Coffee Corner turned 9 today.

(or, “I’d better write a second post this year.”)

Well, on this day in 2000, I started blogging. Rather, I started a group blog, that would become my own brand. For the curious, go back to the beginning here [opens in a new window], courtesy of the Wayback Machine Internet Archive at archive.org. That remains some of my best CSS work to date, sadly.

Since then, my blog and I have seen:

  • Internet game shows come and go (hello, Survivorblog!);
  • me moving to London for two years, meeting some very dear friends along the way;
  • me moving home and meeting my wife-to-be through those friends and through our blogs;
  • the growing market of blogging tools, in which I accuse adopters of Movable Type of being “sheep” (or was it “lemmings”?);
  • the birth of the cool (or, at least, the birth of WordPress);
  • a whole lot of friends spring up across the globe, which means we’ll never travel someplace and not already know someone there;
  • some prolific blogging progeny, including Laurence at Is Full Of Crap and Charles at Off The Kuff – karmically, I think this is a zero sum;
  • the dawn of Twitter, where you’ll find me somewhat more frequently here (it’s easier to have 140-character ideas);
  • and lately, a whole lot of food.

Yeah, it’s been a good ride so far. Thanks to everybody who has been a part of this journey, and welcome to the folks to come.

Of course, I can’t leave without talking about food. I’ve got to give a shout out to Michael Ruhlman’s new book, Ratio, for changing the way I cook in some subtle and not-so-subtle ways. Michael is an amazingly talented food writer, who has managed to explain in a relatively thin tome some of the basic principles behind all recipes. For example, I’ve been doing a lot of bread baking lately, with the goal of never buying a loaf of store-bought sandwich bread again. Bread, in Ruhlman’s terms, is 5:3 – five parts flour, three parts water, by weight. A bit of yeast, a bit of salt, and you’ve got the essence of bread. From there, you can do anything – add some flavoring ingredients, change up the flour with some rye, whole wheat, or semolina, make it into shapes – but the basic recipe is simply 5:3. (That’s part of why I have so few recipes to write up anymore. They all come down to things like that.)

Between a good cheat sheet of ratios, a decent understanding of technique, and a reference or two on cooking science, that’s the core of what I need to cook, well, anything. And it’s a lot simpler than pulling out all the recipe books and looking over half a dozen or more recipes for meatloaf before deciding on a mélange of them all.

More to come. There’s a lot to say.