Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Two years of Yulinka Cooks

Holy crap, this little blog of mine is two years old! Last year I celebrated with a jaunt through my first 12 months of blogging. This year, let’s enjoy a slice of birthday herring in a fur coat (above) and take a look at what I accomplished since March 27, 2006:

Most popular and single most useful post: How to make tvorog (Russian farmer’s cheese). Tvorog is this blog’s raison d’etre, the post with the most page views and nearly the most comments. Tvorog is the number-one search term that brings people to Yulinka Cooks. Google tvorog and my blog is the first result! Take that, bloggers with book deals.

Most comments: Oddly, my kvass-making (rye bread beer) post just beat out tvorog for the most comments. Kvass is a pretty obscure beverage in the U.S. and making it at home requires an unusual interest in beer-brewing and Russian drinks. There was much discussion in this thread about method, technique, etc., but my kvass was still terrible and I have zero interest in making it again.

Common search terms that bring people here: Tvorog, eggplant caviar, lentil soup, kvass, borsch and blini. Last year I complained that my readers are boring: most of you use this blog as a reference source for recipes and click away. Indeed, my stats show that I have few repeat readers. Wham, bam, no spasibo m’am!

Most popular recipes: The usual suspects: eggplant caviar, tvorog, Korean carrot salad. My favorites are Georgian lamb and green beans, squash gratin, tomato bean soup with sausage and chana masala soup.

Biggest success: My first borsch was pretty damn good. In fact, all my soups have been pretty successful. I’ve made this pickled mixed vegetable salad three times in the past month and I will be making it again. Also: pickles and chocolate-covered sirki (mini cheesecakes).

Biggest failure: Kvass, but that was expected. My ill-fated sauerkraut really rankles, though. I’m supposed to be good at making vegetables. Also, most of my baking was just ok. Did I make it sound like my sweet yeast dough experiments of April-June 2006 were awesome? I may have exaggerated a little.

Least popular post: I guess no one cares about my wit and wisdom on food politics or forays into Indian cooking. I can’t imagine why.

Favorite post: On Tea. Few people realize just how important tea is to me, but I drink about eight cups of the stuff a day. I’m also fond of the kasha post and the holiday round-ups: New Year and Thanksgiving.

Want to give me an anniversary gift? Delurk in the comments.


Sally said...

Well - screw it, I'll be the first! HAPPY BLOGOVERSARY Yulinka! And many more.

Incidentally, I have you on my feed reader so that's where I read you from. I doubt Google picks those up. So, Strasvicha tovarish! (I know - that was horrible. My high school Russian sucks. Plus I don't know how to spell it in English. You get my drift though, don't you? LOL)

Margarita Andreevna said...

Hey hey! Pozdravlyau! I actually check in fairly often, and MY favorite recipie of yours is the cream beet salad, so there! One you didn't include in the "best of". I do look forward to new Russian tidbits from you, so please! keep cooking/blogging!

Yulinka said...

Sally--Thanks for the well-wishes. Nice to hear from a new commenter!

Margarita-Hey! Thanks for taking the time to write. I like the beet salad a lot, but it's a common Russian dish that I've been eating my whole life, whereas the other recipes are new to me. New tidbits are forthcoming...

adele said...

Happy Blogoversary!

I enjoy your comments on food politics and the food blogosphere in general. :)

Victoria said...

Congratulations! Blogging is not easy, despite what others might imagine. By the way, Bloglines and other feed aggregators is what people use a lot these days, so that Google stat you have may not be very reliable. At any rate, blog on! :)

BTW, the pickle is best after it has had a chance to marinate, especially if you make it without vinegar. If you add vinegar, then it might be ready to eat sooner. I usually skip vinegar and simply wait patiently (like I said, I dislike the harshness of vinegar, but that is just me.)

Julie said...

Happy blogiversary!

I'm another one who usually reads you via a feed reader so I'm not showing up on your stats.

- AbsolutStoli said...

congrats! yeah, i found your blog when i was searching for tvorog. haha and dont let failures get you down. i made kvas a bunch of times and its never been like it was in kiev. last few times it actually blew out of the bottle (which was convenient because it was pretty gross tasting)...sour kraut failed too. i think the former USSR had better bacteria in the air. ;)

keep up the great blogging! thanks!

Yulinka said...

Julie--Thanks for stopping by! Glad you're still reading.

Stoli--Ha! I had a bottle of kvass explore of me, too. And just last week I made pickled mushrooms, following an old family recipe...and the mushrooms came out bland and blah. My mom told me that American salt just isn't as salty as Russian salt.

Anonymous said...

I just discovered that you should always use non-iodized salt in pickles. At long last, I've succeeded in replicating my grandmother's pickled cabbage recipe.

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