Sunday, January 1, 2012

The answer is corned beef.

Although I had Cookistry signed up as a blog site about six months before, I started blogging in earnest on January 1 two years ago.

Yep, my baby blog is two years old now Wow. Only two years. So much has happened.

So what happened last year?

I guess the big news last year was that I started my partnership with the local Whole Foods stores.

Of all the things I do, that partnership with Whole Foods is the one that I get asked about the most. How did I possibly get a whisk in the door with them???

Okay, sit down. Here's the story.

I had been writing a cooking column for a local weekly newspaper called The Longmont Ledger. My boss at the Ledger got promoted to the big daily newspaper, The Daily Camera. Shortly after his move, my column was brought to the Camera, as well.

The editor of the food section asked me if I could write something about corned beef made without nitrites. (Don't worry, we're edging our way to Whole Foods. I promise!) Well, okay, I'd pickled my own corned beef before, so I was game to make some more and write about it.

But then I decided that I was going to go one step further. For my blog, I pickled half the beef with nitrites and half without. I took photos of different steps along the way. It was a long, detailed post. It was a lot of work considering only half of it went into the newspaper, but I thought it was a pretty good post. I was happy with it.

And then I posted it, and it was done. Or so I thought.

One fine day I got a message on Twitter from the local Whole Foods store asking if they could link to my corned beef post in a Twitter contest about corned beef. Uhhhhh ... sure. Okay. I mean, why wouldn't I want Whole Foods to link to me?

Not long after, I found out that the human behind the Boulder Whole Foods Twitter account was a guy named Ryan. He originally found me when he Googled for information about corned beef and nitrites. At first, he was just looking for information for the Twitter contest, but when he found out I was a local blogger, he started thinking about ways Whole Foods could use a local blogger.

At first, we emailed occasionally, and then after a while ideas started flying back and forth. We met a few times. And after some brainstorming, Whole Foods Friday was born.

And that's it. A string of random events that could have turned out completely differently. I mean, I could have written about pastrami, instead. So I guess the answer to the question, "How did you get that great deal with Whole Foods?" is "Corned beef."

And now, for the fun of it, how about a look a the top five posts in 2011?

In the number 5 spot is Spice Cookies, from December.

Number 4 is Blue Cheese Salad Dressing, also from December. I guess people were thinking about healthy eating after those cookies.

In the number three position we find Salmon Burgers from July. I attribute that post's popularity to the stunning colors. This one was from back in July.

In second place we have Cheddar Scallion Biscuits. This posted in April.

And the top post, by a decent margin, is a grilled cheese sandwich. A very special grilled cheese with a surprise in the center. This was dates all the way back to March. So it's had some time to be popular.

And looking at my calendar, there's a lot more to come. Stay tuned! 

And hello, 2012!