Merciful God, You are great in compassion and Your tenderness for us is without measure. We ask You to give us today our daily bread, and also provide for the needs of all of Your hungry children around the world. Through Christ Your Son and Our Lord. Amen.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Thank you

Yesterday when I posted that I was considering deleting my food blog, I sincerely thought that I would publish that post, think on it for a few weeks, and then delete it. I never, ever dreamed that there was any one, much less more than one person, who stopped by every day, or at least every time I post.

I told you that when I created this blog I imagined regular chats with a few regular readers. I never had images of becoming a "Pioneer Woman" who regularly gets hundreds of comments on each post, but I did imagine that a few women would become my online friends, and that they would pop in for a recipe and a little "conversation." What happened was that I became a better cook, a more creative cook, and I enjoyed sharing my recipes. What didn't happen was the conversation.

You know what it's like when you talk to your kids and no one responds, and you feel like you're talking to a brick wall? Well, that's what it was like posting recipes. A few folks kindly said, "Hey that looks good," or, "I tried this recipe and my family enjoyed it." And I do really appreciate all those comments. But I was looking for more conversation -- really about anything. "Hey, I love that spice -- do you have any other recipes using it?" or, "I'm in a chicken slump, any ideas?"

When the comments stopped coming almost completely, I had decided that I had veered off the path of interest for you and my blog was just another Google hit for most folks.

Your comments really, really touched my heart. I truly had no idea you were there.

I love that you come to my blog when you're looking for a recipe because you know what I have here is likely to work for you. I love that you like the stories about my family, who likes what, and what was a huge hit at dinner. I love that some of my favorites have become your favorites, too. I just love knowing that you are there, when I didn't know you were.

I don't need to consider this change more than I have in the past 24 hours. Your lovely comments convinced me to keep this blog, and continue writing. It's not too much work, at all (I cook every day anyway!), but it is a labor of love and not one I was willing to labor for just random Google hits. This blog may not be what I imagined -- lovely conversations with friends of the heart, but God often takes us down the paths we least imagined. Maybe my path is not that of lovely conversation across the Internet miles, although I will still be hoping for that lovely conversation.

You see, to me, blogging is not about quality, but quantity. I would rather touch base with five online friends in a day than to read 30 fabulous blog posts. To me, popping into someone's blog is like popping over to visit them at home. I like to read each post with interest and linger over each "conversation." That's obviously not what blogging is for every one -- I certainly understand that. We're all very busy in this day, and lingering is not always possible, especially at a food blog. Sometimes you just need to pop in and get that recipe you saw a few weeks ago.

But, I do hope that you'll bring your hot cup over to the computer once in a while, and stay, and chat.  I want to know about you, what your family likes, what you like to cook. I do so want to be your friend, please know that.

PS I don't use Google Reader myself, so that's another reason why I had no idea you were there -- if you didn't show up on my Traffic Feed, I never imagined you were any where else. ;-)



Aimee said...

Just read both posts now,and I'm glad you are keeping this spot open. :) I know I rarely comment here (bad!), but I do read it through Google Reader and I enjoy the recipes. I mostly just want to come to your house for dinner every night! ;)

Jamie Jo said...

Well, since you don't do Google Reader, you wouldn't know that you have 171 subscribers checking in on you everyday.


That's a lot.

I'm so happy you are still going to keep it up and I will try to comment much more often.

(try, key word)

I love your Sunday meals, I love coming here, because I feel like I'm right next door and if I truly were I could stop by and share a meal with you.

See? This is why I dream about you.

Jamie Jo said...

Oh, by the way, Praying for Grace has 146 google people following.

Kaylan said...

I think Google reader only shows the stats for people who follow you via Google reader too. I follow you on Feed Reader - so who knows how many other subscribers you have on all the different Readers that are out there!

So happy to see you are continuing with the blog - I look forward to all the tasty recipes to come. My 2 year old is really picky, but I have found many winners in your cache of dishes! I promise to stop by and chat more often too. God Bless!!

Anonymous said...

