someday.

I love my Dad for being there with a "bahut acha banaya hai mere bete ne (my child has made this excellently)", n always nodding with approval, be it a piece of s#@$ in my perspective. He would never ever discourage me by saying its bad, n I love him for that.

I have to thank my friends who have borne the brunt of my experiments time n again, especially my friend Diji who has given her honest opinion from time to time, n at the same time encouraged me to try my hand at new things.

In 2008 I plan to make my blog look more presentable, organize it a bit & do more and more of newer cuisines & newer dishes n most of all – make new friends n build a better relation with my blog buddies.

Finally I have to thank all of you for your utter patience in reading this long post (i.e. if you have read it…..n not wandered away in the midst) & for all my blogger friends, without whom I probably wouldn't have reached this 100 th Post. Yes this is my 100th Post. If it wasn't for your love & encouragement & your comments I would have long ago strayed from the blog world to my own diminutive world of cooking.

And on the final note – ahem, ahem – I had sent my entry of Chocolate to the Hotel Chocolat recipe competition & it has been selected as the most appetizing recipe!!!! Yipeeeeeeeee. I have won myself a copy of their 101 Chocolate Recipes and a box of exotic chocolates, n most importantly they shall be publishing the recipe on their official Website. I just received a mail from them, n the goodies are on their way. I shall be posting pics of the goodies received when the packet gets to me (that's the least I can to share my goodies virtually with you wonderful girls), n a link to the recipe when it is published on the site.

On that happy note I take this opportunity to wish each one of you – ALL OF YOU – I am not taking any names lest I leave anybody out, n I would hate to do that – a whooping New Year filled with love, joy, peace & prosperity. God bless!! And a biiiiig hug.

I am also sending this entry to Nupur's for her Event "The Best of 2007". I really dont have any dish to swank about, & I hope Nupur will accept this nonetheless!!

50 comments:

Nags said...

a few things that touched me

- the fact that you thanked your blog friends
- you telling your husband about the blog after posting some recipes
- the way he took it so sweetly and promptly gifted you a camera
- the way you were embarrased in front of KP and yet learnt from it

and so much more!

lovely post Shella.

have a wonderful 2008 filled with happiness and love.

Shella said...

Nags - thanks Babes. You are a sweetheart, n i wish you also the best of everything in the new year.

Kamini said...

Very sweet post and a perfect recap of your blogging life.. Happy 2008!!!!

Asha said...

Happy 100th post and new year to you Shella. Wish you the best!:))

Rina said...

Lovely post shella dear..Like your new template too. Has a soothing and rich look.

God's richest blessings on you. Really waiting to visit Delhi now..cause my sis is there to accompany me.

Happy New year to you and Rajeev

Nupur said...

Thank you for a lovely post. Happy New Year!

bindiya said...

Shella ,that's such a sweet post, I read every word of it!Congrats on your 100th post.

Shella said...

Kamini - thanks for droppin by. I wish you & yours a wonderful 2008

Asha - thank you for yr wishes. Happy New Year.

Rina - thanks dear. Ooohhh come na. It would be so much fun. Happy New Year sweetie.

Nupur - glad you like it. I know its really looong, i should have edited it probably. Happy New Year.

Bindiya - thank you sweetheart.

ushaprashanth said...

Hi !
Congrats on your winning the competition!your post is interesting to read! Happy new year!

easycrafts said...

Thats a lovely post ... congrats on winning the event and a happy new year to u

Siri said...

Congrats Shella for ur 100th post and also for winning the award..:) very soulful post.. and a nice way to bid adieu to our dear 2007.

Have a Blissful and Joyous 2008!

~ Siri

Seena said...

Congrats on your 100th post, Shella!
You achieved it very soon!
very lovely post,
Happy New year!

Shella said...

Usha - nice having you here. Happy New Year to you too.

Easycrafts - thank you for your comments. Happy New Year to you too dear.

Siri - yes Siri, it has been a good year. There was much much more that i could have gone on writing, but I had to stop myself, coz the post was already very long. Happy New Year.

