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A glance over my shoulder – top 10 posts of 2013

January 1, 2014

Happy New Year from My Custard PieReal life got in the way of blogging over December but it’s always fun to look back over the past year and take stock before moving forward. I’ve learned not to pore over statistics too much – it’s comforting when they are on the up and up but it has a stultifying effect when they take a dip. The pleasure from reading a thoughtful comment is much more rewarding anyway (I take no advertising).

However, you might be interested in this list of what was most visited here on My Custard Pie in 2013. There were quite a few surprises:

The 10 most visited blog posts on My Custard Pie in 2013

  1. Where to take visitors to eat in Dubai – on a budget was my most popular post by far. It’s about tried and tested places my own visitors (over the last 13 years) have liked best, where the bill will suit everyone’s pocket.
  2. Saffron, tin mines and an accident – Fresh from the oven received gazillions of visits (ok, slight exaggeration) as it was mentioned in a Buzzfeed article called 18 Weird And Wonderful British Foods You Need To Try. Alongside my saffron (or tea treat buns) were a Bedfordshire clanger, Cullen Skink and stargazy pie.
  3. French oysters; a quick guide to choosing, shucking and eating  An evening at Rostang in Atlantis cleared the muddied waters of my oyster understanding. It seems many others are equally at sea with these marine molluscs.
  4. Who can resist a pie? I’m so glad that this post was popular because it’s a subject I adore. Much more pie-making ahead in 2014 I promise, and a resolution to become a pastry-making maestro (ongoing project!).
  5. Simple roast tomato soup – iphone style I went a bit off-piste on this post (off-poste?) and I know it divided some of my readers. It addressed the issue of cooking (and blogging) around a full-schedule of work, family and other commitments, and all the photography was taken on my iphone. The main image was accepted by Tastespotting which shows it can be done (without DSLR).
  6. A jar of sunshine – home-made lemon curd is an enduring favourite written in 2011 and the distillation of my lemon obsession. The ‘ten uses for lemon curd’ is probably what has made it so popular.
  7. The many sides of Ramadan and Iftar in Dubai is as much about life here in the Middle East as it was about the rituals of food.  It’s so easy to neglect writing about what you take for granted.
  8. Homemade rose creams – think pink  was written in 2011 and I’m a bit cringy about the images (although still like the one of Hazel under the table). These simple sweets are impossible to resist.
  9. Waka waka – this time for Africa has a recipe for piri piri prawns (on the barbecue), a visit to Tribes restaurant in Dubai,  a bit about South Africa heritage day, and my first taste of tripe. Maybe it tapped into a surge of interest in African food?
  10. Lamb rice with crispy potato base from The Jewelled Kitchen is a review of a new book which is now much-thumbed, written by a good friend, and a recipe which takes a fair bit of time but is absolutely the kind of food I like to eat. It got the most visits on a single day too (in July).

Thank you to everyone who visited, liked, commented and supported My Custard Pie in 2013. As always, it’s a labour of love writing about topics that compel me to put my fingers to the keyboard. I’m so glad that you’ve enjoyed them too.

What were your culinary highlights of 2013?

  1. January 1, 2014 5:45 am

    It’s been great following My Custard Pie in 2013, looking forward to more this (!) year. My highlight this year is probably getting the hang of baking with yeast. Like you, one of my resolutions this year is mastering pastry.

    • January 1, 2014 9:58 pm

      We should be each others pastry making supporter. I’m going to try Richard Bertinet’s pastry method.

  2. January 1, 2014 8:04 am

    Fascinating reads as always, Sally, though it’s hard to imagine you managing any more wine… My key resolution, following the imminent start of the Dubai Slow Food Chapter and the recent Dubai World Hospitality Championships, is to discover more local ingredients and foods – did you know, for example, that up in the Hatta area there’s a unique strain of wheat used to make very local bread? Plus I want to find time for Arva’s tours, rekindle my sushi making ability and finally – finally! – conquer my inability to cook with anything involving flour! Plus there’s a couple of interesting new food magazines on their way from CPI that will keep me busy…

    • January 1, 2014 10:09 pm

      Not sure what you mean about the drinking!! Fascinating about the wheat – I would love to know more. I’d also like to try a desert truffle. Arva’s tour is a must do (I’ve done 5), having eaten some very good and also very dodgy sushi this year, making you own sounds like a good idea. Have a great 2014 – sounds really exciting.

