At the end of the year in 2014, I sent out an email to family asking for recipes. I wanted family favorites. I wanted old recipes that have been in our family forever and new recipes that people were making and loving currently. This was before the blog. Honestly, it was before I really even knew what blogs were. I started getting emails with recipes people loved and I couldn't wait to start cooking my way through them.
I had a few ideas in mind. The first was to gather the best of the best and selfishly make sure I had a copy. The second goal was to find some new favorites for our family. It is so easy to make the same things over and over again, but so much more fun to have some inspiration to try new things! In the end, I was kind of hoping to put together a fun cookbook as a Christmas present for grandparents and parents.
On the drive home from my grandparent's house one night early in 2015, I decided I could use a blog to organize the recipes. That way I would have a digital record of what we had tried, what we had liked and a place to put a few pictures. I put up a random soft pretzel post that night to give it a try and figure out how this blog stuff works. I did no research, no thinking about it. I just did it.
A few posts in, I was having fun doing it. I was able to send links to the family who had shared recipes and show them I had made their favorites and I thought it would be a good way to share old time favorites with extended family (it turns out printing a short run of cookbooks is expensive!) So I kept at it. Then I started noticing people were seeing what I was doing. Like real people. Not my family people. At first it kind of freaked me out. I knew it was a possibility, but hadn't done anything to promote or share what I was doing. Then the strangest thing happened. The more "real" people were seeing my work, the better I wanted it to be. The more time I spent on it, the more I wanted somebody to be seeing what I had been putting so much effort into.
It has certainly been a learning process. It has been fun, but a lot of work too. There are some posts that I am really proud of, some that could use a lot of work. But the best part is I really do have that digital archive to reference when I want to make something, and I know there are some members of my family who reference it for those favorites rather than rifling through recipe cards too. So in the end, the work has paid off. The blog is being used exactly as I had intended, even if it has gained a whole different life outside of that. With a full time job, a three year old, and a pretty busy calendar, this blog never quite gets everything I'd like to put into it. It is riddled with typos and the pictures are better than those first ones, but still aren't quite what I'd like to do. Though I'm sure even if I had all day to capture the right light and set up props and whatnot there would still be things I'd change!
All of that to say this is one of the first posts I wrote, revisited. I thought it would be fun to go back and jazz up a few posts that I did early on when I had no idea what I was doing. The pictures were terrible and the posts were written for nobody other than myself. This recipe was one of the first that came back to me after the email call to send your best. Matt's Aunt Dori sent this one and a bread recipe that we loved as well. Jax was still just a little bit at the time, sitting in a highchair. So my post was a warning to spread the drop cloth under the highchair wide in case of spills. I must have written the post before we ate, as he loved it so much that he was very careful to get every bit in his mouth!
I made this again the other day. We still love it. Matt even got a small bowl of the leftovers to eat at dinner the next day. That is really saying something! He isn't normally a sweet person at all, and sweet sides really aren't his thing. So you know this is good. I think it would be a festive and fun treat for your Christmastime dinners as well!
Dori's Cherry Pineapple Gelatin
1 box cherry gelatin
1 cup boiling water
20 oz can crushed pineapple
20 oz can cherry pie filling
- Drain pineapple
- Mix gelatin in boiling water until dissolved
- Add pie filling and drained pineapple and mix well
- Refrigerate until firm (at least an hour or two)
- Stir before serving (and make sure the highchair has plenty of drop cloth on all sides to make sure none hits the carpet!!)
It turns out the drop cloth isn't necessary! Jax loved it so much he was extra careful to get it in his mouth. I had to cut him off after 3 servings.