Tuesday, September 6, 2011

From the Modern to the Medieval: In Which I Look Back at Two Years of Posts and Choose My Seven Superlative Links

I was first tagged in the 7 Links Meme by Claudia of What's Cooking, followed shortly thereafter by Maya of Foodiva's Kitchen. I kept meaning to set aside time to play along, but to no avail. Then,  when I was recently tagged by Lazaro of Lazaro Cooks! the third time turned out to be the charm, and here we are. The challenge? Participants are tasked with choosing one post each of the most beautiful, overlooked, helpful, successful, popular, controversial, and the one of which they are most proud. It's not as easy as it sounds, but it is every bit as fun.

I had the hardest time choosing my most beautiful post, as I found myself rejecting each potential contender for some fatal aesthetic flaw, real or imagined. Prompted by Poppa Trix, I settled on my savory salmon mousse eclair "hot dogs." I also chose these because of Leaf the Indolent Cook's comment that there were the most serene hot dogs she had ever seen:

My most overlooked post is not a single post, but rather a category: all my African dishes, like this West African pepper soup:
I have been cooking African dishes since before I began my blog - here on Tasty Trix I've done Kenyan curried fish, Senegalese yassa, Kenyan maharagwe, Liberian bean soup, Ghanaian red red, m'baazi, and peanut stew, and for some reason these posts never get the traffic I think they deserve. Is the (non-African) world not ready for African food? I hope that's not the case!

My malfatti post is easily the most helpful, given that I included a lot of process shots, and many commentors noted the helpful wine glass trick I shared that makes forming these quenelles easy-peasy:

I never expected an innocent restaurant review to be controversial - especially a positive one - but when a local newspaper picked up my post about Chinese restaurant Grace Garden, things really hit the fan. The issue? I called the area dangerous, and dubbed it a suburb of D.C. Baltimoreans took issue with this, leaving upsetting and aggressive comments both on my blog and the paper's Web site claiming that just because people get murdered, shot, or robbed  in a given area with a certain (and to my mind alarming) degree of frequency doesn't make a place dangerous.  They also took offense at the fact that I labeled the town a suburb of D.C., rather than Baltimore ... hey, you want it? You can have it. For me, it was only ever about the amazing food, like this tea-smoked duck, which I had to order three days in advance:

I am torn about my most successful post, so I am going to cheat and call it a tie. It's either my pretzels with black lava salt, which I have made many times since, and are always a huge hit with whoever tries them:
Or it's these bacon-and-egg purses in aromatic broth, a dish I was inspired to make after that notorious trip to Grace Garden:

My most popular post, based on traffic, is a real mystery to me. It's a really early one -  libum, or ancient Roman cheese bread post. I mean, it's nice and all that, but I can't for the life of me figure out why it's my most viewed post of all time:

And the post that I am most proud of is actually a series: the 12 Days of Feasting, in which I posted a different Medieval recipe every day for 12 days during the holiday season. Clearly I did not have enough work to do at the time! It was madness, and I doubt I will ever have the energy for something quite so ambitious again, but I'm glad I did it. Below is the collage image from my Medieval series wrap up post:
And while I'm talking about bests, check out the neat-o nav bar Poppa Trix made for me. Now you can search posts by type of cuisine, category, travel, and more!

Now I believe it is customary for me to tag some fellow food bloggers and see if they'd like to take up the 7 Links challenge ... though for all I know, since I'm so late to the party  everyone has already been tagged. On the chance that's not true, here's who I would love to see  play along (and if I've forgotten you and you'd like to play, consider yourself tagged):

Trevor of Sis. Boom! Blog
Emily of Emily Malloy
Theresa of Island Vittles
Penny of Jeroxie

No pressure - if you don't feel like it or you don't have time I totally understand. In the meantime, here's to many more posts!


  1. Hi dear, how are you?? I'm back from Summer vacations.... I love this post about links...have a freat week, hugs and kisses, Flavia

  2. Well, thanks for the tag... Lazaro was kind enough to do it as well. I just put myself on my favorite's list so I could look at them all... wow. This isn't going to be easy... like choosing favorites among your children! I am with you about being flummoxed with the most popular... go figure.