Seena - thank you for everything. Happy New Year.

Rajitha said...

Shella..totally loved the
write-up..i got a ittle misty eyed when you talked about ur dad..mine was the same..when i made rice..it was invariably watery..he always said..i love watery rice..this is the best..aren't parents awesome. i wish you and your family a fantastic year and looking fwd to know you better in 2008 :)

Cynthia said...

I am so proud of you and am honoured to call you friend.

Thanks for this touching and heart-warming post.

Congrats on the blog, the 100th post and the recipe competition!

A very happy and prosperous new year to you and your family!

Pravs said...

congrats on your 100th post and also wishing you a happy new year.

D said...

wow...100th post!!!! it happened very soon !!!! congratulations and all the very best for 2008. Happy New Year, and happy cooking, n happy baking.
ps - am eagerly waiting for the long pending apple pie that u've promised to bake...hopefully in 2008 :):):):):)

Sig said...

aawww, that is such a sweet post Shella.. Congrats on the 100th post, and also for winning the competition. Wish you the very best for another succesful year ahead!

Gretchen Noelle said...

Great to read through your post. I too was delighted to read that you showed your husband after you had worked through starting and posting. And what a delight that in turn he bought you a camera! May God bless your next year greatly!

Holler said...

Hi Shella,
Happy New Year!
You asked how much butter 1/2 block is for making my mum's fruit loaf, it is 125g. Sorry I didn't get back to you sooner, just spotted your comment.

Bharathy said...

Enjoyed reading your 100th post!..
All the best in the coming year too :)
God Bless!

Thanu said...

Hi,
It was really nice to read your post. Very warm and from the heart!

Shella said...

Cynthia - thank you soo much for such lovely words.

D - you will surely have your pie.

Sig - thanks dear & hoping the same for you too.

Gretchen - thanks for being here. Happy New Year to you.

Holler - thanks for the info. I did check up google too to know the answer. Happy New Year to you.

Bharaty - thank you n same to you.

Thanu - thank you for dropping by. Happy New Year

Purnima said...

Shella..heres wishing you a very very Happy New year and your blog a lot more lovely recipes! Wishing you, Peace,Prosperity N Good Health!
Rgds-Purnima :)

Rachel said...

Though this comes a wee bit late, it comes with a lot of wishes for the new year.. That was a very nostalgic read...I was just like you when I showed my DH my blog...

And congrats on the win..Virtual treat is a no-no//probably you could sent it as a surprise to me ;))))

Padmaja said...

So sorry shella for wishing little late. Hope u had an amazing christmas and all geared up in the new year.
My best wishes to you n family!!
Absolutely Incredible read!!

mathew said...

sorry for being the latecomer..congrats on your 100th post..i actually enjoyed the thank you post very much...there is so much honesty in it!

Gayathri said...

Hi Shella

This is my first visit here, I came here from Nupur's blog. Your post made me cry -- it really touched me.

Congrats !!!

Gayathri

Shella said...

Purnima - Thank you sooo much for all your good wishes & I would like to wish you the same & much more for the coming year.

Rachel - thanks dear. I know we women are all the same!!! Lookout for the courier guy then.....

Padmaja - your wishes are heartily reciprocated. The thought is much more important than being late or anythign else. God bless & Happy New Year.

Mathew - glad you liked it. Happy New Year to you. N its better late than never.

Gayathri - thank you dear for the visit. Am so glad you liked reading my post. Happy New Year to you.

Mona said...

Hi Shella ! What a beautiful post it was! Loved it a looot. It was a total 'dil se' post. You are a very good person dear :-) And.. Congratulations, for winning the competition, and for the fact that ur loved ones care and love you a lot !
Wish you and urs a very Happy New Year !!!

www.monaafzal.wordpress.com

Oh for the love of food! said...

Hey there Shella, Thanks for visiting my blog. Food Blogging is wonderful, isn't it? Have a beautiful 2008!

Shella said...

