Well, I’ve only gone and done it! Much to my huge astonishment I found on Monday night that I’d won the Best Food Blogger in the Food Awards 2016. Bowled over is an understatement, I was so convinced I wouldn’t win that it didn’t properly register when Tin and Thyme was announced as the winner.
Having commented on what a fun post Sheelagh of An Irish Village Pantry had done on receiving the Awesome Blog Content Award, she kindly passed it on to me! Now I have to think of 26 words that are meaningful to me – whatever am I going to put for X?
A – Arabic, the language of my father.
B – Bodmin Moor, where I grew up.
C – now I have a bit of a quandary here, is it Cornwall or Cake or Chocolate or CT?
D – Dartington – I was fortunate enough to attend school here for a few years and they were some of the best years of my life. It is still one of my favourite places and I visit as often as I can.
E – Egypt, the land of my father.
F – Friends in far flung places (ie out of Cornwall) who I miss and rarely get to see.
G – Gardens and Gardening and Growing our own food.
H – Hedges, just love love love Cornish hedges. So pretty, so much diversity and forever changing.
I – iPhone. From no mobile phone to a most amazing one. How did I get by without it?
J – July, the month I was born in.
K – Klout – give me more, especially for Chocolate & Cornwall please 🙂
L – Librarian – that is my day job!
M – Moors – much as I love the sea, I love the moors more. Whenever I’ve lived away from them, I started to pine.
N – Names, secret and otherwise.
O – Online, this is where I seem to spend much of my life these days and it’s all down to this blog.
P – Primroses, my favourite flower ever.
Q – Quilt – I have a beautiful quilt made by my quilting aunt which I treasure greatly.
R – Reading, although I find precious little time for reading print these days.
S – Spring, my favourite season.
T – Trains, I catch them most days to and from work. The journey is beautiful and quite breathtaking in some places especially when the tides and weather are right.
U – Ukulele, I do sometimes wish CT would stop playing it!
V – Vegetarian, is what I am.
W – Walking, the best form of transport ever.
X – Xinmei, a blogger whose name immediately sprang to mind for her amazing bento boxes which sometimes feature on her blog Pudding Pie Lane.
Y – Yellow, one of my favourite colours and so reminiscent of spring and sunshine & hope.
Z – Zebra, not so much the zebra itself, but as a representation of our fascinating and diverse wildlife which we ought to do a much better job of preserving for future generations.
The idea is to nominate as many bloggers as I wish, but being a bit of a maverick, I’m going to let you choose. If you think you’d like to have a go at doing a post like this, let me know and I’ll add your blog and link onto the bottom of this post.
Hooray for the following:
Well, as some of my regular readers will know, I feel a bit ambivalent about this tagging lark. Sometimes I’ve participated and sometimes I’ve given a heartfelt “thank you” and left it at that. However, Susan of the wonderful A Little Bit of Heaven On A Plate (and if you haven’t yet visited her blog, you’ll know why this name is so apt when you see her header) has just started Food Bloggers Unplugged – #foodbloggersunplugged – with the aim of getting to know a bit more about fellow food bloggers. She has tagged me as one of the very first five to be chosen – how could I resist that? In fact I’m really touched.
The idea, of course, is to learn a little more about the folk behind the blogs – hmmm, I think this is what I’m afraid of! Questions to be answered:
1. What, or who inspired you to start a blog?
Amazingly, it was work! In an attempt to make us a little more net savvy, we had to create a blog to record our progress in social media. I knew virtually nothing about blogs at this point, but when I understood a) how easy they were to set up and b) their potential, I rushed home excitedly to get one started for CT. I thought it would be a good platform for his Andean crop research. He’d only been doing it for a month when I began to feel left out.
2. Who is your foodie inspiration?
Now this one is virtually impossible to answer. My inspiration changes like the wind and has come from literally hundreds of sources. There are some big names there, like Andrew Whitley who finally got me baking sourdough bread on a regular basis; Rose Elliot who saw me through my early days of cooking for myself; Sally Fallon rallying us to the call of real food and dismissing the diet dictocrats and the anti-fat police; Dan Lepard with his adventures in all things baked. There is also family and friends. There are restaurants and cafes. There are cookbooks. But these days, I have to say it is other food bloggers who inspire me most with their wonderful writing, ideas and photographs.
3. Your greasiest, batter – splattered food/drink book is?
Once upon a time, it was The Bean Book by Rose Elliot, but the stains are now old and faded. It was superseded long ago by Gaia’s Kitchen by Julia Ponsonby – a great book for real everyday home vegetarian cooking.
4. Tell us all about the best thing you have ever eaten in another country, where was it, what was it?
I’ve travelled a lot and eaten so much amazing food in so many amazing places, but the best thing I remember was sitting down by the side of the road in France, during a long cycle ride and eating a hunk of bread, a lump of cheese and a beautifully ripe pear – those three flavours live on.