Sigh of relief;) Ok, so here's the deal...I've been pregnant or nursing for the last 10 years. That didn't leave a lot of time for taking care of me and hence I'm a little soft around the edges;) So I started losing some of my baby weight (I can still call it that, right?) around this time last year. That's when I found your blog. My husband works midnights as a police officer and if I don't get into bed before he leaves for work, I find a thousand things to do and end up staying up way too late. Needless to say, I sat at my desk practically drooling over each of your recipes and eventually broke down and tried one. I think it was the s'more bars. Toe-curling goodness! So the weight is coming off more slowly than before, but I don't think I'd change that. Life is for living.

Sarah said...

Hi Barbara! I subscribe to you via Google Reader, too. I appreciate all of the work you put into posting your recipes. I wish I had more time to chat here, but I think I chat more with you at Praying for Grace. Also, I am not a "foodie." I think I would enjoy cooking much more if it wasn't such a chore (at this phase in my life with all the littles underfoot). I survival cook. I long for the days when I can ponder a recipe or bake something "just for fun." But right now, I'm just not there. I have gotten recipes from you, and all of them have been great. (I have a bunch that I have flagged to try, too =) And in fact, I just browsed your site to see what you served for Faith's First Communion, as I'm planning Anna's now ... Now that I know that you want the conversation, perhaps I will run my ideas past you, to see what you think. It always seems like you know how to throw a great party =)

Ashley said...

I am so glad that you decided to keep the blog. I am not much of a cook, but I LOVE reading cooking blogs to get a few ideas. This is the only cooking blog that I actually subscribe to, and I think it is because you always tell us the reason for the meal. I love learning about the important days in the Catholic faith. Thank you for keeping it up!

Anne said...

I'm so glad you're staying!!! I won't be able to stop for a chat as often as I'd like (I can't do that in real life either) but I'm so so glad that you'll still be here as my go-to lady for family-pleasing recipes.

And what a great idea to ask for help when I'm in a cooking slump! Somehow the thought never crossed my mind but I always need help with how and when to use various spices! Now I know who to ask.

God bless you, Barbara!!

Kate said...

This post made me decide to stop lurking. I feel awful for never commenting before although I've been reading along and checking back every couple days since I found your lovely blog before Christmas. (Stumbled across your blog while trying to find ideas for Christmas cookies.) I'm a Catholic college student, and I only just turned twenty -- I'm nowhere near being a mom yet! However, I've put a couple of your recipes to great use on my roommates, friends, family, the kids I tutor, and some coworkers and have gotten rave reviews.

Lorna said...

You just saved me a lot of work! I thought I was going to have to find all my links to your recipes and print them off before they weren't accessible anymore! :) I enjoy both your blogs and are glad they will both still be available.

Carina said...

Yay! I'm so pleased that you will continue this blog, Barbara! Even though you don't know me (I don't have a blog.), I felt like I was going to lose a friend!

I would love to chat about meal ideas for busy days. You would think as a homeschool mom, I would be home all the time, but lately, between my 3 oldest children, there has been lots of activities to get them to (ballet lessons, basketball practices, guitar lessons)and by the time we get home, it's already dinner time! Do you still have days where you are doing a lot of "chauffeuring?" If so, what do you do to still get a decent meal on the table? Do you have a lot of great crockpot recipes? Any other tips you could share? (You may regret asking for online friends to chat with!) ;)

Esther G. said...

Barbara, what good news for a Wednesday morning! I read you thru GR too. I will try to comment more although I am really not much of a commenter (is that a word?)

scmom (Barbara) said...

You have an open invitation any night. ;-)

I do wish you were right next door. We would have great fun!

I have picky kids too. I'll try to keep that in mind when I give tips for modifications. :-)

scmom (Barbara) said...

My dad was a police officer and my mom tells stories of when he worked nights and she had to keep four little ones under the age of four quiet so he could sleep during the day. I can't imagine!

Like me you like those comfort foods! I'll try to make a note of mentioning those dishes that are particularly healthy for those who are trying to lose baby pounds (yes they came on with baby so they are baby pounds! I still have them too and my youngest baby is nine years old.)

Barb, sfo said...