    Your 12 days of feasting was the series that introduced us... I loved it and thought you were extremely brave to do it ( I barely manage 1 a week!). When I did a 1st birthday bash Twain blog I was exhausted and thought of what you had done with great admiration.

    The thing was, you made antique recipes accessible and that was wonderful. It's all food.

    Keep up the good work. I think, although it is going to be an effort, looking through what you have done is a very instructive exercise... shows your evolution and where you are headed. Not bad!

    Again thanks and KUDOS!

  3. I remember those hot dogs! And I've not seen a more serene one since, either. ;)

    Keep posting on African food - I think they're ace.

    Also, those medieval recipes are really intriguing!

  4. Glad you decided to play along at last! I remember most of these posts because I follow you religiously (haha, obsessive comes to mind!), but the medieval series was before we became chummy so I have to check those out. I did an African dish from Botswana once and surprisingly it attracted a lot of interest...I even had a homesick Botswanan write to thank me for posting the recipe! You never know, your African food series will be a big hit someday!

  5. I love reading 7-Links posts! What a great chance to revisit the old articles and read something new to me! That African Pepper Soup looks delicious, and I have no idea why the series would not be popular. If I were you, I'd have hard time picking the best-looking photo, as all your photos are gorgeous.
    I am getting ready to write my own 7-links post, but have been procrastinating, as usual:)

  6. Trix, thanks for the links...they all look great.
    I never seen African dish before I read your post :-)
    Hope you are having a great week!

  7. Love your 7 links but I have a weakness for the Medieval series because that is when I discovered your blog.

  8. I just posted my seven links so now I'm even more curious than normal, if that's possible, to check everybody's links challenge post! I think your post reads like a lovely page out of your book and I totally enjoyed as I have all your posts over the past year plus that I've been following you Trix!

  9. You have some amazing posts for sure! I especially loved your Medieval series!

  10. Marvelous collection of posts. Highlights why I've always admired your work. Creative, clean, and flawlessly executed.

    But, Trix...

    Who knew you were so controversial...

  11. Great 7 links! They are all fantastic posts and the most controversial, wow apparently! Beautiful as always :)

  12. What an array of links! You're right about your African recipes... Africa just doesn't exist. And about the most visited posts, that is a mistery to me too...

  13. Hey! That's me! So fun.. I must do this :)

  14. Well you certainly know how I feel about yhese self-referential trips back in time. The only thing I can think of that makes them even better would be to actually be tagged in one of them! And thank YOU for that my sweet darling friend. I suppose it is analogous to caring enough about somebody to send them a chain letter warning them of impending danger if they don't participate. You know, the kind of things friends do for friends. How sweet of you to include me! I do hope to return the favor someday. Its what friends do.

    That said, I do love your choices. There is just something about a salmon mousse eclair 'hot dog' that makes my mouth drool. ..something about that aesthetic I would like to put my mouth to...hmm.. yes, beautiful. Something to behold.

  15. Hi Trixie, I have to tell you that I always love everything you share with us. From the recipes, stories and photos everything is always perfect. The African posts are ones I want to re-look at because I'm totally into trying new cuisine. Your most controversial one had me laughing. I would love to hear what those people qualify as dangerous then, a war zone perhaps? haha.

  16. Trixie baby, thanks for bringing back all those delicious memories. They are all perfect. The only thing I wish is to join you for dinner and you got to have all of these on the dining table. hehe....
    Hope you're having a great day.

  17. Oh!! I remember all those posts! Like you I have been tagged... now I really need to buckle up and do my 7 links! xoxo
    BTW - I love your series on 12 days of feasting. Do it again!!

  18. Hey Trix! Thanks for the tag! We've been away on a little mini-getaway, so I missed this post of yours until today...a very interesting exercise that I am already excited about!

    Perhaps it's just that I've lived on a tiny island of 2000 people and almost no crime for almost a decade, but I have to say I agree with you that theft and murder is crime, and therefore said area may be just a little dangerous -- watch your back, people! Theresa

  19. a mere 2+ months later, and I finally posted my 7 links...Theresa