Wow – thanks to a notification from wordpress I just discovered that this blog is a year old! My first blog post was on 27 October 2012, and here we are, one year and 76 posts later (this one will be number 77).
If I am honest, I didn’t believe I’d still be posting blog updates regularly one year on … I’d tried to launch a blog a few years ago, and became bored after a few posts and eventually it died away. However, this time around I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to spend a few quiet hours sitting in my cosy chair and pecking away on my laptop while Andrew catches up with the rugby or Walking Dead, or whatever drivel I can’t face watching. It’s a win-win situation really – I get the excuse to cook things I love and eat things I probably shouldn’t, and Andrew is my chief taster who also gets a bit of peace and quiet from me each week so that he can chill in front of the telly without me moaning at him to “turn that crap off!”.
One of the main motivations for starting the blog – which I didn’t mention in my inaugural post – was to become more familiar with social media. In my job I am responsible for our company’s websites, but we have never really done much in the way of social media, and I felt that I had a knowledge gap which I would have to fill if I ever wanted to develop professionally. The only way for me to be able to speak authoritively about blogs, Twitter, Facebook etc would be if I was on them myself. Of course I already had personal Facebook and Twitter accounts, but I set up additional accounts associated to this blog as well. I also created Google+ and Pinterest accounts but I am still getting my head around them.
I wanted to expand my cooking experience and capability – cooking more than just the same old dishes every week, attempting brand new recipes, ingredients and ways to cook – finally making use of some of the many hundreds of cookbooks I am lucky enough to own.
Then I wanted to see whether I could actually write … I have always fancied myself as having a witty and amusing writing style, and in fact when I was younger my ambition was to be a journalist – but I somehow fell into website communications in asset management, and that’s where I have stayed.
And lastly, I wondered whether I actually ate as well as I imagined, or whether under the microscope I would realise that my diet was better or worse than I thought.
So, what have I discovered over this first year? Well, certainly that I know more about social media than I did a year ago – and in fact just last week I accepted a role within my current company as Head of Social Media. That means I’ll have the opportunity to put what I have learnt into practice professionally. Of course, asset management and food are two very different topics, and so I am pretty sure that It’s not easy being greedy will remain much more ‘social’ than AXA Investment Managers!
I have without a doubt significantly expanded my horizons in the kitchen – getting some amazing recipes from friends and colleagues (Hainanese chicken from Monique in Hong Kong particularly stands out as one of our new favourites), and the Great British Bake Off challenge has helped me to try ingredients, techniques and recipes which I would never have dreamed of using before: the apricot couronne, custard tart and this week’s pretzels have been particular favourites during this challenge.
I have also taken the opportunity of visiting restaurants to get ideas for my own dishes, such as my trip to Kimchee in Holborn to make Korean Bibimbap. I am sure I’ll have even more great experiences as I work through the alphabet for my Alphabet Adventures with Charlotte and Joanna.
Can I write? Well, I can certainly feel inspired enough to put pen to paper (or fingertip to laptop key in this case), and I have remained motivated to do so every week in the last year. Can I write well? That’s for you all to say rather than me: I now have 340 followers, so gaining readers at an average rate of just under one per day. I guess that means I am at least a tiny bit engaging / interesting / amusing. Those of you I know in real life who bother to follow me have said when they read my blog, it sounds like I am there talking to them. I’ll take that as a compliment as I have never wanted to sound contrived and pretentious, and hopefully this time next year I’ll have many more readers who are taking the time to listen to my waffle!
And finally, do I eat as well as I imagined? Yes, I do. I cook from scratch almost every day, and every meal is a balanced mix of ingredients which are healthy, nutritious and filling. Do I also sometimes (a lot) supplement all that healthy goodness with packs of biscuits, bars of chocolate, slabs of cake and chunks of pudding? Yes I do. But I manage to offset that potential massive weight gain by my regular lunchtime sessions at the gym, and a disciplined approach to food at least 80% of the time. I certainly don’t have porridge for breakfast and soup for lunch every day because they are my two most favourite foods. I eat them so that I can eat my most favourite foods in the evenings for dinner.
As I said in my very first post, I started the blog with the same enthusiasm with which I start every single meal. That hasn’t changed – I am still a little piggy who thinks about her next meal at the same time as she’s eating her current one! But now I am also thinking about what could make an interesting story for the blog whilst I am eating, basically using this blog as an excuse for my gluttony – lucky me!
So, if you do enjoy reading my ramblings (or even if you don’t) please do send me your comments. I am genuinely interested to know what you think. And I’d love you to share your favourite recipes with me so that I can cook them and share them on this blog. I’ll keep cooking, eating, drinking and sharing, and hopefully this time next year there will be even more of you to help me celebrate It’s not easy being greedy‘s second birthday!