The Obligatory Best Of 2009

Heather says:

Just for fun, here’s a look back at the best of 2009 Home-Ec 101:

January: Ask The Audience: Advise the Newlyweds – you must read the comments
The recipe: Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

February: Keeping Up with Housework when Your Schedule is Unusually Busy
The recipe: Taco Soup

March: Tightwad Tips for Tuesday
The recipe: Popcorn Snack Mix

April: How to Use Dried Beans in Recipes
The recipe: Roast Beef with Walnut Crust (actually this is 4 recipes + Walnut Wilted Spinach, Bleu Cheese Mashed Potatoes, and Worcestershire Sauce

May: Scratch Cooking, the Whys
The recipe: This time it’s 4 weeks of recipes A month long menu with complete shopping list

June: Fostering Encouragement (the birth of #BackonTrack)
The recipe: Pie Crust 101 (I have to say I can now knock out a pie crust with my eyes closed)

July: Budget Menus: Short Term Strategies
The recipe: Broccoli Almond Salad

August: Quick Tips from Everyday Life – this is another, one to read the comments
The recipe: Pancakes 101

September was recipe heavy: Vegan Collard Greens & Fried Chicken

October: Splurge-lets -more fun comments
The recipe: Burgundy Button Mushrooms

November: The time I let you see my messy kitchen
The recipe: Apple, Cranberry, Sage Dressing

December: 50 Cooking Tips
The recipe: The Great Fried Egg Tutorial

Did you have any notable Home-Ec successes or failures this year? Is there are moment you’d like to share? I’d love to hear them.

For many, 2009 has been a year of job losses and belt tightening. I have watched friends struggle with depression and addiction. Even in those dark moments I have also seen stirrings of a new life, destructive habits shed, broken relationships repaired.

2009 has been a watershed year for Home-Ec 101; in just three short months we’ll be celebrating our third anniversary. I want to thank everyone who has grown with us. I thank you for your questions, your wisdom, and most of all for your encouragement. I count many of you among my friends, though we have never met.

To those of you who are struggling, keep fighting the good fight. So often, change and growth happen below the surface, ready to burst to life like the first crocuses after a long winter.

I close with the words of Ella Wheeler Wilcox:

What can be said in New Year rhymes,
That’s not been said a thousand times?
The new years come, the old years go,
We know we dream, we dream we know.
We rise up laughing with the light,
We lie down weeping with the night.
We hug the world until it stings,
We curse it then and sigh for wings.
We live, we love, we woo, we wed,
We wreathe our prides, we sheet our dead.
We laugh, we weep, we hope, we fear,
And that’s the burden of a year.

Happy New Year, my friends.


  1. rachel on January 3, 2010 at 5:11 am

    FANTASTIC and NOM NOM NOM way to wrap up 2009!
    I'm glad that it was the year that we connected, and I can't wait to meet you next month!

    Here's to an amazing 2010 for both of us xo

    • HeatherSolos on January 4, 2010 at 12:03 pm

      I am totally stoked and can't wait for our panel.

  2. Christine on January 2, 2010 at 9:33 pm

    Hi there,

    I came via Rachel's link up, and am glad to have found you… You've given me some great posts (and recipes) to look forward to reading (and trying). 🙂

    Here's to 2010!!

  3. Lucy on January 1, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    This is the best blog I found this year. You have solved so many problems for me! I knew this was a special place when you posted about Peg Bracken's passing. I have all her books, which were all I, the daughter of a woman who had a housekeeper, had to work with before finding you gals. I do miss the Random Posts link you used to have. It was a great way for a late-comer to explore old posts.

    • HeatherSolos on January 2, 2010 at 2:26 pm

      Thank you, Lucy. I didn't know anyone missed the random post feature. I'm going to try to figure out how to filter out past contests and menus. Enjoy!

  4. Karen Neal on January 1, 2010 at 12:31 am

    this is by far my favorite blog of the year.

  5. Fawn on December 31, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    That's a great wrap-up! I'm totally making that walnut spinach salad tonight!

    Home-Ec fail of the year? Has to be my spectacular melting-the-how-darned-pot episode. (Picture proof can be found here.)I'm generally pretty handy in the kitchen, but multi-tasking under stress is definitely not my best skill.

    • HeatherSolos on January 1, 2010 at 12:41 pm

      Should I tell you now that the wilted spinach isn't a salad? 😉 Although that does sound like a good idea. I have a candied bacon spinach salad that makes me drool at just the thought.

  6. Stacy on December 31, 2009 at 9:41 pm

    Thanks for everything Heather–good spirit, good food, friendship and even a good poem here. I appreciate what you're doing here. I've had a number of Home-Ec good moments this year, but it's more of an overall improvement in our lives that comes to mind. The most recent recipe I used that was a big hit was the chicken parmesan–we had it for Christmas day dinner and my husband, mom, and son loved it, and so did I.

    Happy New Year!
    P.S. We're staying home.

    • HeatherSolos on January 1, 2010 at 12:38 pm

      I was in bed by 9:30 last night, so do not feel bad. I took the advice of my pal @jwynia and rang in with another timezone. I'm so glad you've found this site useful; that's my big goal. I really want this to be resource that creates positive experiences. Whether it's a successful attempt at cooking or the ability to tackle household tasks with confidence, these skills have kind of a synergistic effect in a person's life. If the home is in order and meals are manageable, other areas either improve or just don't feel as overwhelming.

  7. Joan on December 31, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    Happy New Year, Heather! I look forward to hearing great things in 2010.

    • HeatherSolos on January 1, 2010 at 12:33 pm

      I am positively giddy about all the things that 2010 will set into motion. I've more or less had to step away from LCB, but other people are stepping up into the role of event organizer.

  8. Rebecca on December 31, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    I had forgotten about a lot of these posts. Thanks for the reminder, there are some really good and handy ones in there.

    • HeatherSolos on January 1, 2010 at 12:26 pm

      I'm struggling with the organization. I think, once my current project is complete (June) I'll reorganize the homepage to make content more accessible, the site will continue to grow with content as a daily blog, but so many of the posts are not time dependent that it's silly to bury them in an archived format.

  9. ExtraordinaryMommy on December 31, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    I love this Heather – a beautiful way to wrap the year – with the best of the best. Happy New Year!

    • HeatherSolos on January 1, 2010 at 12:25 pm

      Thank you, it was very bittersweet reading through some of those posts. I wish you all the best that 2010 can bring.

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