A few months ago, when I wrote my first post for the French Fridays with Dorie online cooking group, I was definitely very excited, a bit scared and to tell you the truth did not expect very much. It sure sounded like a very nice way to promote my infant blog, get traffic and hopefully, comments and cook some delicious sounding French recipes from Dorie Greenspans' "Around my French Table" which by the way is the biggest, heaviest cookbook I own!!
As the Fridays came and went my shy fascination with the group grow bigger and bolder! I started reading the other participants' blogs regularly and commented on their posts not just to get their reciprocal comment. I was eager and see how they prepared the dish, their thoughts about the recipe and how they might have adapted it to suit their and their family's pallets.
I must confess my feelings where not always on the noble side (I'm only human and a highly flawed one as a matter of fact...). I envied the beautiful photographs, the inspired writing and ability to manage a household full of people and pets and still be able to cook, photograph and post about it. Some people are blessed and born with special talents but still have to work really hard like the rest of us do to get to a place above our current self. If this is done for something that you love then the process is not as difficult as it sounds but really very fulfilling. And anyway this was not a race nor a contest. It was an opportunity to meet people who shared the same passion, learn from their experiences, their mistakes, and mine, without judgement and if anything with a lot of encouragement and positive energy.
I studied Liz's, Patty's, Andrea's, Trevor's, Paula's, Maya's, Elaine's mouthwatering photographs. I got inspired by Mardi's, Mary's, Maggie's, Betsy's, Sara's beautiful writing. I related and laughed with Cher's, Alice's, Kathy's, Candy's, Guyla's, Nana's & Tricia's, Jora's, Teresa's everyday cooking adventures. I know I'm only mentioning a few of the wonderful people who participate in this cooking adventure. You have to forgive me, my literary skills are not advanced enough to mention every one without making this post look like a directory page.
This Christmas time something really magical happened. Thanks to Alice's idea and flawless organisation (I have already proposed to her to move to Greece and have a go in organising our government!) cards started flying in from all over the world. Christmas cards with wishes and messages and favourite recipes from the members of our wonderful little online kitchen. It felt like Christmas morning every time I received a new one. A surge of excitement to see who it was from, and then gratitude and affection when I read the joyful messages full of wishes and words of encouragement. I just hope that my cards brought them the same joy and "childish" excitement, their's brought me!
Thank you all for making this past Christmas season a very special one!!!
As for this Friday's recipe, I have yet to see how my Long and Slow Apples look like! They have been stewing in the oven there for the past 3 hours! But I don't worry. As with many, if not all of Dorie's recipes, I am sure they will turn out tasting delicious. If their appearance is somewhat funny then this is completely my fault! I am going to enjoy them any way!
Please visit our French Fridays with Dorie homepage to see how my online cooking friends have prepared this extra special recipe!