It’s always fun to see what folks are reading here on my blog. When I first started it, I had no idea if anyone would even be reading it. I generally write about things that interest me, and I never know what will prove to be popular with others. It’s great to look at the site stats periodically and see what’s most interesting to you, the readers.
The most visited post from 2013 was a recipe that my wife and I make all the time: Whole Grain Spelt Pita Bread. I don’t know how many folks have actually tried making the pitas, but I sure hope they do. It’s become our favorite flatbread, and is a great wholegrain addition to many of our meals. I’ve also posted recipes for Whole Wheat Pita Bread, and for Whole Wheat Sourdough Pita Bread. We use our pitas for wraps, pocket bread, pizza crust and make pita crisps with them. There are always a few of them in the freezer, waiting to be used.
Coming in at #2 on the most visited posts list was a shocker to me, my how-to on making Coffee Infused Oil. I had intended to do a followup post on making Coffee Lip Balm, but never got around to it. I make coffee lip balm a lot, I just haven’t posted a recipe for it, but I will someday – promise! Of course, there are lots of lip balm recipes available on the web, and you can substitute the coffee infused oil in most any good lip balm recipe. Another infused oil I use a lot is Calendula, and you can read about how to make it with my Homemade: Calendula Infused Oil. It’s also great in lip balms, as well as hand lotions and other skin treatments.
#3 for 2013 was not a surprise to me at all: Vitamix Freezer Tomato Sauce. This is also quite popular on Pinterest. Last year I experimented with using whole tomatoes in the Vitamix, skins and all, to make freezer tomato sauce. That went so well, I also used the juice to make Homemade Tomato Ketchup, as well as tomato paste. Using the Vitamix allows me to use all kinds of tomatoes, from the meaty paste types to slicers and even the smaller cherry, grape and plum types. For years we held off on getting one because of the cost, but now that we have it I can’t imagine how we ever did without one!
Coming in at #4 for 2013 was another recipe that makes good use of our Vitamix: the Chocolate Zucchini Smoothie. I developed this recipe as a dairy-free smoothie that also helped use up some of the usual glut of garden zucchini. The amazing thing is that to taste it, you’d never know it was made with a big portion of frozen zucchini.
The #5 most visited post from 2013 is a recipe for Peppermint Honey Oatmeal Soap. We’ve been making this soap for several years now, and since we started keeping bees we have used our own honey. This is a great bath and body bar with oatmeal for gentle exfoliating action and honey for increased suds. As usual, I’ve tweaked the recipe a bit since I first published it, so I’ll have to get the latest version out there too. I still plan on sharing more of our soap recipes, but it seems I never have enough time in the day to do all the things I want to do.
A few 2013 posts that just missed the top 5 include Spelt Chocolate Zucchini Bread, and my Saturday Spotlights on Giant Winter spinach and the Pennsylvania Dutch Crookneck squash. I’ve enjoyed doing the Saturday Spotlights, and I will be doing more of them in 2014. I know others are always looking to find out more about specific varieties, and it is fun for me to share my observations in the hopes it might help another gardener in the future.
Other popular posts last year include several that were 2012 articles: Growing Eggplant in Containers, Dehydrating Garlic and Easy Refrigerator Pickled Garlic. How Hardy Is Lettuce? is a perennial favorite, and I can usually tell when a sudden cold spell is predicted by the number of folks who are searching for answers as to whether their lettuce will survive the cold. My tutorials on Growing Pak Choi and on Making Cold Frames also seem to be popular.
I hope you have enjoyed this recap of some of what you all have been reading this past year. Thanks for all your comments, emails and blog visits, and I’m looking forward to sharing more of our adventures and experiences in the coming year.