My 7 Links

August 11, 2011 · 23 comments

Firstly, thanks to everyone for your support and donations with my Dry July efforts! It was a long 31 days, and even longer FIVE WEEKENDS but we got through it and well over $2.7 million was raised for adult cancer patients across the country.

As wryly noted by Gcroft, I also seemed to give up blogging in July… for what it’s worth I’m well and truly at the pointy (flaming, barbed, covered in wasps, reeking of marzipan) end of my PhD, am in the process of preparing to move house next week, and have had a bit of a dodgy back, and quite frankly all this dissertation writing, whinging and moaning leaves me with no time or energy for foodie related endeavours. I’m eating my way through the pantry and freezer in an attempt to have less things to take to the new house, and whilst I’d love to report that this has resulted in innovative new combinations of ingredients that will set the food world ablaze, the only thing that has been lit is the stove as I heat up more tinned soup (and figuratively, at that – damn you electric stove! Soon I will shake my fist at you for the last time!).

Whilst this has also meant that I’ve not been able to keep up my usual blog reading habit, I am lucky in that I have not been forsaken by my bloggy loved ones. The especially loved Mardi of eat. live. travel. write. has just selected me as one of the five bloggers she has passed her My 7 Links baton to, and thus has given me a nice kick up the arse to get writing again. Sorry plankton, but the blog gets my keystrokes tonight!

My 7 Links is an interesting project with the goal “to unite bloggers (from all sectors) in a joint endeavour to share lessons learned and create a bank of long but not forgotten blog posts that deserve to see the light of day again”, and presents an interesting challenge of selecting 7 of my posts that fit the following categories:

  • Your most beautiful post
  • Your most popular post
  • Your most controversial post
  • Your most helpful post
  • A post whose success surprised you
  • A post you feel didn’t get the attention it deserved
  • The post that you are most proud of

So fill your pockets with muesli bars because we’re on a stroll down memory lane *insert Wayne’s World flashback squiggly lines*

At first thought, I may say that my most beautiful post would be my foray into the world of baking baklava, because it was my first ever success with getting one of my photos onto foodgawker. To be honest, I’ve since given up trying to get my photos on there, for fear of my eyes rolling out of head in exasperation.

Oh who am I kidding...it's my Mum's pretty plate that foodgawker really liked

…but if we take foodgawker out of the equation, and I clear my head from the influence of syrupy pastry, I think that my edible garden is my proudest pretty endeavour..

The little vegie patch, all finished and with nary a rabbit in sight

My most popular sections of my website are actually the Blogroll and About Me pages, which makes me feel better that at least if I haven’t had time to catch up with my friends’ writing lately then at least I’m encouraging others to do so. The most popular post however has surprisingly been that which features one of my paradoxically most simple and yet seemingly very difficult dishes of all – poached eggs. It seems that everyone likes a good runny googy egg, and it’s satisfying to know that I’ve helped a few people to make perfect googies at home.

The post also features booze and syringes, so it’s covering a lot of bases in the popularity contest. Conventional breakfast makers? Check. Booze hags? Check. Googling junkies? Check.

You just can't go past a gratuitous oozy googy shot..

It was somewhat difficult to come up with my most controversial post, but I think it may have to go to the one where I make my Mum’s Vanilla Slice recipe. As I say in the post, the good old Snot Block is sold in many variations across the country, and everyone has their own idea of what a proper Vanilla Slice should entail. It is the thing of gauntlets being thrown and fisticuffs ensuing. Please, let us not speak of the the Arnott’s recipe version made with Sao biscuits and instant pudding mix. Gah.

While the aforementioned poached egg post has certainly proven useful, perhaps my other most helpful post has been about an even simpler recipe, if you can even call it that – steel cut oat porridge. If I received commission for every person I have turned into a regular steel cut oat eater (or a regular Body Pumper) I would be spending my day swimming through shiny coins and having my feet tickled with peacock feathers. I even have strangers approach me at the shops to ask me about these oats when I’m buying them. If you are a porridge person and you aren’t making it with steel cut oats, please read this old post and give them a try. Please also forgive the awful photos… they were taken in my dingy office with pre-breakfasted hands.

Terrible photo of an unexciting dish that nonetheless starts my day off just right

I have two contenders for the post whose success surprised me, and both of them are not your typical food blog post. The first started out as a discussion of some recently consumed plane food and descended into dreams of having  so much disposable income that I owned an underwater pogo stick.