Mona - thank you for dropping by n for your kind words. I truly cherish them. Happy New Year.

Oh for the love of food - Yes it is lovely experience. Happy New Year to you too

TBC said...

Shella,
Congrats on the 100th post!
Your recipe was picked as the best one! How exciting is that! Will come back to see what it is. Nothing with chocolate in it can ever be bad;-)
Here's wishing you and your family the very best in 2008!

Bharathy said...

Shella, Hope you are preparing to send to aparna and priyadarshini! :)..just a reminder!:)..K??
Hope you had a fine start for the year! :)

RAKS KITCHEN said...

Thats a lovely look back and congrats on your 100th Post!
Happy New year to you and hope we all can get somany chocolate recipies this year...atleast 102!Including your entry ;D

Shella said...

TBC - thanks dear. I had sent it over to Zlamushka for her A spoonful of Christmas event. I will send you a link.

Bharaty - yes, I havent forgotten it, its just that I so lack time these days. Will surely be quick on this.thanks for your patience.

RAKS - thanks. Mine is alredy posted on my blog dear. I have been gifted a lot of baking books this season, n I really hope to do more baking for sure.

sunita said...

Shella, of course, I read all of the 'long' post...who wouldn't...it's such a sweet one...loved reading every bit of...posts which come from the heart are always lovely to read.Hope you had a wonderful start to the new year...congrats on your 100th post and on winning the contest.

Jyothsna said...

Congrats on the century! It was a pleasure to read that honest and sweet post. Keep going, Shella!

aparna said...

A lovely read, Shella.
A Happy New Year, too.

Superchef said...

congrats on your 100th post and thank you for ur wishes...lovely blog n some gr8 recipes..i cant believe i have been missing all this till now..

Mansi Desai said...

hey Shella...it's so much satisfying to look back on ouor achievements, right? congrats on the win girl, and good luck on your future endeavors:)

PS: I love chocolates too:D

Nags said...

feel free to use raw papaya also! :)

Suganya said...

You have thought about everything, Shella. Not sure whether I can do a wonderful job like this. Happy new year. Winning chocolates is a great way to start yet another year :)

Shella said...

Sunita - thank you for dropping by n liking my post too. I hope to leave the bad n accept the good & make the fullest of 2008.

Jyotsna-thank you for being here.

Aparna - thank you so much.

Superchef - better late than never. Hope to have you back soon.

Mansi - thank you for coming here. Yes achievements make us feel happy.

Nags - thank you dear

Suganya - i am sure you will be able to do a better job. Give it a try.

The Cooking Ninja said...

Shella, Happy New Year and congrations to your win.

I have my fair share of disastrous cooking experience (a cake or cookies turned out not right, dishes turned out nothing like it is supposed to be etc) But it is from all these disasters that we learned to be a better cook. :) I'm still learning and experimenting. :)

You indeed have a wonderful husband and parents and in laws and friends. :)

The Cooking Ninja said...

And thanks for dropping by my blog :) Oh just want to say that the Moghlai Murgh is very good. I have made it for my MIL and she loves it. I will make it again when my FIL and SIL are here next time. :)

Mishmash ! said...

Shella...

"if you have read it…..n not wandered away in the midst) " I did read fully and did not miss a word...quite a transparent and touching post!! Sorry I missed this post earlier. COngrats on winning the competition too :)

Hugs
Shn

Kribha said...

Hi Shella dear,
It's been awhile since I visited here. Too bad that I missed congratulating you on your great day. Anyway, HEARTY CONGRATS on reaching a big milestone "100th post". That was so sweet of you to mention so many people who encouraged you all the way through. Very touching.
You rock girl. Did you say that you won the chocolate competion? That's awesome. A big hug to you for all your achievements.

Shella said...

The cooking ninja - thank you for dropping by. I will surely try the Moghlai Murg.

Mishmash - thanks for peeping in & saying those lovely words. Hugs to you too.

Kribha - so nice to have you here after such a long time. I missed you.

k said...

Nice write up...its very inspiring.
tc