Monthly Archives: May 2012

Verbal Essences

Igalo, Montenegro from

My sister (on the right) and me

It has been two years since those two ubiquitous words “Hello, world!” appeared on the first page of my newly-hatched blog. You would think that I should have been a blogging pro, having spent several years reading various blogs from their inception to  celebrity status. But no, my blog started out on an impulse and I was like a startled rabbit, scrambling to come up with a name, design, and a theme. I did not think for a second that I would have to pronounce the name of my blog EVERY SINGLE TIME I found myself surrounded by fellow food bloggers. It did not cross my mind that I would have to recite the etymology of my blog’s name at every meeting, conference, or workshop.

I was happy with my choices in my self-absorbed little universe, completely unaware that there are other human beings out there who would be reading my words and having a hard time relating to my seemingly innocuous and vague word associations. I wish I could go back in time and change some features of my blog, but as I am not on speaking terms with any branch of physics that would enlighten me to the ways of making a time-travel machine, I have reconciled with my blog being the way it is, awkwardly named and verbose. I find it charming, if unpopular, and decided to embrace it and plunge forward, damn the SEO and Google Search.

I do not want to deceive you that I am an utterly impractical person, but opportunism usually comes to me too late in the game, and I scramble to salvage what remnants I can. One day soon I will publish another blog that will exemplify everything I learned since I started blogging. It will be a site some of my blogging mentors would be really proud of.

It might be serendipitous, but today I was nominated for a Food Stories Award by Lisa of Parsley and Sage. I hate to admit it, but it felt a little bit like back in high school when one of the most popular, gorgeous guys asked me to go out on a date. (We lasted for almost four years, which made me reassess the pecking order and realize that the high school hierarchy is bullshit. This does not mean that I expect to rule the blogosphere for the same time.) Lisa, you have made my day! Thanks for all the smiles that appeared on my face today:)

The rules of the game state that I have to write one random fact about myself to be considered for this nomination. So I am sitting here chewing on my virtual pencil not because I cannot come up with a random fact, but because I cannot pick one from the many. OK, here we go. When I was in eighth grade, I won an essay contest titled “What You Know about Traffic”. Instead of winning a few hard cover books as I expected, my reward was a curse: I had to compete in the town’s bicycle race. It was on a weekend and the course ran from our school, through the city park and on throughout closed-for-the-traffic city streets, which were lined by eager-looking parents and students. I was a socially awkward child and riding a bike was not a boasting point for me, as I considered myself lucky if I avoided the trucks and crazy motorcycle riders on my way to my friend’s house. Here I was exposed in front of my whole town, my crush included, trying to navigate the curves of an “8” drawn on the concrete of the playground, trying not to touch the lines and attempting in vain to keep my front wheel straight enough to balance through the ten yards of an “as slow as you can go” stretch. Do I need to reiterate that I finished close to the bottom two? And all because I could write?

In order to further qualify for this award, I have to nominate at least five bloggers whose writing I enjoy, which was even harder than coming up with a random fact about me. I encounter talented writers every day and every day someone’s words seduce me. Here are my favorites who have not been chosen yet:

The Kitchen Witch: Dana has a great sense of humor and her everyday stories usually make my stomach hurt from laughter. I wish I had her penchant for snark. I turn to her blog whenever I need a dose of weirdly colored sunshine.

Anecdotes and Apple Cores: Who does not feel the effects of Monet’s beautiful writing? Even when the fates deal her hand after hand of ugly, she keeps on writing, offering us insightful pieces of her soul.

Rose Water & Orange Blossoms: Maureen Abood’s writing is wistful, evocative, and beautiful. In every sentence you can feel the love for her family and her Lebanon.

Food for the Thoughtless: I have no clue how I stumbled on Michael Procopio’s brilliantly written blog, but I don’t care. Every post he writes is a literary gem, an essay worth of publishing in the best of magazines.

Sasa Sunakku: I did not expect to discover such fresh and beautiful writing when I clicked on Sasa’s Harissa Carrot Salad recipe. But I was smitten from the first click and even though she does not update her blog as often as she did, I await every post with eager anticipation.

Lentil Breakdown: Adair is the master of the metaphor and her wit can slice through the toughest armors. The only predictable thing about her posts is that they will make you smile.

You might wonder about the significance of the photo. It was one of the best vacations: me, my sister, and my girls in beautiful Montenegro. And I like the way I looked. yes, I am that vain:)

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