5. Another food bloggers table you’d like to eat at is?
Actually, I want to eat at all of them. Couldn’t I take it in turns? To choose one, seems mean, so I’m ruling out turning up for tea. That would just be too difficult, so I am plumping for dinner instead. As a vegetarian, it would have to be a toss up between Tinned Tomatoes, Allotment 2 Kitchen and Green Gourmet Giraffe, all of whom cook splendidly delicious and interesting vegetarian food.
6. What is the one kitchen gadget you would ask Santa for this year (money no object of course)?
Does a nice big kitchen with loads of work surfaces, cupboard space and a table count? No? Oh well, a Global knife would be very much appreciated.
7. Who taught you how to cook?
My mother – from as early as I can remember. And this delightful book.
8. I’m coming to you for dinner what’s your signature dish?
I do a mean Shakshuka and over the years many have wolfed down my Surprise Cheesecake with delight.
9. What is your guilty food pleasure?
I’ve just scoffed a box of Maltesers (with only a little help from CT)!
10. Reveal something about yourself that others would be surprised to learn?
I live in Cornwall 😉 Oh, you mean you already know that? OK, my grandparents (who sadly I never met nor inherited any money from!) once owned two department stores, one in Alexandria and one in Cairo.
I am also just about to go on a journey and in fact need to leave now in order to catch my train. I’m off on a massive Food Bloggers weekend, two events, two lots of people – not something I’ve done before, so I’m feeling excited and a bit trepidacious!
So, to the five blogs I am tagging:
Kath of the Ordinary Cook – far from ordinary and one of my absolute favourite blogs.
CityHippyFarmGirl – highly enjoyable and poetic style (and I wouldn’t mind eating her food either).
Chele of Chocolate Teapot – my partner in Cocoa.
Liz of Feasts & Festivals – delicious food in the context of seasonal and traditional celebrations
Laura of How to Cook Good Food – a relative newcomer to the world of blogging with some delicious looking recipes which I’m keen to try.
Update 30 Nov 11 – I have subsequently been tagged by Sneige of Orange Thyme. Strangely, she was at one of the food blogging events I attended a couple of weeks ago and, err, still haven’t written up. In fact she played a starring role by winning one the Sweets category in Venessa Kimbell’s Let’s Make Christmas with her Mincemeat Pops. Sadly, I didn’t get to try one or a chance to meet up.
It’s hard for me to believe that my blog has been going now for two full years. Last year, at the grand old age of one, I thought I’d achieved a lot. This year, I’ve done even more. Chocolate Log Blog has undergone some changes and is evolving all the time; it is quite a different beast to when it started in those dim and distant days of 2009. My blog is first and foremost about baking and cooking with chocolate, but not exclusively. I’ve really enjoyed reviewing a number of chocolate products over the last year and hope to continue with this. I’ve attended my first chocolate tasting and sampled some top notch chocolates. I hosted my first giveaway in 2010 and have organised another competition. In my quest to find good cafes and teashops, I shall continue to make the odd mention of favoured localities.
Six months ago, Chele of Chocolate Teapot and I started the We Should Cocoa challenge which I’ve really enjoyed doing. I’ve discovered new blogs I didn’t know about and am constantly amazed at how inventive people are and how many things there are to make. As a result, my list of chocolate goodies is now bigger than it has ever been.
My blog is by no means one of the greats and my daily hits are modest. However, I have made it into the top twenty of Wikio’s gastronomy blogs and Cision’s top ten UK confectionery and baking blogs. I’m not really sure how meaningful these are, but it has been a welcome ego boost nonetheless. Over the last few months I’ve received a number of blog awards from some valued blogger colleagues. As some of you may know, I am a bit ambivalent about blog awards, but I would like to give heartfelt thanks to the following people who very kindly passed them on to me.
One of the real joys of blogging and one I hadn’t at all expected, is interacting with others and getting to know a bit more about the people behind the blogs. I’d like to say a big thank you to my followers and everyone else who visits, but most of all I’d like to thank those who leave comments. It is this interaction that makes it feel like fun.
I would not like this occasion to go uncelebrated, so I have a birthday gift for my blog: a new page of links to blogs that I particularly rate.
A while back I was given this bright and cheerful award not only by Lucie at Cooking at Marystow but also BrownieVille Girl. I was really pleased and touched to get this from two such lovely and prolific bloggers and would like to apologise for taking so long to mention it here on my blog.
This is what you need to do (if you want to participate):
- Copy the award image into a post.
- Then list 10 things that make you happy
- Tag 10 bloggers who brighten your day
- Put in a link to their blogs
- Notify the award receivers
- Award recipients must link back to sender’s blog
- Eating chocolate cake (of course)
- Eating chocolate cake with friends
- Making chocolate cake (of course)
- Singing (whilst doing the above)
- Blogging about chocolate
- Tending to CT’s every need (as long as it involves chocolate)
- Reading (about chocolate)
- Growing vegetables – what, nothing to do with chocolate?
- Walking by the coast (with ample supplies of “emergency” chocolate)
- Convincing myself we need a new set of bathroom scales!
Seriously sad I know, but I have entered the Dorset Cereals little blog awards where I might get to win an egg cup if I get enough votes and you get entered into a prizedraw to win a case of Dorset Cereals – now isn’t that worth a go?