Phooey on you, Faith, for giving us free-range on selecting our favorite posts of 2009. It's just impossible! With close to 4,000 posts this year, I am in awe of what the fine writers of The Kitchn have achieved.
I started this site in 2005, chugging out a few posts a day on my own, with the hopes of writing enough about cooking in a tantalizing and accessible way to inspire people to cook more at home. Four years later we have eleven talented people dishing up recipes, tips, news and inspiration to the tune of over fifteen posts a day. Each of these writers brings their own special flavor to the site and so it was with those individual attributes in mind that I selected my favorite posts; one for each writer, exemplifying what I see as their unique takes on the original mission of The Kitchn.
Happy New Year!
Pictured posts are in bold.
• Marking's Bibingka - This was a beautiful piece by Emily about a chewy Filipino confection called Bibingka. Emily always has great recipes — often unusual — with a human story behind them.
• How To Pick, Clean and Prepare Fava Beans - Kathryn has a way of making me seethe with jealousy when she writes about the seasonal morsels of the San Francisco Bay area. This was a beautiful and useful piece about how to deal with those pesky Favas.
• Trapdoor in the Kitchen Floor: Spiral Wine Cellars - What can I say about Faith? She not only manages the sites with grace, but she also hits it out of the park with posts like this one, about crazy trapdoor spiral staircase wine cellars. Her talent for combing the web for little tidbits of fantasy balances so well with her ability to give us beautiful recipes, useful tips, and straight-ahead answers to common questions. This post falls into the former category. Readers loved it.
• All About Aperitifs - Nora Maynard has been writing for us for longer than anyone. She came to me with the idea of writing weekly about cocktails and has been doing it religiously for more than three years. I loved this piece about apertifs; it gave me a wonderful feeling about the spring, and permission to raise a glass to the warm days ahead.
• Weekend Meditation: Remembering to Taste - Dana is such a treasure. The posts she writes each Saturday are meditations on a subject related to eating and cooking, but most often without recipes or tips. She is the spirit that reminds us to stop and take a moment and this post, about tasting food, is a perfect example of her gift for inspiring us to pay attention to the subtle sides of food.
• Frozen Nectarine-Yogurt Pie - Elizabeth is a city girl who brings a strong southern flair to so much of what she writes. Her posts are friendly, accessible and also chic. This pie, and it's sunshine face, is Elizabeth incarnate. You want to taste this recipe as much as you want to sit down and share a cup of coffee with Elizabeth. Believe me, I've done both.
• Escape to Greece: Great Wines from The Peloponnese - Week after week, Mary brings wine alive for our readers. She also travels quite a bit, and this post was one of a few she wrote after a trip to the wine regions of Greece. I am so grateful for the cheerful wine writing she brings to the site; I always learn something new.
• How to Make Pizza on the Stove Top - This post about making a whole pizza over a burner is pure Emma: practical, smart with an element of time-saving but without a sense of cutting corners or robbing the cook of an experience. Her posts always have a bit of elegance without the fuss.
• The Fish and Cheese Debate - Nora Singley writes about a different cheese each week, but occasionally she writes instead about an issue around cheesemaking or cheese eating. This post cracked me up: an exploration of the "no-no" (or is it a "sure, why not?") of putting cheese on a fishy pasta dish.
• How To Make Elote (Roasted Sweet Corn) At Home - When Joanna put up this piece as part of our Street Fair Food Week last August, I was thrilled. Having grown up in Los Angeles, this has always been one of my favorite Mexican food treats and leave it to Joanna to bring it to the blog. She has a wonderful ability to explore topics that come from community and have wide appeal: from her posts about food television and urban foodies (with a Chicago bent) to her D.I.Y. recipes for salami and brown sugar.
• Flickr Find: Picnics We'd Like To Go To - Sarah Rae has a knack for using the internet intelligently to find content that will light a fire under our readers. I loved this post in which she combed Flickr to find photos of picnics. It was July, and I hadn't had a single picnic yet. She motivated me to get out the blanket and take the family on a fresh air and fresh food outing. Sometimes a great post is just a well-curated group of things from elsewhere on the web.