Only on this day are the kids "all-thumbs"!
It's hard for me to believe that a year has already past since writing my first post back in June of 2009. Wow…..where does the time go?
No recipe to share today (boo), but rather a few words of thanks, and a moment for both reflecting on the year that was, and for looking forward to what lies ahead for those of us in the "Oui, Chef" kitchen.
First, a from the bottom of my heart THANK YOU for everyone who has visited our site and been a part, whether large of small, of our first year on-line. We feel blessed to have grown such a wonderful and enthusiastic readership, and are thrilled with the growing group of regulars that somehow always find the time to check out our latest posts, and make a point to cheer us along at every step. Your encouragement, warmth, and passion for what we do means a great deal to all of us here, and provides us great incentive to keep "Oui, Chef" moving forward, striving to discover more tasty food, and fun lessons to share with you all.
Another thank you has been well earned by my intrepid sous chefs and my lovely wife. As many of you know from first hand experience, it isn't always easy getting your kids into the kitchen with you with any kind of regularity. There are always myriad schedules to juggle, countless appealing distractions to compete against, and the conflicting demands of school work and extra-curricular commitments with which to contend. If all that weren't enough, this is the same gang that regularly sits at the dinner table waiting patiently to start eating, with their dinner in front of them, while I buzz about like a crazy person, taking pictures of my plate to be used on the blog. So….THANK YOU kids for all of your hard work, patience and support, without you there would be no "Oui, Chef"…period.
The same can be said for my honey (read: MUCH better half), as "Oui, Chef" would certainly not exist without her. Not only was the idea of my starting a food blog hers to begin with, but her inspiration, wisdom and support for all that we do here, are key ingredients to our success. Her critical eye, trained not only on the design of the site, but also its tone and content, has been an invaluable resource to me throughout our exciting first year. Big hugs and kisses to you, baby!
As I look back over our first year, I am for the most part quite pleased with what our "Oui, Chef" experience has been. We've cooked and shared some great food, met a wonderful group of people from around the globe who dig what we do and regularly participate in our community, and we've befriended some really terrific food-bloggers along the way. People who share our passion for delicious and healthy food, and our desire to share this love with all who'll listen.
I say that I am for the most part pleased, because there is one area where I feel I've slipped off the mark.
The idea behind "Oui, Chef" originally was for it to be a diary of my experience teaching my kids how to cook, and while we started fairly well in keeping to that theme, we seem to have drifted from our original course over the past few months. Upon reflection, there seems to be a few reasons for this. The biggest I think, was a lapse in the kind of advanced planning required to manage the 5 kids rotating through the kitchen on assigned nights, with enough work "scheduled" for them to do to make it a real teaching experience. As I've shared here before, lack of planning is a killer when you've got an antsy kid in the kitchen with you, and has led to less than prime teachable experiences for us to share with you through our blog.
The other trap I've been falling into lately is spending more time thinking about the "money shot" photo of the finished dish, and less time documenting the kid's involvement in making the dishes. There is no doubt that a good photo does a lot to draw people to a post, but I fear that planning "the shot" has taken too much of my attention away from my real reason for being here, and that is to teach my kids how to cook well for themselves.
Looking forward, I intend to get back into a better planning regimen, putting more thought into a schedule of what we cook when, and what lessons I want the kids to take from each dish that we prepare. As I work through how it is I would like to tweak the inner workings of the "Oui, Chef" kitchen going forward, I thought I would be remiss not to ask all of you for your thoughts. You do have some, yes?
If you can, please take a moment to share in comments what it is you enjoy (or not) about the site, what you think we could do better, how you found us, and what keeps you coming back for more. Would you like to see more detailed "how-to" descriptions and photos of dishes being prepared? Are there cooking techniques that you are curious about that we could delve into? What about world cuisines, any you are itching to explore? Is the cooking with kids focus of our site something that you connect with, or are you here just because you like the food that we cook? Please take the time to comment if you can, we would really love to hear your thoughts.
Alright….alright….enough questions already.
Thank you all again for being part of our "Oui, Chef" family, you've made our first year in existence a lot of fun and very rewarding. We look forward to cooking more great food with you in the years ahead so stay tuned, and stay hungry!
Next up: Kale, Sausage and Feta Frittata.
Cheers – Steve