Paola of An Italian Cooking in the Midwest and Brii of briggishome have invited me to the seven link challenge (here and here): albeit with some delay (for which I apologize), I am hereby taking it up.
It is a difficult challenge to answer, because it asks me to choose a post with specific characteristics and since I have about 500 posts, it is not easy to keep all of them in mind. So, my choices come with the disclaimer that they represent my current thought and are subject to my memory. In a month, I may have a different set of answers. But maybe I am taking this a bit too seriously (I am known to do so) and should just relax and have fun.
1. The most beautiful post
It takes me time and effort to write a post, so they are all beautiful to me.
2. The most popular post
Measured by number of page hits according to google analytics (which I started using a bit more than a year after I started the blog), it is the post on making mascarpone at home. If you have not tried the recipe, I recommend you do it: the mascarpone you get is vastly superior to anything you can buy in the US. (The post has also the Italian version.)
3. The most controversial post
Being controversial is not my style. Probably the most controversial statement I made is in my second post. Nobody knew me at that time, so I didn't get any reactions.
4. The most helpful post
This is really difficult to answer, because the perspective can be that of the writer or that of the reader. I certainly don't know which of my posts is considered the most helpful by readers, though I have received nice testimony to that effect for a number of posts (like this one on Swiss chard).
In general, I consider writing my posts always helpful for myself for a number of reasons:
- writing forces me to make myself clear
- in the case of a recipe, writing makes me being precise
- questions from readers may point to areas that need clarification
- writing a post is part of the big conversation that having a blog entails
- in a number of cases, I have used material from a post to write a longer article
I have added clarifying notes to my post on making mascarpone at home a few times in response to comments or references to my post. The post helped me realize that differences across the world pertain not only measurements, but the name of ingredients, in this case whipping cream.
5. The most surprisingly successful post
I did not expect that my post on pasta al burro e parmigiano would become popular and be referenced by a number of esteemed bloggers. This and pasta with ricotta were my favorite pasta options as a kid.
6. The post that did not get the attention it deserved
Answering this makes me a bit uncomfortable, as it is a veiled criticism of readers for not paying attention. In each of my posts, I try to convey a bit about me and a bit about my cultural background, besides whatever dish or other topic I am discussing. Publishing means that you offer what you have to the public, but you also have to accept that not everybody may share your interest or feel like expressing their appreciation (or otherwise) publicly.
In the fall of 2007, Lisa of Champaign Taste and I started Novel Food, an event that brings together literature and food. In the four years we have been co-hosting it (most recently, I have hosted it by myself, as Lisa is taking time off blogging), we have had a group of devoted participants. It is an event very dear to my heart and I will continue hosting it. I am taking advantage of this venue to bring it to people's attention: I believe it deserves it. It is a bit more challenging than other events, but it is quite rewarding. (The next edition will be announced some time in February.)
7. The post I am most proud of
The very first one. Short as it is (the original was shorter than the current one, since the second sentence was added after I published the post it references), clicking on the Publish button to send it out there took some courage and I am proud of that.
Looking at my first post also gives me a sense of how far I have traveled, in terms of my writing, my photos and my circle of friends in the blogosphere. Thank you all for being there!
Pola of An Italian Cooking in the Midwest also kindly presented me with the Cannolo Award, which I have been proudly displaying on my sidebar ever since.
I would like to pass the award to two bloggers:
Ann of La Buona Cucina pays homage to her Italian heritage in the kitchen of her home in South Carolina, where she lives with her beautiful family. Besides cooking for her family, she teaches cooking classes.
Kathy of Food Lover's Odyssey knows a lot about Italy and its culinary traditions and her blog is a rich source of information. I am particularly grateful to her for her weekly review Italy on a Plate: The Week in Italian Food, an always interesting collection of carefully selected blog posts, news and events (here is the most recent edition).