Ahem ... thanks ...

I'm not good at receiving compliments.

CRB had a gig on Friday night and although the band played well, I wasn't at my personal best. My throat had been bothering me for a few days so I didn't feel like my voice was sounding good. In addition, we had trouble with sound, which made it hard for me to hear myself or the other vocals, so I felt unsure of what I was singing. All of this rattled me, and I made some mistakes that I don't normally make. By the end of the first set, I was feeling down on myself. When we took a break, a man walked up to me.

"You have a nice voice," he said. "You should sing more." (I do sing in just about every song the band does, but I sing harmonies. I enjoy singing harmonies more than I enjoy singing lead.)

Intellectually, I know what to do in these situations. If it were my kids, I would have told them, "say thank you to the nice man."

Instead, the following thoughts ran through my brain: Why are you saying this to me? Do I sound so terrible tonight that you are saying that out of pity? Are you a friend of someone I know, who put you up to saying that? I literally have no recollection of saying anything in reply to his kind words. I HOPE I at least muttered thank you. I WISH I had explained that I prefer singing harmonies. I WORRY that I just gave him a blank stare.

In the same vein, my blog has received some nice compliments over the past few weeks and my usual inability to deal with these things made me procrastinate posting about them. To make up for my lack of graciousness with that man on Friday night, I'm going to put aside my insecurities and say some thanks.

THANK YOU to Julie at Noshtalgia for the "E for Excellent" Rating

Julie is a fellow Rochester blogger. There are a handful of us -- one of these days I'm going to get the Rochester food bloggers together so we can meet (and eat). Julie tends to write about food from "the good old days." I like that about her.

The rules, according to Julie: You have to choose 10 more blogs of any kind which you deem to be excellent. It’s tough to choose since there are so many excellent blogs out there but limit we must. I’m sure over time all of those deserving bloggers will be awarded.

This was a real problem for me, because I don't like to choose favorites. I thought I'd recognize some promising relatively new blogs, not all of which are dedicated to food.

1. Karin from Artful Crafts. Karin is a good friend who used to live in Rochester and now lives in Wisconsin. She is very creative, and is the author of two new craft books, Altered You and Mostly Metals. Her blog is about inspiration and creativity. She's a really good cook, though, and I hope she posts a recipe from time to time! She is actually the person who influenced me to use recipes as a guideline, not an absolute.

2. Michele from No Frigate. Michele is an attorney, lives in New York City, and happens to be my cousin. She and her husband are interesting people who I'd like to know better. They recently spent a year working in India, and she sent home colorful dispatches of her time there. Her blog is mostly about the books she's reading; she recently reviewed The Omnivore's Dilemma, which is on my reading list. Michele is the person who convinced me to start a blog!

3. Amy from Baked Alaska. I like a food blogger that will write about her failures and she does so, with good humor. Amy is currently living in a part of Alaska that is without electric power, which I find mind boggling!

4. Elisabeth from Cooking in Cathedral Hill. Like me, she has a regional focus, but she's in St. Paul, Minnesota. Her recipes are not too ordinary, not too fancy -- just right.

5. Shannon from Writing As I Eat. Shannon is a cooking contest buddy who has returned to blogging after a hiatus. The blog captures her personality. I like that she doesn't only write about cooking, and that she's not a food snob!

6. Veronica from Supermarket Serenade. She is another contest buddy who is also doing a great job with her new blog! She focuses on great finds from the supermarket, which is a good twist on the food blog theme.

7. Erin from Prudence Pennywise is yet another contest buddy. Her blog's theme is cooking frugally -- something we could all use with the way gas prices are rising. I can't decide if I love or hate the music she plays on the blog!

8. Julie from My 45th Year. She is a Rochester blogger who decided to set some goals for her 45th year: finishing 45 hand-made objects, completing at least one 45-hour solo retreat, and biking 45 miles in one day -- and blogging her progress toward those goals. Now that she's turned 45, she started a new blog, Hand Crafted Life. I'm sure that blog will be as good as her first one.

9. Tracy from Kitchen Spark. Her name is Tracy, she's the mother of two boys, and she's trying to progress from tater tots and fish sticks. I think she's my soul sister!

10. Laura from The Spiced Life. She is a fellow poster on the Cooking Light Bulletin Board, and some cool out-of-the-ordinary recipes.

WHEW! I'm exhausted! But wait ... there's more!