I'm here often, poaching ideas and grabbing recipes. I am one who doesn't comment much beyond "thanks for this one, we liked it." It's the same over at my cooking blog. I agree, it would be fun to talk food more. But I haven't figured out how to jump-start that conversation at my place.
Thanks for sticking around!

scmom (Barbara) said...

Email me and we'll chat!

Start cooking with me! And thanks for reading.

I'm glad you're reading and I'd be happy to chat if you ever have a minute. Maybe I should give out my phone number! ;-)

scmom (Barbara) said...

I'm so glad you came out of lurkdom! I love that you cook for your roommates -- what a great friend you are!

I'm glad I saved all that paper! Thanks for reading.

I do have lots of some crockpot recipes -- in the list on the sidebar under Crockpot. I'll start making note of recipes that can be modified for the crockpot, too. I have none in sports right now, but we did last spring. We had lots of split meals!

scmom (Barbara) said...

I believe it is a word (commenter), and I know everyone isn't as chatty as I am!

I like poaching from you, too! ;-)

Life's Littlest Blessings said...

I too am very glad you are sticking around. I will try to remember to comment

Mary said...

I was so happy to read this! I work full time (during the school year) and my sons are 9, 11, and almost 14 and life is crazy for us at times, but I love to cook, DH and sons love to eat, and meals and family time are important to us.
I will be stopping by with my coffee in hand to chat!


Susie said...

Hi Barbara,
I subscribe to your blog through Google reader also. Can't remember how I found you but love reading your recipes and have tried several.
I'm a grandmother of four ages 8 to 18. I used to blog, but gave it up and now mostly facebook. Thanks for deciding to continue :)

Anonymous said...

So glad to know you are staying with the blog. I appreciate your creative recipes. I also love your other treasures like my prayer bracelet you made for me. It has been my "tap in the shoulder" this Lenten season.
A Blessed Easter to you and yours.

Angie K.

Barb, sfo said...

In keeping with "knowing what my family likes" we are huge fans of your skillet stroganoff (minus the sour cream & lemon) so I guess it's no longer stroganoff...but that's how we like it. And tonight we ate my skillet turkey & noodles, which is a derivative of that recipe. Even Little Brother eats that, and he's usually a fan of Separate Food.

I also visit through google reader sometimes, so my visits may not always show up.

Tracey @ KitchenPlayground said...

I am a brand new blogger, and a first-time visitor to your site. I'm so glad to "meet" you, and thankful you didn't shut down! I would have missed out on the lovely opportunity to get to know you and your cooking!

Mary Elizabeth said...

I agree with all that has been said so far. I don't often comment on your blogs but I really enjoy them. I have four young children (5 and under) so I stick with what works in the kitchen right now, but I keep MEANING to try some new recipies. You have NO IDEA how many of your recipies I have downloaded or printed out but not quite gotten to yet. I am simply amazed that you are such a font of endless cooking adventures. I could probably cook a different meal each night for two, maybe three weeks, but then I would have to repeat. You give me hope that one day (with enough practice and determination) I just might finally learn more!

I'm grateful you are going to hold on to this blog. I dearly enjoy it. And I think I enjoy it more after finding you on your other blog where I feel I can get to know you (as is possible over the cyber communication such as this). I really enjoy your sense of humor and your dedication to what you feel is most important. I guess I'm more of a fan than a friend, but I'm here and that is something.

Many blessings to you and thank you for sharing yourself in this way.

Jamie Jo said...

I feel I should also mention that we use your "Candlamas Crepes" recipe every week. We use spray can whipped topping with fresh fruit or frozen mixed berries. It's a labor of love, I double the recipe and my husband takes the extras to work. A great low carb meal.

Thanks again so very much!

Jeree said...

So glad you decided not to delete your blog. I really enjoy your recipes and reading your insight.

Christine's Pantry said...

Hi! I just found your blog, and I am glad I did. I spent a good amount of time on your blog. I really enjoyed myself. Glad to hear that you are going to keep your blog. And reading the comments here, I think you have several fans. I will be back to visit.

Shaun said...