When you just need a little time out from the party - Relax 'N Nap

…whilst the other was a more sombre affair brought on by, if memory serves, a strange night out, not even remotely enough sleep, and far too much introspection. Whilst I may have been better off self medicating with cake, I really enjoyed the discussion that this post generated in the comments. It also gave me an excuse to share all my Wimbledon photos with you, and I’ve learnt there’s nothing quite like being able to brag you got to experience Wimbledon (even if it was just a ground pass.. I drank Pimm’s and ate strawberries & cream so it still totally counts).

Dutch louts (calling every girl who wandered anywhere near them "Princess"), an ingenious form of sun protection, people camping out already for the following day, the view from where I napped on the grass during some of the wait; a man looking fabulously chuffed with his free cup of refreshing Robinson's squash.

I have many posts from back in my early blogging days that got little more attention than from my family and a few trendsetting punters. The one post that I think didn’t get the attention it deserves and that I’d like to again share with you is for my sister’s Pad Thai recipe.

I have lost count of the number of horribly disappointing Pad Thai dishes I’ve eaten over the years. Some of them I brought upon myself (when ordering lunch at a fish & chippery in Jurien, stick to the fish & chips… for that matter, why the hell is Red Rooster serving fish & chips? Has anyone tried it?) but others have come from seemingly authentic takeaway joints yet still are flavoured generously with bland. This recipe is entirely the opposite and is totally worth the effort and the stench of fried shrimp paste.

And finally, the post that I’m most proud of. Whilst last year’s Cupcake Day for the RSPCA was one that immediately came to mind, as I was so pleased with how much money was raised for a few hours of decoration fun, I think I may actually have to go with the post I wrote about my Pirate Party last year.

You see, I used to write a lot of poetry when I was younger. I was a precocious prepubescent proser who won prizes at the renowned Northampton Agricultural Show, attended readings during Geraldton’s prestigious Sunshine Festival, and even got some of it published. One of my most successful poems when I was just starting out was a classy tale that started out with:

Oh no, not again, my brother wet the bed!

It really isn’t very fair, us sleeping toe to head.

and carried on for some time before ending with a line which I thought ended my poem rather nicely while serving as a warning for others, though it confused me a little bit why it always elicited such a good chuckle from those listening:

So I’ll warn you now, don’t sleep with your brother!

Oh it was an innocent time back then, when sleeping meant sleeping and a hot night in meant The Goonies and Pizza Hut.

And so, for taking me back to my childhood when I dreamed of being an astronomer who wrote award winning poetry and acted in blockbuster movies in my spare time, I choose my piratey prose post as my proudest.

Cheers, me hearties

I raise my tankard to the following five bloggers who I think may have some gems to offer in this 7 links malarkey, if they so wish..

Hannah of Wayfaring Chocolate

Julie of Gourmet Getaways

Karen of Eat Drink Wash Up

Trina of The Gourmet Forager

and for something a bit meta, Erin of and this is what I think

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

erin August 12, 2011 at 10:17 am

I’ve never thought of myself as meta, but then I suppose I wouldn’t have, would I?

I’ll have to put my thinking pants on to come to respond to this :P Stay tuned!

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erin August 12, 2011 at 10:18 am

Holy poor sentence structure. Put my thinking pants on to come up with a response to this.

Stupid thesis.

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Conor August 12, 2011 at 11:17 am

You’re so meta you’re infinitely looped.

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Forager @ The Gourmet Forager August 12, 2011 at 12:08 pm

Aw shucks – thanks Conor! I love reading your posts – they’re almost certainly guaranteed to make me snort in laughter & give away that I’m reading your blog at work. And seeing the photo again reminds me how much I adored your edible garden post! Those rounded little veggies are so cute!

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Conor August 13, 2011 at 10:17 pm

My pleasure! I am kinda scared though… if you get 7 linking on us all, our brains may explode from over-education :D Thanks so much for the feedback, there’s nothing like knowing you’ve induced a snort. A ladylike snort, I am sure. Dainty and refined.

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Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite August 12, 2011 at 1:30 pm

Conor I LOVE this little walk down memory lane with your 7 links. I am happy to say I remember all of these posts and think you have chosen very well :) Funny how both of us have popular “About me” pages – I am guessing people are REALLY interested in reading about us, right? Alos happy to help you out of your blogging rut though I think you did deserve a break during Dry July!

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Conor August 13, 2011 at 10:20 pm

Hooray, I am glad you approve, dear motivator! I am sure people check out your “about me” page because they’re interested in learning more about you…. but I am sure that people check mine because of my name inducing confusion about my gender ;)

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Megan August 12, 2011 at 4:16 pm

I have professed my adoration and idolisation of the garden cupcakes.