THANK YOU to Camilla at Enlightened Cooking for the Blog of Distinction award. This one had me back on my heels because I'm a big fan of Camilla. She's won a lot of cooking contests, which is great, but I really admire her because she's won them with recipes that are in another ballpark from the ones I've created. She has also written a bunch of cookbooks. Her blog is about healthy food, which is something I need. Plus she is smart (has a PhD) and skinny. In fact, I'd probably dislike her out of envy if she didn't seem so dang nice. OK, have I gushed enough -- and trust me, I'm not someone who gushes. She didn't post rules for this, but she passed it on to three people. She says she gave it to me because she is cheered by my posts. Huh. OK, I'll pass the award on to bloggers whose posts make me smile:

1. Lis from La Mia Cucina. She's one of the people who initiated the Daring Bakers, which is getting to be an enormous group on the Web. But her writing is hilarious. I feel like I know her.

2. Karyn from Pretty in the City. This is my stepsister's blog and she cracks me up. I don't know where she comes up with some of her stuff. (If you like her writing, read one of her books. I like her first one, Save Karyn the best. It was published a few years ago, so you can find an inexpensive copy.)

3. Catherine from The Dish. Her blog is about food. And it's funny. What more could you want in a blog?

Oh gosh, one more:

Thank you to Lisa from Jersey Girl Cooks for the Arte de Pico award! Lisa is a fellow cooking contest hobbyist. She's been blogging for a couple of months and is doing a great job! She recognized five bloggers for this award.

Before I do the same, I'd like to mention that I really do read all of the blogs I have listed in my blogrolls. I deliberately keep the list culled to my favorites. So I'd prefer to honor them all. Instead, I'll pass the award onto my top five "go to" blogs -- mostly because their consistency of posting, good recipes and great photography. I'm too tired to gush about it each one individually. I think their blogs speak for themselves.

1. Anna from Cookie Madness

2. Jaden from Steamy Kitchen

3. Jennifer from Bake or Break

4. Joe from Culinary in the Desert

5. Emiline from Sugar Plum

Whew! Now do you think I have to tell all those people I recognized them? This thanking business is a lot of work. Maybe I should go back to blank stares.


Anna said...

Awwwww. That was a nice post. Tracy, thank you for being a good email and real life contest buddy over the years! Now we need to win a contest so we can see each other again ;). I wish I lived close enough to come see your band.

Prudy said...

I laughed out loud when I read about your compliment. I'm the same way. A compliment makes me squirm. What a wonderful surprise! Thanks for the blog award.
I know what you mean about the music on my blog-I love it and hate it, too. I can't decide if I should leave it as a theme song or nix it. My kids definitely love it and beg me to keep the speakers on.

Shannon K said...

OMG (as my daughter would say)! Thanks for the complement and the award, Tracy!

You shouldn't be so uncomfortable with accepting compliments, girl! You are multi-talented: a great writer, an awesome singer, a prize-winning cook, a super friend, and a great mom! That's worth celebrating!


Emiline said...

Congrats! You have so many awards!

Thanks for spreadin' the love around.

bakeorbreak said...

Thanks so much, Tracy! You're very sweet to think of my blog.

Tracy said...

Ack! I'm blushing! Thanks so much for the award, Tracy. Imagine my shock when my Google Alert for Kitchen Spark actually pulled up something about my Kitchen Spark and not an article about fires in the kitchen.

Julie said...

You don't have to tell us because we read your great blog! What a nice post!

Anonymous said...

Oh, thanks! You'll be happy to know that our electric towers are fixed, so I can hopefully stay away from cast iron and crock pot baking, and use those things only for recipes specifically designed for it (although that crock pot didn't work out so bad for the brownies, I may experiment with some boxed brownie mix this week).

Elisabeth said...

oh, SO nice! Thanks, Tracy - you made my day! :)

Karin said...

Thanks so much for the nice compliments, especially since my blog is just getting off the ground. And -- you've given me so many more to check out, now! Keep writing, keep cooking, keep singing!

Marie C said...

Tracy -
I hope you don't fret too much about what you did or didn't say to that gentleman on Friday. I know you well enough to know your manners are pretty well-ingrained. I'm certain that your response was just fine!

Veronica said...

Thank you, thank you...I feel so fortunate to have met lovely people such as your self doing this contest thing. And I'm with Anna, we need to win a contest so we can meet up again.

Catherine Wilkinson said...

Thanks, Tracy! That's such a pleasure coming from you, because you are so talented, funny, and such a great blogger. I'm just a nut with a whisk!
ps...figure out how you can record your singing and put on your blog!