Oh Barbara - I came here and saw this and have tears in my eyes - oh please don't stop because you think no one is reading! I don't talk much because I feel, well sort of unworthy! I've only really begun cooking "for real" in the last few years and my children are young and I just always felt like you were so much wiser about... well everything so I wouldn't have much to offer as a friend. I have so much admiration for you - the cooking and your faith and it is always such a treat for me to come see what you've been up to.

scmom (Barbara) said...

Littlest Blessings, Thanks for reading. I know you're a busy mom to little ones, and I do appreciate that you stop by.

Please do bring your coffee. I wish I could share some cookies!

I'm glad you've tried some recipes -- let me know what you think. What do your grandkids like?

Thanks. That means a lot to me.

scmom (Barbara) said...

We haven't had the Stroganoff lately ...will have to schedule it! Thanks for the reminder. ;-)

Please come back sometime and try something!

Mary Elizabeth,
Your comment was so kind. And it means a lot, truly.

scmom (Barbara) said...

You are such a good wife to make those crepes every week. They really are a labor of love!

Thank you, Jeree. You are very kind.

I hope you come back, Christine!

You are so sweet, and please don't ever feel unworthy with me. Everyone has something valuable to add. I love hearing from you!

Tami said...

Oh, my gosh. I checked in here last night, and saw the discussion. I must have missed your post on Tuesday. I check in here almost every day!!! I would have been very, very sad to see this blog go down. I've gotten great ideas and recipes here, and even if I'm not looking to cook, I am always, always inspired. And I use this blog to click through to your personal one.

I regret not being a more frequent commenter, and will try to make amends (does that count as an act of contrition?? LOL) . I do understand, Barbara, as I have just started blogging myself, and am wondering when it will reach a point of discussion.

Thank you again for all of your work and beautiful sharing here. And thanks most of all for not taking this blog down. It, and most of all you, are truly appreciated.

God bless.

Linda said...

Oh, Barbara, it's so good to read that you are planning to stick around! I wasn't able to check yesterday (medical issues) to see what you'd decided, but I'm delighted to learn, as are so many others, that you have reconsidered.

To be truthful, I only commented 1 other time before I reacted to your "I'm thinking about leaving"-post. It was when you were planning your big anniversary party. I was the nincompoop who said that you were playing it too safe with your recipe choices, and that I like to be brave and try new recipes when entertaining guests. I regretted that comment almost the instant I sent it. And your reaction, though polite, showed that you were understandably irked with such a high-handed, know-it-all attitude. Mea culpa! Since then I was afraid to comment on ANYTHING! There! Confession is good for the soul. I'm sorry that I didn't apologize sooner; you would have heard more from me and maybe would never have come to the conclusion that no one out here cares. I certainly do. Thanks for not going away.

Love, Linda

Vee said...

i agree with everyone else... glad you're here to stay... I'm not much of a cook ( I could burn water) but I try and love to look at all the recipes the pics are the best part makes my mouth water. I do cook but they are very simple recipes s-i-m-p-l-e.. well any way if you ever want to lean over this side of the fence by all means drop by
my blog is a little rough around the edges but feel free to poke around.

scmom (Barbara) said...

Haha, Tami,
Thank for that act of contrition! I appreciate that you read regularly. I'd love to learn more about you.

Oh my goodness. I apologize sincerely for "having attitude." I do remember that post, but I don't remember feeling put out at all. It's just that I'm a real chicken about trying new stuff "on the spot" so to speak. I do hope you'll give me another chance in the com box, and I promise to check my attitude at the door! ;-)

Thanks for reading, Vee. And check out that Potsticker Soup. It is s-i-m-p-l-e!

Janet said...

Barbara, I very much enjoy your blog. I suppose I should take the time to comment, just to let you know there are many enjoying and learning from you. Please do continue to write. You are a blessing to many of us whom you do not know. I also love how you love our Catholic faith! God bless you!


Laurasuz said...

So glad you're staying! My husband and girls will be grateful.

noelle said...

Though i dont read blogs that often, yours is one i always check in on, and read posts from where i left off (which google reader keeps track of for me) and will come to for cooking advice and recipes. I love your blog and would be so sad if you stopped.

Thank you for all the time and effort you put in, it is really valued.