Sunday, January 8, 2012

My Current Situation: Blogiversary

My clever sister came up with some great personalized Christmas gifts this year, all of which she tagged to the theme “your current situation.” You can see mine above – a 3-d version of my blog logo!

For my dad, who has been having issues with his eyesight (we're hopeful it will be improving soon): large print playing cards, a giant die (singular dice), and more. (Dad also got a kick out of the blog book I dedicated to him based on my trip to South Dakota.)

For my mom, who has been driving Dad where he needs to go, a fun turn-about: My sister hired a stretch limo to chauffeur Mom (and the rest of us) around her town to view the Christmas lights!

Today marks the start of Year #3 at Eggplant To Go, and I’m looking forward to where this blogging journey leads me next. I couldn’t have predicted the surprises, delights (and occasional scoops) the last year has brought my way.

Thanks to Chef Todd Kelly at Orchids in Cincinnati and Chef Jeremy Ashby of Azur in Lexington, I’ve had two of the most spectacular meals of my life. I got all kinds of inspiration from the Kentucky Proud Incredible Food Show in Lexington, a front-row seat to watch the filming of Man v. Food at Tom + Chee, an invite to the press party for Chef Kelly’s new cookbook, and an insider’s view of the Cincinnati Magazine “Best of the City” party, thanks to two of my favorite Cincy food truck friends, Toya and Randy from a Streetcart Named Desire aka New Orleans to Go. Even got a hug and a thanks from my favorite fishmonger on New Years Eve day.

It’s funny how what goes around comes around. 2011 was a year in which I made strides in overcoming my shy, homebody ways and learned a lot about how rewarding it can be to reach out. One turning point came in August when I screwed up my nerve and asked local Top Chef: Just Desserts contestant, Orchids pastry chef Megan Ketover, if I might be able to speak to her on behalf of AllTopChef (where I’m a member of the blogging team). In addition to being a remarkable talent, Megan was so welcoming and gracious that the experience inspired me to screw up my nerve again and invite local food bloggers Stephie from Small Girl Adventures (who is launching her own business) and Jen from Our Good Food Life to join me for dinners during Restaurant Week, and Jeff from A Dork and His Pork for a Slow Food Cincinnati meet-up, where I met a bunch of other lovely people passionate about local food. At the press event for the release of Todd Kelly’s cookbook, I finally got to meet in person the uber-talented Courtney of Epiventures (who is also Chef Kelly’s co-author) and a number of other local food bloggers, reporters, and personalities as well. I was in food blogger hog heaven thanks to the company, as well as the opportunity taste more of Chef Kelly's amazing dishes.

As much inspiration as I draw from all the fine food folks I’ve been lucky to meet in person this year, I’m also full of gratitude to my homies – the bloggers of all ilks, from all parts, who have become dear friends even though I haven’t met them in person – who care, and comment, and lift my spirits. One never knows quite how karma weaves its way through our lives. But I can’t help but believe the chances of Scout returning home after his 2½ week kitty walkabout were only improved by your prayers and good wishes. And I’m certain that if he hadn’t come back, you would have been there for me too.

With the full force of your inspiration and friendships filling my sails, I already have a lot to look forward to, including a return visit to Lexington for Azur’s “Naked Dinner” Jan. 26; a local Cincy blogging conference in connection with the Winter Beer Fest on my February birthday; the weekend after my birthday in Lousisville to see Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert – and eat at Edward Lee’s 610 Magnolia!; and a late March visit to Nashville, where my niece is competing in Show Choir Nationals (think “Glee” in real life). Let me know if you have any suggestions on where to eat in Nashville.

Meanwhile, I’ll continue to be an enthusiastic cheerleader for the Culinary Smackdown (do you have your recipes ready for Battle Tofu?), and I’m looking forward to bringing you more blog-worthy posts from my own kitchen. Because inspiration is a terrible thing to waste, and it's always fun to keep exploring!

xoxo, eggy


chickory said...

how are you not 100000 pounds? man your food life is incredible. I love your sisters clever gifts.she sounds really cool. I liked your blog book a lot not surprised you daddy did too. happy anniversary eggy!

WaterDog said...

