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Thursday, November 22, 2007

One Year Old Today

It was only a year ago when a wonderful woman suggested I open the Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen Blog. It really had never crossed my mind before that point when on a Saturday night in November of 2006 she suggested the creation of this blog.

In the year of writing about food and recipes I have met some wonderful people on-line. Some great cooks, some great story-tellers and some just plain great people. In truth, I never expected Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen to become as popular as it has within these past 12 months. I post the recipes but many personal emails come through which are wonderful to read and respond to.

The Internet is a strange medium when you get down to it. But then again life is strange and always full of surprises. Sometimes things you think will never work, they don't have a chance in hell - become wildly popular. Other ideas you think are diamonds and full of possibilities simply languish on the by-ways of this virtual world.

There are, as we all know, thousands of sites, and certainly thousands of Blogs devoted to the fine art of cooking and recipes. Food it seems is a never-ending fascination for many of us. How to make it, when to serve it, what traditions are involved in it. So the incredible success of Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen never ceases to amaze me.

Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen was begun from the perspective of a divorced parent who knows without a shadow of doubt, that there is a huge percentage of people who are interested in food and health. We often do not have the time to cook full meals for our children every single day. We admit to laziness and to a certain sense of saying "Oh NO! Not the kitchen again!" There are also many of us who just do not have any knowledge or information regarding the mysteries of the kitchen. Gourmet food is great for us - as long as someone else is cooking, paying and washing the dishes.

You see it is fairly simple. There is usually a room in the house called the kitchen. Wonderful dishes do not magically appear in it. First one must shop for utensils and supplies and gadgets. Then one must shop for food and ingredients. Then one must make the food in question. Then one must clean the dirty plates, sweep under the table, wash the dishes and clean up the kitchen. We don't see any of those pictures in cook books. We see beautiful creations which are yummy and delicious and healthy for the most part.

But we, we the people, we the plebeians who do not have full time cooks at our beck and call, we the parents, we the singles, we the married couples who have to work in other professions and not as chefs - get tired and frazzled and sad and hungry and need our sugar fixes and our carbohydrate highs and all the rest. We have moods. We get upset, we are ecstatic, we are full of life and from time to time we get a bit depressed when things do not go right. We need to deal with our children, our spouses, our dates (if we are lucky enough to get a date that is!), and all the rest. One child has temperature, the other needs some serious time alone with you, and the other needs to eat. NOW!

I am sure, if you are a real person this all sounds familiar. Parents are by nature the greatest multi-taskers this universe has. And even if we only have one child, or we are grandparents and the years of child rearing are basically over, it really never ends. We are humans and thus for the most part relationships are part of life. They take work and time. So who the hell has time for the kitchen in the end result?

We also have to make money to pay our bills. We have to buy the ingredients and food we use to feed ourselves and our families. We need to plan, think, wonder and pray all the time so we can continue to offer the best possible environment for ourselves, our spouses and our children.

So Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen was born from reality. The recipes are never rated by how good they may be (as usually that is a matter of taste anyway) but how difficult they will be to make. And that includes the shopping for ingredients, the number of pots, pans, mixers, spoons and gadgets needed to create the dish.

Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen was never about gourmet cooking though I welcome gourmet recipe submissions. Nor was it ever about purely "healthy" dishes (according to the current diet fad of the year). It is about maintaining our sanity, specifically in a place where it is so easy to loose it - the kitchen!

So on this day, a day which I celebrate with the rest of the United States, the holiday of Thanksgiving, where we look around and give thanks for all that we have and all that we are blessed with - is actually without planning, the birthday of Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen.

I look forward to the coming year. Making more friends, seeing more recipes, reading more stories, reviewing more books and writing about food.

My wish to all of the readers of Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen. May you have much to give thanksgiving for. May your lives be blessed with true fulfillment. May you achieve all you desire. May your prayers all be answered for the good. May we continue to grow and watch the world around us grow with wonder and beauty.

Take a moment and look at your family, your loved ones, your significant other. Take a moment and smile at life. Forget the dishes and the sweat, the aggravation, the burnt rice. Forget it all. Remember - Count Your Blessings. And in counting them give hope and kindness to others.

For one thing I have learned in life. When your heart is full of love - whatever dish you make in that kitchen will radiate the love in you.

Thank you to all the readers of Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen for making this an incredibly successful and really fun place to be in virtual land. That too, has been a blessing for me.


3 Fire Comments - Click To Post A Comment:

Random Thoughts to Amuse said...

Happy Birthday to you and this wonderful place you created.

I thoroughly enjoy having a place to share my recipes.

Take a bow, Ted
You've done a phenomanal job hosting and keeping us entertained.

Deborah Dowd said...

On this day of thanksgiving, I am thankful that I met you via your blog. Your recipes are great, but you voice is really approachable! Congratulations on your first birthday!

Roni said...

Great site! I just came across it afterstarting my own food blog. Also a working, frazzed parent I appreciate the straight talk.

Happy Birthday and Happy Thanksgiving!