Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Seven Links Challenge

The Gauntlet has been thrown my way. ChgoJohn, over at the wonderful Wordpress blog from the Bartolini kitchens has issued me  the Seven Links Challenge.

This is an interesting challenge in that it invites introspection. I’ve been blogging since June of 2010 and only have 173 posts. So I really consider myself a newbie. But John issued the challenge, and I’m taking a break from weeding (it’s a jungle out there) so away we go....

Most Popular Post
By far the most popular post has no food in it at all. It is part one of the cold smoker build. Why part two doesn’t have the same amount of action I don’t know. Did people fall asleep? Get discouraged? I had a great time on the build and am looking forward to firing it up once the weather cools. It works very well and offers a good excuse to spend many hours outside when it is cold. Kinda like ice fishing without the ice.

Most Controversial Post
This is a tough one because for the most part people have been very supportive here. One of my early posts generated a bit of a stink when I cross-posted to The Gastronomic Gardener Facebook page. Of all things it was grilled baby octopus. I was accused of eating the “cute little” octopus, and ravaging the oceans natural resources. I felt compelled to respond about the status of octopus as a food source. Interestingly, one of the folks who squawked and was then rebuffed, has become a regular follower to this day.

Most Helpful Post

Helpful to who? To me? To the readers? Hard to say. I’ll go with From Humble Beginnings, because it validates that it is not the kitchen that makes good food but rather the passion of the cook combined with the quality of the ingredients. It also seemed to resonate with my readers.

Most Beautiful Post

Golly, how to define beautiful? Pretty pictures? I’ve come a long way in a short time but there is still so much to do to improve my photographs. I don’t have an expensive setup or camera or any training. I also don’t shoot a ton of pictures. That’s my dinner getting cold! That said, I will only take into consideration the final plate as the prep shots seem to not be of the highest quality. After all that, I have to go with the Pork Belly Confit Tacos. The “money shot” is awesome. Natural lighting helps a lot!

Most Surprisingly Successful Post The Pan Fried Tilapia with lemon butter caper sauce continues to do well. I think it is because tilapia is such a ubiquitous fish, and heck, who doesn’t like lemon butter

Most Under-Rated Post

Chickpeas are one of my favorites and I use them often. For the under-rated category I will go with the Falafel post for Meatless Monday, this combined both labneh and falafel from scratch. It was delicious and only provoked one comment.

Most Proud of Post

I love all my posts, and how do I choose the one of which I am most proud? Is it the first one, where I finally committed to starting this journey? The last one where I demonstrate my ongoing commitment? I think I’ll pick the Pastrami how-to post. The final product, a simple pastrami sandwich, homemade from the pastrami, to the bread down to the mustard. It was as close to perfection as I have come.

Thanks ChgoJohn! Now I have to pick some victims. Who shall it be?

I choose:

Mark’s Veg Plot
Adventures in the Good Land
Cowgirls Country Life
Simple Self Sufficiency

Until next time, Eat Well & Keep Digging!

The Gastronomic Gardener
Garden blog
Cooking blog
Twitter - @gastrogardener
email: thegastronomicgardener at gmail dot com


  1. I'm off on holiday to France for a few days at the crack of dawn on Friday so I might not get round to doing this, but thanks for thinking of me anyway!
    The popularity of posts is a complete mystery to me. Sometimes I get very little response to something I think is great, and then a huge response to something I think is poor. Why??

  2. An interesting exercise, wasn't it? I can easily see why you're most proud of the pastrami post. I would be, too. I'm surprised about the octopus reception, although I expect something of the same when I use veal. I fear it's only a matter of time, even though I rarely use it these days. And I didn't realize you built your smoker. Wow! I can see I have to come back here and spend some time browsing around.


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