Six months ago today I sat at my computer, wrote a few lines, took a deep breath and hit “publish“. And although this is hardly a long time in the general scheme of things, I’m very proud to celebrate the 6-month anniversary of my little blog. As I’ve written before, this is the first project I’ve undertaken without a plan, or a clue, or a goal.
Okay – that last part is not entirely true. I did have a goal. I wanted to try, after working for more than 1/2 my life, to create something that I would not only be proud of, but that I would love putting my heart and soul into every day. And in that respect, I have achieved my goal. I have a voice and a forum to explore and share the things that I love. My passion for baking has found a proper home, at last. And my head is often spinning with plans and ideas for future posts – meaning, the creative side of me is more than fulfilled.
But – as with any new endeavor – what’s been most rewarding on this journey has been the unexpected. The surprises. The things I could have never anticipated because that’s part of what you get when you start something brand new. And it’s often the best part.
For example, I knew that I loved to write – but I could have never known how much I would love taking pictures. I knew that I wanted photos to be a significant part of my blog posts, but I did not anticipate that the taking of the photos would prove to be as satisfying (and sometimes even more so) as the writing itself.
I was on T.V. – for the very first time! It was incredibly exciting and put my blog in front of so many new people. Really lovely people like Lily, who reached out to comment on my blog almost immediately and has since been one of my biggest and best supporters (as well as social media advisor extraordinaire), even though we have never met.
I joined a local group of women writers. Some – like Arin, Tobi, Marcie, Elina and Julie – I already knew casually and have gotten to know even better through their enthusiasm for my work, my admiration for theirs, and the incredible support that we show one another. And some I had never met – women like Kerry, Monica, Britta, Patty, Gwen, Esther, Sara and Jennifer. All accomplished, talented, creative and hardworking moms who also happen to have a passion for writing about their passions.
This, hands down, has been one of the most rewarding aspects of the last 6 months.
And finally, I’ve found yet another reason to be so very grateful to my family and friends, who have rallied around me with unending troves of love, support, encouragement and enthusiasm. They gush, they comment, they offer ideas and suggestions and most of all, constant reassurance that this is not the craziest thing I’ve ever undertaken. And for this, I am beyond appreciative.
I’m excited to see where I’ll be 6 months from now……..
In the mean time – I was recently invited to a housewarming brunch at my cousin’s new home. I seized the opportunity to make my very first batch of doughnuts, wore a pretty summer dress for the occasion, and picked some flowers from my garden to bring along.
Hence, I give you:
And a 4th “d” for my handsome and hilarious “date”, who stood in for his dad, who was away on business.
I would also like to say ”thank you” to all of you who have been reading (and “liking” and “following”). Unlike any other job I’ve had, this is the first time I’ve worked on something that I can’t taste, prune or hold in my hand. I hit “publish”, sit back and wonder, is anyone even looking at this?
When I get your comments – either here , via e-mail, or on Facebook or Twitter, I feel like I’ve made a connection. That what I’ve written about that day has resonated with at least one person “out there” – either through a new recipe, a cooking technique, gardening advice or a fun place to visit in New York. Please keep your comments coming – they mean so much to me!
Sugared Cake Doughnuts
adapted from Gourmet
3 1/2 c. all-purpose flour (16 oz.)
2 t. baking powder
1 1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. baking soda
1 c. sugar (200 g.)
3/4 c. well-shaken buttermilk
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
12 c. vegetable oil
1 1/4 c. sugar (250 g.), for dredging (I divided the sugar in half and mixed one half with 2 t. cinnamon. I dredged half the doughnuts in the plain sugar and the other half in the cinnamon-sugar)
Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl. Whisk together 1 c. sugar, buttermilk, butter, and eggs in another bowl, then add to flour and stir until a dough forms (dough will be sticky).
Turn out dough onto a well-floured surface and knead gently 8 times. Flour dough and a rolling pin, then roll out dough into a 12-inch round (about 1/3″ thick). Cut out as many doughnuts as possible with floured 3-inch doughnut cutter* and transfer to lightly floured baking sheets (I used Silpat mats instead). Gather scraps, reroll, and cut more doughnuts in same manner (I used the cut-out centers to make doughnut “holes”).
Heat oil in a 5-quart heavy pot until thermometer registers 375°F. Working in batches of 3**, slide doughnuts into oil and fry. Once each doughnut floats to surface, turn over and fry 50 seconds, then turn again and fry 50 seconds more. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Cool slightly and dredge in remaining sugar.
* I don’t have a doughnut cutter, so I used 3” and 1” round cutters from this set – next time I will go one size up from the 1″ cutter to make the center holes a little larger.
** You can fry more doughnut holes at a time if you like, and they need slightly less cooking time.