lean catwalk models
tall, tanned, toned, upright bodies
mild and tasty snacks
crispy crackling clouds
feather weight pillows of air
wafer thin light puffs
Today is Padaek’s 1 year blog anniversary. It’s amazing that 365 days have passed since I published the first post on Padaek – How to make tum mark hoong – Lao spicy green papaya salad. At the time, I didn’t think it would last because I’ve had blogs before and they usually get scratched after about 6 months. The reason why Padaek has lasted this long is because of my genuine interest in food. To me, the world of food, including Lao food is fascinating, inspirational and educational. There’s so much to learn and explore, and it motivates me to write and share my stories with you.
The other reason why Padaek has lasted this long is because of you, my dear readers. On behalf of Padaek, I would like to thank you for your wonderful support. Thanks for putting up with my ramblings and antics. Thanks for your visits, comments, and encouragement. Without you, this blog would not have been possible. It’s great to know that the hard work that’s been put into creating Padaek has been appreciated. I would also like to thank my dear partner for his support and patience. Both him and our pooch have been very understanding throughout the year, especially during the mad cooking sessions. Although, both of them have been well rewarded too.
Thanks again everyone. I really do appreciate your support. I look forward to another great year of awesome food blogging, and can’t wait to share more delicious recipes and food stories with you. We celebrated this special day with a delicious chocolate cake and a couple glasses of white wine, followed by a glass of kombucha. Both Padaek #1 and Padaek #2 had a ball, along with their fish sauce buddies. Finally, here’s a special haiku for our dear special Padaek.
from mountain to sea
wild Mekong River fish flows
funky sacred source
In case you’re interested, according to Jetpack Site Stats, here are some stats for the blog:
Total views (all time):
Top Posts for all days ending 2014-12-11 (Summarized):
1. How to make tum mark hoong – Lao spicy green papaya salad recipe – 4,775 views
2. How to make grandma’s pickled onions – 3,915 views
3. How to make tom hua pa – Lao fish head soup – 2,150 views
4. Fettuccine with salted duck egg and creamy sauce – 1,621 views
5. How to make padaek – Lao fermented fish sauce recipe – 1,560 views
Search Terms for all days ending 2014-12-11 (Summarized):
1. homemade pickled onions – 125 views
2. padaek – 86 views (probably all by me, hehehe )
3. fish head soup – 74 views
4. laos papaya salad – 24 views
5. chili garlic oil recipe – 21 views
As I’ve mentioned before, today’s the last day that I’ll be writing/publishing daily poems/haiku on the blog. I’ll still be writing/publishing food poems in the future. It just won’t be on a daily basis. To help celebrate Padaek’s 1 year anniversary, I would like to invite you to participate in a food poetry competition. Please feel free to submit a food poem of any style in the comments below. It can a haiku, limerick, free verse, etc. The only criteria is that it is about/related to “food”. The winning poem will be chosen by myself, and the winner will win the lovely prize of a Lao sticky rice bamboo basket and a pakaoma. You have 7 days to submit an entry. I will choose the winner on Thursday, 18th December, and post out the prize asap so that the winner can hopefully receive it before Christmas.
Note: If you’re thinking about writing and submitting a haiku for the competition, would you like some tips? Here it is anyway. I’m new to haiku, so my advice is based on my short experience with it. I’m certain other writers/poets have different views/ways on how to write haiku. To me, the idea with haiku is to juxtapose two ideas together. That is, write about something as a metaphor for something else. I find it difficult/almost impossible to write a haiku in one sitting and be happy with it. It might work for others. The best way for me is to write the bones/ideas of a haiku in one sitting. Then, save it, and come back to it in a day or two to review/edit/rework it. I usually get good results with this method. Traditional English haiku are 3 lines long, and have syllable order of 5-7-5. To help check if the number of syllables are correct, I use How Many Syllables. However, be careful, because it doesn’t always count the syllables correctly all the time! The Free Dictionary is also a great reference to check the number of syllables and meaning of your words. There are several resources online about haiku and how to write it. Good luck, and I hope you enjoy writing haiku as much as I did/do. Have fun, I can’t wait to read all of your poems.
Rules for the food poetry competition:
1. To be in the food poetry competition, readers/entrants are required to submit a food-related poem in the comments below.
2. Entrants can submit as many poems as they want.
3. The poem(s) can be about anything, just as long as it is related to “food”. It can be of any style that you want; haiku, limerick, free verse, etc.
4. The competition is open to everyone from anywhere in the world. From Laos to Australia, etc.
5. Poems should be in English. That’s all I can read.
6. To me, all of you are winners for supporting Padaek by submitting a poem. However, only one winner will be chosen for the prize. The winner/winning poem will be chosen based on creativity and skill.
7. The prize for the winner are the sticky rice bamboo rice basket and a pakaoma.
8. I will contact the winner by email once the decision is made. Please provide your correct email address.
9. The winner is required to reply with postal address within 24 hours. Otherwise, a new winner will be chosen.
10. Easy right?! Have fun in writing the poem(s). I’m certain you’ll enjoy the process. I look forward to reading all of your poems. Good luck!
Which came first, the chicken or the egg?
Asked the baby chicken to the egg.
It just sat there and stared
But nothing could be shared,
Because the chicken was in the egg.
[]Image Source: Wikimedia Commons. Original Source: USDA. Permission: Public domain. For more info on the chicken or the egg causality dilemma, read this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicken_or_the_egg.[]
A glass of red wine
On a cold night,
lies a circular lake
the colour of blood;
and dancing lights,
from red enigma.
It shines and reflects
as I sit to ponder.
On life –
with mourners and celebrators,
travellers and settlers,
blood and water,
with old and new.
The first is last,
with numbers and signs,
in time and space,
with echoes and sirens.
Paths are etched,
erased or opened.
All is well.
Cupped in glass,
crystal or cracked.
a symbol of hope.
With one sip,
it engulfs and nourishes me
A taste once foreign is
now medicine that heals.
Beyond all limits,
it’s mercy and grace.
How to fillet a fish
Grab a knife – any knife.
Just as long as it is sharp.
Grab a fish – any fish.
Just make sure it is scaled,
fresh and safe to eat.
Firmly pressed down,
don’t let it slip.
Along the spine –
on an angle,
cut from head to tail.
Watch your fingers.
Diligent and cautious –
glide between flesh and bone,
all the way through
to the other side.
Note: I was inspired to write this poem after recently reading Bizzy Lizzy’s Good Things’s post “Food Verse – inspirational food writing in the form of poetry and verse”.