Most loving best friend and food assistant and travel buddy at times, you have, as usual, communicated the last years in a lovely way -even though you left me out, but I forgive easily- You are my insipiration in trying to get my household to eat differntly, alas it does not alwyas work! Keep up the wonderful work & I will try not to back out so many times this year. LOL and best wishes

Epiventures said...

Sharon, I think you're as much an inspiration for being so passionate about what you do - it's so nice to meet and read about people who for whatever inexplicable reason are driven to write, to be themselves and to inspire others to do the same.

theminx said...

Happy Blogaversary! Here's to many more years of great meals and great blog posts!

Jenny said...

Happy Anniversary Eggy! What a lovely community you're assembled both in your home town and beyond. I'm not a foodie, I just play one on my blog.... and not very often. Ha! YOU are the real thing and here's to a wonderful 2012!

Jen said...

Oh Sharon! Happy blogiversary! You are such a great cheerleader for me and I'm happy to be one for you too!

moi said...

Happy Anniversary! I love riding along—albeit virtually—on your culinary adventures. I think it's terrific how blogging allows us to meet and greet all kinds of different people who are tethered together by shared interests. Oh, and thanks to you, I now have a yummy knew cake in my repertoire!

moi said...

"Yummy NEW cake." D'oh!

Lori said...

What a year! I absolutely love your sister's theme for gifts. That is such a great idea. I'm planning to come the blog conference and beer fest up there in February. We need to meet up!

Stephie said...

Happy Blogiversary Sharon and to many, many more! You sure have had a great blogging year. I just want to let you know that you are such an inspiration and a delight to know. Thank you so much for taking the first step with invitations, I felt that same scared/nervous feeling. Thanks you so much for the business mention and being a great support and so very kind!

I hope you have one of the most amazing 4th years of blogging! love and hugs times ten.

Sharon Rudd said...

Awww, thanks, all!

Chick9, believe me, I don't eat like this every day, and I'm usually good about stopping eating when I'm no longer hungry. I just got a sweet thank-you note from my pops for the blog book - glad you enjoyed it too!

Waterdog, aka, Cindie, so sorry I didn't mention you by name. You have been doing a superlative job of playing travel agent for our upcoming adventures - and you'd better not back out, my friend!

Courtney, I am so touched by your comment - especially coming from the creator of Epiventures, which is an ongoing inspiration to ME!

Minx! I am SO lucky to have blogging partners like you and Laura K at AllTopChef! Looking forward to many more years here and at ATC!

Boxer, I am so glad to have you in my blogging circle. Your talent and support mean so much!

Jen, I am so glad I met you this year, and I'm looking forward to more meet-ups in 2012! Cheerleading can be good :)

Moi, so happy to be "tethered" together with you, dear wordsmith, and that you made my Grandma's cake!

Lori! How wonderful that you're coming to the beer and blogging event! We will definitely have to meet!

Stephie, thank you so much for accepting my invitation - you are a delight to know and I am wishing you all kinds of success in your new business venture! (P.S. I'm just two years in to this blogging thing, with Year #3 starting now - looking forward to amazing years both year and next :)

Stephie said...

oh my goodness, I'm embarrassed since I knew it was three. Sorry! Here's to another year of always proofreading before you press send! [=

Dani said...

Here's to many more Eggy Posts!

Buzz Kill said...

IE - Your blog, more than any other that I follow, truely inspires the chef in me. And who knew food trucks had anything more than greasy sausage and dry hamburgers on them? Well - you did. Keep chasing down the new restaurants.

Sharon Rudd said...

Dani, you ALWAYS brighten my day with your fine photos from your FL garden. You are sweetness and light personified, virtualized, or something like that :)

Buzz, wow. Glad if I inspire the very talented inner chef in you to come out to play more often :) I know your Buzz Kill life keeps you hoppin', but so glad you're back to the blogosphere.

moi said...

Pam in OKC is blogging PR All Stars. Join us!

Shaheen said...

I should be finshing off the last of the packing for the home move, except here i am catching up with blog reads. I don't know when i missed out on your real name - but its fab making your acquaintance Sharon. A little late I know but Happy Blogiversary and I am so loving the new header.