  3. January 1, 2014 10:32 am

    May 2014 hold,do all that you need Sally xox

    • January 1, 2014 10:09 pm

      Thanks Tandy – and returned.

  4. January 1, 2014 1:07 pm

    Dear Sally, a lovely look through some of your most popular posts and some great resolutions – particularly the trip to Georgia – that would be such an interesting place. I have loved reading your blog. A busy month and year indeed but lots to look forward to in 2014. Wishing you and your family all the very best xxx

    • January 1, 2014 10:11 pm

      Georgia is booked and I’m looking forward to it so much – especially the wine making in qveri (ancient clay pots). Your blog has inspired me so much Ren – looking forward to all your delicious posts and new ventures in 2014.

  5. January 1, 2014 1:09 pm

    Happy New Year Sally and hope all your culinary dreams are fulfilled. My culinary delight had to be the macaroon class that I attended and hope to now prefect at home. 🙂

    • January 1, 2014 10:12 pm

      My daughter is quite a dab hand at macarons – must look for a course here. Happy New Year to you Moya. Will be visiting your lovely blog regularly.

  6. January 1, 2014 3:01 pm

    Lovely posts. Looking forward to reading you in 2014!

    Happy New Year, dear.



    • January 1, 2014 10:15 pm

      Happy New Year to you too Rosa. Look forward to more of your beautiful images and posts.

  7. January 1, 2014 3:41 pm

    Rose creams look luscious, I’d like to give the recipe a whirl. Happy new year to you. X

    • January 1, 2014 10:16 pm

      They are really simple to make and incredibly moreish Deena. Happy New Year

  8. January 1, 2014 5:55 pm

    I can’t believe you missed out your Monthly Wine Writing Challenge winning post!
    Happy New Year and looking forward to more wonderful writing in 2014!

    • January 1, 2014 10:17 pm

      It wasn’t in the top 10 most visited I’m afraid – however I loved writing it and will try to enter as many as I can in 2014. Happy New Year – and cheers.

  9. January 1, 2014 8:25 pm

    making more home-made bread, I want to do that more too. 😉
    It loved reading all of your tasty & cool posts, dear Sally. 😉

    • January 1, 2014 10:18 pm

      Bread – making is so rewarding. Toying with starting a monthly yeast-baking challenge….what do you think?

  10. andreamynard permalink
    January 2, 2014 12:43 am

    Have really enjoyed your posts over the last year Sally, they’re always so entertaining, interesting and inspiring. Love the reminders of some of the posts I’ve missed and looking forward to more lovely tales of wine and food this year. I always seem to be keen to bake more bread at the start of the year too, keen to try some sourdoughs with a long, slow prove after seeing ‘medieval’ bread baked in Lewes. Happy New Year!

  11. January 6, 2014 3:48 pm

    My culimary highlights of 2013 (very random!):
    – Changes in the form of my blog being put on the side to take over Caterer Middle East, which has given me an insight into how chefs and restaurants work, more than ever before.
    – Journeying to Sri Lanka and trying authentic food – including some really good kottu roti in a random spot in Kandy, and going on a food tour in Galle.
    – The best cheesecake I have had in years in a small gastro-pub in Suffolk.
    – The best eclair I have had, period, on the rainy streets of Bruges, Belgium.
    – Realising I love Cornish Yarg and Norwegian Goat’s Cheese. And that Manchego is all kinds of awesome.

    • January 7, 2014 6:10 am

      What a stellar year. Need to hear all about your Bruges trip. What’s different about Norwegian goat’s cheese and where did you find it?

      • January 7, 2014 12:28 pm

        Yes, will blog about it + hopefully at next FiA meeting!
        Was my first time eating the goat cheese, John’s family found it in a shop in Suffolk. It’s got a slightly sweet taste… I researched later, and apparently while most Norwegian goat’s cheese is brown, there are varying degrees of shades and the one I had was very light in colour. It’s quite mild though, which is the kind I usually prefer.

      • January 7, 2014 9:14 pm

        Putting on my ‘to try’ list for when next in UK

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