Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Feliz Cumpleaños - blog's 1-year-anniversary!

Today this blog celebrates its first year in existence. A year that has packed a lot. Both good and bad. My kitchen has seen both triumphant successes and eye-wateringly hard-to-swallow (sometimes literally!) moments of failure. Most of all this year has had some seriously good meals in store. Though Spanish is something I still haven't mastered. Or those damn macarons...

Hopefully some evolution is evident to you on the other side of the screen as well? I'd like to think the photography skills have improved over the past months. The standard of culinary equipment in my kitchen sure has. I haven't even been able to indulge in much-loved shoe-shopping as there simply isn't anywhere to store them anymore: pasta machines, blow torches, citrus peel scrapers, potato ricers. bamboo steamers, muffin tins and pie dishes have taken over just about my entire flat!

And to think that just over a year ago I genuinely thought it was possible to get through life with just one sort of oil! And I had no idea that 5 different vinegars form the basis of any kind of dignified human life. 

1 year. 365 days, 321 blog posts and over 35 000 views (together with the Finnish side that number goes over 150 000!). Muchas gracias for every single one of those! 

I can't really imagine life without blogging anymore. Camera seems to have found a permanent home in my hand. Weeks fly by as I'm busy planning what to cook and weekends are a flurry of frantic cooking, staging and photographing while I gather friends around my minuscule dining table to enjoy the results. Blogging has also introduced me to new friends and with any luck I'll get to meet even more of the fellow bloggers face to face in the future: following the amazing content they produce is at least as much fun as working on my own. 

This blog has provided not just a wonderful (albeit extremely time-consuming!) hobby, but also an outlet and something to focus on during those bleak moments when I probably wouldn't have had the energy to get hold of anything else in my life (look out Jesus - there's a new sheriff in town!).

One of the most memorable things have been the nominations this blog has been honoured with such as Indiedays Blog Awards and Gloria Blog Awards, which I'm still struggling to believe actually happened. The biggest source of joy though have been you guys; your likes, comments and following. I feel grateful to have that many people taking time off their (already) busy schedules to connect with this blog. Time, after all, is something none of us has enough of...

The biggest changes though have without a doubt taken place behind the scenes. Some of the readers have already been asking about my next trip to Spain. The rest, too, have probably had an inkling of que pasa: the sheer and ever-increasing volume of comfort food and baking has probably made it obvious that they've all been attempts to medicate a broken heart. So, here goes. After 8 years my stint in my Malagan Masterchef-arena has come to an unfortunate end. While I was looking for a permanent, full-time job, the jury, a.k.a. The Gentleman would have been happy to settle for another unpaid internship. So, I'm looking at that dreaded transmogrification in a bid to maybe one day take on assisting another Time Lord in his fight against the Daleks of the world.

So, lately I haven't been spending much time Under that Andalusian Sun. Which has got me seriously contemplating the future of this blog - so much of the very existence of this blog is down to The Gentleman. So... now what? At least right now I don't feel ready to throw in the towel just yet, but at the same time I'm not sure where to take this. Andalusia will forever be a place I cherish with so much more to see and explore. Right now the thought of returning there makes my heart shrivel like a raising crushed by a lorry but I firmly intend to return, reclaim it and resume my expeditions. Only this time... alone (yet with any luck without Celine Dion blasting out of my earphones).

The name of this blog, too, has become so dear and familiar that I can't envision changing it. At least not yet. And what on Earth would I call it? Something snappy that hasn't yet been snapped? "Date on a plate?" (though I'm not looking to expand to cannibalism) "Meals on heels?" Before I launch a new name (the creation of which is bound to require copious amounts of wine...) that feels like me, I'd like to continue blogging under the old one, if that's ok with you amigos? Serious work has gone into building it after all...

One thing is sure though: smileys, "hah hah"- comments and "the outfit of the day"- photos accessorized with sticky-out lips and fingers twisted in contrived peace signs are some of the things you will never see in this blog. Everything else from kosher to gluten-free, buns to pavlovas though - you can count on it. Oh and tapas treats and meze feasts of course!

Thank you everyone for the first year. I sure hope you'll stick around for the next!




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