When I sat down to get to work this morning, I received the most beautiful surprise: WordPress informed me that one year ago on this very date, I posted my first ever post on brag&butter and started my blog. So – HAPPY BIRTHDAY to me today! Funny enough: I made an exemplar of the Pumpkin Pie I posted as my first recipe back then just recently, and I made it for friends who experienced the birth of their baby boy just a week ago. Then yesterday, we had our friends Stefan and Jochen over for a champagne brunch to celebrate both their birthdays. A lot of birthdays happening at once. So, although there is a lot of work on my list today, I take some time to celebrate a bit with you – and to tell you about the buttery weekend that lies behind me.
When I first started writing brag&butter, I didn’t know what to expect. As almost every new blogger, I suppose, I was very open to the possibility that I would write a kind of online cooking diary and be the only one to ever read it. I was all the more excited when I got the first comments to my posts – and over the last year, I have more and more come to write with a small audience in mind – some people come back, comment regularly, and I have a lot of fun telling you all about the things that happen in my kitchen (or in other kitchens I visit). Thank you so much everyone for stopping by, showing interest, sharing your love and comments! Also, during these first 12 months of writing brag&butter, I have come to ‘know’ more and more of you other bloggers out there, and I am looking forward to developing those digital acquaintances into actual meetings one day – maybe on one of the blogger events, which I have been planning to attend for so long, but never made it.
Apart from learning new things, like getting decent food photography down with only a smartphone camera and natural light, writing up a logic and comprehensible recipe, or figuring out how to use Instagram or even read Twitter, I find the social aspect of blogging the most gratifying thing about the last twelve months. Cooking and eating are so much more fun when you can share them with likeminded people. Another big thank you goes to each and every one of you who has not only become part of my foodblog-universe, but who also helped to make my little universe bigger by including brag&butter in their blogrolls, posting nice features about it or inviting me to do collaborations. At the risk of forgetting someone, I want to say special thanks to the preserving-savy Britta from Glasgeflüster, the inventive Angie from shortblackcoffee, Olga from Puhlskitchen.com and Christina from heiß & innig, the ever fabulous Miss Rachel Phipps, the equally dashing Christine from trickytine.com, Yvonne from konsumbude, the wonderful people at Ceci n’est pas un restaurant – thank you all! (If I didn’t mention you here, I may not be aware of your link – drop me a note!).
Sharing the joys of food is also what my whole weekend was about – and before I have to get back to my day job, I want to share a bit of it with you. Saturday was my first WURST DATE EVER! with my friend Larson – we are currently on the quest of making our own sausage, and I will tell you much more about that in the future. For our first try we made a rosemary & thyme sausage, and we are pretty satisfied with the result – and now really hooked and on the way to new adventures. Yesterday, we had a veritable celebration of butter at our place. Stefan and Jochen, two of our friends, both had their birthdays recently, and they came over for a champagne brunch. Following the rule of thumb for a good Sunday at my house (get up at 7, get fat at 10), I got up at seven and started making a yeast dough for some fresh, homemade croissants. I love croissants fresh out of the oven, very crunchy but doughy on the inside, very buttery and with a pronounced yeast aroma. I stick to the same recipe I found online when I did my first ever batch years ago. It’s part of the baking school of German foodie magazine essen&trinken. The recipe is simple and well written (there is also a video to show you how to get the technique down). Also, it is very basic, so there is plenty of room to experiment with fillings, seasonings and the like. What are your favorite croissant versions? And what makes a good croissant for you? Maybe you want to share in the comments below!
To really drive the butter thing over the top, I whipped up a sort-of Eggs Benedict. Usually a toasted and warm English muffin topped with ham, poached eggs and (why wouldn’t you?!) a generous amount of Hollandaise sauce, I only swapped the English muffin for a butter-fried bagel and the ham for some smoked salmon. Poaching an egg is one of the more advanced egg cooking techniques to master, and for long it has been one of my kitchen nemeseis. To avoid receiving my guests in a frantic mode yesterday, I followed good advice by Julia Child and prepared the poached eggs in advance, then transferring them to a large bowl of cold water, and leaving them there until shortly before serving. About two minutes before I wanted to serve them, they took a bath in a bowl of warm and salted water – just to heat them through but not take the ooziness of the golden yolk away. Although I make my Hollandaise by eye these days, I paid my tribute to my time and stress savior Julia C. by making this oh-so-buttery emulsion according to her recipe in Mastering the Art of French Cooking. For today, I leave you with a few impressions of our brunch, and with links and references for finding the recipes and techniques I used elsewhere. If you are interested in more details or my particular ways of doing those – just drop me a note in the comments and I’ll make a follow-up post. I hope you all have a great week!
Heading back to work for now – see you soon!