So much has happened in this past year. Not only have G&T endeavoured on this fantastic blogging journey together, but we have also seen happiness, sadness and a good helping of change. The idea of starting out on a new year of our project fills us with excitement, but before we dive into 2018 and all the things she will bring, we feel it is appropriate to take a little step back and reflect on what we have done so far.
I’d say the post I’m most proud of is our collaboration post with the Pen & Pencil for our very first self-titled cocktail, the ‘Ginseng & Thyme‘. Not only was this a pinch me am I dreaming moment, but it was our first ever collaboration with someone or something other than our imaginations. This post was a real challenge for us because it meant stepping outside of our comfort zone and contemplating not only what we want, but what a brand might want. And I have to say, the outcome was just stellar. Not only did we walk out of this one with our first cocktail under our belts, and fantastic relationship with the folks at P&P but this also opened the gateway for G&T to work with brands in the future.
Plus, it went so well, Pen & Pencil made it a regular fixture on their menu!
I think the post I am most proud of would have to be ‘Help the Vegans are Coming’. I don’t particularly agree with veganism, and it isn’t a secret that I love meat in all its forms. So as a cook, it was a challenge to come up with something that was delicious, and something that we would be happy to eat. It’s one of my favourite recipes, and since then I have cooked it again and again. Moreover, from a writer’s point of view, that post was challenging to keep our signature tongue and cheek style of writing while being sensitive to the subject. I think I succeeded, albeit perhaps slightly on the snarky side, but alas, I am who I am. Now pass the steak.
Favourite Side Dish
It’s gotta be the ‘Shana Tova‘ post, that’s my all-time favourite Side Dish of the year, and to be honest, it’s up there with one of my fave posts of the year too. Ginseng & Thyme has brought many challenges to my doorstep this year; from shooting regularly and keeping to our self-inflicted time constraints, to digging up my old A level in English and trying my flare at the odd copy for one of our weekly installments. But I’d have to say my biggest challenge of them all was bringing Judaism to the blog. Being Jewish is a huge part of my life, I am what people like to joke a ’21st-Century Jew’; I’m hip and down with the kids (if I do say so myself), but my Jewish roots are so important to me, and it has been an absolute pleasure sharing my heritage with you in 2017.
I’ve got to say the ‘What’s in Season’ Side Dish has to be my favourite. I think that eating seasonally is important for the environment and our bodies and learning to eat at specific times of the year is something our society needs to master. I loved researching this one, and it had me up reading late into the night about squashes, game and forest mushrooms… I’d love to make this a regular occurrence here on G&T next year, and I think we could do this again and again, year after year because there is so much produce out there. Additionally, I would love to go out and try foraging myself and pop that up on here too.
You do realise asking a photographer what their favourite image is, is like asking her mother to pick her favourite child? Well, I refuse to pick a favourite. Instead, I choose this; the turning point creatively for us in 2017. I feel like our ‘You Want a Pizza Me?‘ post from May was the eureka moment for how we wanted our style to be moving forward, and it’s just snowballed ever since.
Hands down the ‘Easter‘ frangipane tart. The photo is bight, clean and simple and really lets the dish talk for itself. The little flowers are so indicative of springtime, and it makes me feel all warm inside every time I look at it.
Highlight of the Year
Our ‘Best Photography’ award at the Northern Blog Awards was hands down the highlight of my year. How could it be otherwise? It felt like months of hard work, giving up Saturday mornings, and really grafting to firm our place in the blogging world had finally paid off. It was a proud moment for me singularly, as a photographer it’s always sensational to be acknowledged for your work, but more importantly it was a huge moment for us as a partnership. It was like someone literally just leaned in, patted us on the back and said “No go on… this stuff you’re doing, it’s brilliant. Just keep doing what you’re doing…” So indeed, we shall.
Winning at the Northern Blog Awards for ‘Best Photography’ this year was such a fantastic surprise. The whole evening was such fun and it was great for me to meet some of the bloggers, as I think it is safe to say I am a little on the shy side when it comes to the ‘blogging scene’. I was so pleased to see all our hard work and passion paid off and was acknowledged, and I’m intrigued to see if we can go for another next year when we are older, wiser and (hopefully) more refined.
Announcements for 2018
Our first announcement for 2018 is that we say adieu to our regular feature from this year ‘Dinner Party Skills’, and in its place, we welcome our brand new regular feature – ‘Cooking in the Danger Zone’. That’s right, we’ll be back with a throttle in the New Year with our first ever piece for this fixture. Think foods that make you go ‘ooo‘ or maybe even ‘aaah‘. Or more importantly, things you would never imagine in your wildest dreams you could serve from home. Prepare yourselves…
Secondly, we are excited to announce that we will be having our first birthday on the 3rd of February. Can you believe it? No, us neither. To celebrate we will be throwing ourselves a party, and we want to invite you all to come and celebrate with us. We will be celebrating on Thursday 1st February at an undisclosed location in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. We will be putting on a spread of canapés as well as having bubbles flowing and most importantly friends, family and followers to celebrate with us. Details are top secret at the moment, but watch this space!
And thus, the year comes to a close. But with endings come new beginnings and we cannot wait to get started next year. Thank you for a beautiful year, dear readers. We are going to take a short break over the Christmas period, but we are going to be back with vengeance in 2018.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.