“There is something very comforting in eating cheese on freshly sliced bread. To me, it’s simplicity at its best – and it’s also a symbol of precious memories. I love this combination because it reminds me of my childhood, and of me eating feta cheese with white bread and juicy red tomatoes alongside my parents. Back then, we used to travel quite a bit in the summer, and being on the go and on a tight budget meant that we didn’t care much for fancy restaurants. It was all about improvisation – improvisation with a few simple ingredients, bought from local producers who sold their fruits and veggies on the side of the road.”
The paragraph above is the very first I published on my blog on July 7, 2013. We had relocated from the UK to the US in 2010, and the first few years were years of readjustment – to the complexities of American culture, to life in a big city, to a novel world of exciting foods and flavors. At some point we moved to a new place during extensive renovations. We didn’t have a stove for almost a year! I bought a panini press, which soon came in handy. We ate lots of panini during those renovations!
I started off this blog for 2 reasons: to share my “panini experiments” with others who might be interested, and to go back to writing during a period of numerous changes in my life. Storytelling became a means of putting my thoughts in order while looking for purpose in an ever-shifting time and place.
The panino featured in my first blog post (see pic below) was the first panino I photographed in our new home in Chicago. “The flavors worked well together, the kitchen smelled wonderful, and overall I was pleased with the end result. I just wish I’d used a better knife to cut the bread. Hopefully I’ll do a better job next time” – that’s what I said in my original post 🙂
Family extended and hundreds of posts later, here I am celebrating an exciting milestone: 10 years of blogging! A moment of celebration and deep reflection on the wonderful opportunities I have had to connect, to share, and to grow throughout the years. Complexity is what I love about writing, in the first place. It’s not just the act of putting words in order in your mind, and then on paper or on the computer. It’s so much more – an entire experience of connecting, of learning, of absorbing, and of becoming a better person in the process (or so I think/hope). I could not have done it without you, my readers, and without the numerous businesses, big and small, I have had the opportunity to learn about throughout the years. Thank you all so much 🙂
To celebrate 10 years of blogging and the upcoming 4th of July, I am hosting a giveaway on Instagram, where one lucky follower/subscriber has the chance to win one year of free bread!
As a blogger, a home baker and a consumer, I am very excited about my partnership with La Brea Bakery (you can check out my blog posts on the topic here and here) and the ongoing summer grilling collaboration with La Brea Bakery and Mark Anderson & Ryan Fey aka The Grill Dads.
You are welcome to check out my Instagram channel to see the summer grilling social media posts I have published so far, and to enter the giveaway, which goes live on Saturday, July 1st.
Wishing you all an amazing 4th of July celebration. Here’s to 10 more years of blogging! 🙂