You also make an exceptionally hot pirate and im totes going to use your vanilla slice recipe and create one (but with a traditional raspberry icing)

I think July sober might have been too much, maybe you need the promise of alcohol to entice your creative juices

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Conor August 13, 2011 at 10:29 pm

The garden cupcakes are still blushing at your response :D

Oh dear, now I am too. I tell you what though.. it was hard to find a female pirate costume that didn’t look like it was off a porno. It seems that most costumes automatically add “sexy” in front of them.

And yes, please use the recipe! It’s totally Women’s Weekly to the max, and I love it for that. And double yes, I think you’re right about the booze.

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Meggy August 14, 2011 at 3:58 am

I agree, who ever heard of a sexy bumblebee?
why are there such things as sexy bees? as far as i remember bees aren’t sexy and getting stung is pretty unsexy

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Kari @ bite-sized thoughts August 12, 2011 at 6:09 pm

This was a great summary of the posts you did before I found your blog. The edible garden is seriously impressive!

Congratulations on the dry July too, and lots and lots of positive thoughts for the end of your PhD. I remember that stage and it was not fun. And then post-submission you won’t know what to do with yourself – but I’m sure that’s a problem you’ll be glad to have :)

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Conor August 13, 2011 at 10:31 pm

Thanks so much Kari! I think the only people who can understand the pain of the final stages of a PhD are fellow sufferers, and perhaps the (potentially long-suffering) loved ones of fellow sufferers. I am SO looking forward to not knowing what to do with myself. I think sleeping might be on top of the list ;)

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msihua August 12, 2011 at 8:29 pm

Well done on this summary write-up! Helps for people like me who only came to know your blog in the last year :)

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foodie cravings August 13, 2011 at 7:16 pm

Was awesome to go down the hold the beef memory lane, like ihua and Janine – all were written before I started reading your blog.

You are right, there are so many posts that just get lost, especially right at the start so it’s great that the 7 links Project has helped bring them to the surface for all to enjoy! Keep it up Conor :)

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Janine August 12, 2011 at 9:10 pm

Like I-hua, your summary of posts was definitely helpful! I remember seeing the edible veggies cupcakes and going gaga over them!

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mademoiselle délicieuse August 13, 2011 at 3:02 pm

Ahaha, apart from the usual underlying humourous tone of your posts which make me chuckle, the funniest part of this post (well, for me anyway) is that last photo where you’ve chosen not to show people’s faces to protect the innocent. What with those buxom wenches and somewhat hilarious poses, it looks somewhat like *ahem* you know…those ads for adults…and dress-ups…and “connecting” with new people!

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Hannah August 14, 2011 at 12:21 pm

Oh you cruel, cruel woman! I don’t think I noticed the first time, but there are chocolate-covered sunflower seeds atop your garden cupcakes! While you shake your fist at your stove, I shall be shaking my fist at you! (If, by “shaking my fist”, I actually mean “wishing you the most pleasant and stress-free moving experience possible”.)

Absolutely loved remembering all of these splendiferous posts of yours, my inspiring friend, and not just because many also bring up memories of our beyond-blog interactions (such as the Just Pure Gold photo you sent my of you with your binoculars at Wimbledon).

And then wahey! Me! My name! Whee! Life is rather insanity for me right now so I’m not sure when I’ll be able to spend time rummaging through my blog’s history, but I will try to do it before next year sometime ;)

Hope you are WONDERFUL! I miss you! xo

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patty August 18, 2011 at 9:55 am

Hey Conor, missed your regular blog posts! Great to see you back with this fun update to remind all of us why we follow you and all your foodie adventures!

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pierre September 4, 2011 at 5:28 pm

all your posts are my favourite!!!
pierre

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Sweets By Vicky September 9, 2011 at 8:41 pm

I love your pirate fit! The cupcakes rock and I agree with you on the vanilla slice being… gross on most occasions, though the pudding part ALWAYS gets to me. :)

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Karen Harris November 30, 2011 at 8:56 am

My dearest Conor huge apologies because even though I have seen this post I have been caught skimming the content because not only did I not see my name mentioned at the end, but I didn’t leave a comment which is not like me at all. My next post will be on my 7 links. Rest assured that it will be certainly full of malarkey as usual. Better late than never!

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Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella February 22, 2012 at 5:03 pm

I absolute love reading eveeryone’s 7 links and yours are great Conor! I still remember those amazing garden cupcakes! :)

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Sweet Chilli May 8, 2012 at 9:34 pm

I hope you haven’t given up on the blog! It’s a pleasure to read and I love the way you splice in some irreverence with your recipes:)

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