Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Cranberry Chronicles

Like so many of my fellow food bloggers, I guess, visions of cookbooks dance in my head.

But not just any cookbook. I want my very own cookbook. Just like my friends who've had their first cookbooks published just this fall.

In the last few days, I may have seen my future as a cookbook author, and maybe as a blogger too.

A cookbook title has come to me -- in a vision -- from Google Analytics and Sitemeter.

Can it be that my sudden success with the almighty number gods is due to a post I did last year about making my own Indian Trail-esque Cranberry Orange Sauce. ITCOS is was a frozen blend of chopped cranberries, oranges and sugar. The taste was fresh, clean and sweet/tart -- and it made a jolly jello salad for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

My future is cranberries? Really?

I like cranberries, a lot. And I have several cranberry recipes. But . . .

The jello salad mold that my grandmother made every year for Thanksgiving and Christmas came from the recipe on the Indian Trail carton. Our family was not alone in this tradition, based on the number of people looking for the stuff, which is what I was doing.

But now that I've tracked down the sad but true facts from Bay Valley Foods, I've become the food blogging expert source for this information. All because I published the recipe for my own version  of ITCOS.

Me? Food blogger turned investigative reporter? I sent an email to Bay Valley Foods asking why I couldn't find it in my local market.

The metrics don't lie though, and the numbers are high. Well, for me anyway. In the last week or two, my blog has generated more traffic than ever before. Well, to be more precise, cranberries have generated more traffic on my blog than anything ever has before.

Cranberries! My claim to Google fame is from little ol' cranberries.

Hundreds and hundreds of people all searching for Indian Trail Cranberry Orange Sauce -- and they're coming to me!

I cannot disappoint them. My readers.

And so it seems I may finally have the answer to the questions that keep me up until the wee, small hours of the night, toiling away at my computer.

Is this how I make my mark as a food blogger? Is this where my blog is going? Is this is to be my niche in the crowded food blog world?

That's the answer? Cranberries!

Yeah, I'm kind of surprised too.

Wonder what the stats say about loyalty of readers seeking cranberries? 

My niche is cranberries, huh?

The good news -- I'll only have to blog for one month out of the year, at least until I can expand the horizons of cranberry lovers everywhere. Should I go worldwide with this?

Do they eat cranberries anywhere else in the world?

Note to self: Chapter One -- .

The bad news -- the cookbook thing has already been done, about six times. Yeah, really! But if I can break out above the top ranking cranberry cookbook (#680,194 on Amazon,) I'll be set!

I suspect you already have a favorite holiday cranberry recipe. Most of us do.

But tell me this, do you have a cranberry cookbook?

OK, let's just try this for now. If you're hoping to shake things up a bit this holiday season -- and you know how much the family appreciates an unexpected shift in holiday tradition, don't you -- I've got a good start on my book, and I've listed all some of my favorite cranberry recipes here.
I promise, I'll never be too big to remember the little berries that started it all.

The Cranberry Chronicles . . . I don't know . . .

Six cookbooks about cranberries already? Really?

Back to the blog-to-cookbook drawing board . . . again! . . . sigh . . .

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There is no reason to hide the fact that there are many, many people who grew up on the Ocean Spray wiggly cylinder cranberry sauce. No, I don't know how they make it, but at least you can find it on the store shelves any time of year, anywhere in the U.S. (and probably Canada, but I've never looked there, although I did have Thanksgiving there once -- Canadian Thanksgiving. They eat the same stuff we do, just a month before we do -- second Monday in October.) Cylindrical cranberry sauce is still my choice for adding to a turkey or ham sandwich -- or my favorite sandwich of all time -- pita, smeared inside with mayo, stuffed with lettuce, turkey, a sliced disc of cranberry sauce and a disc-shaped patty of stuffing/dressing/or Stovetop. Hey, I just thought of this! -- add mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potatoes and that green bean casserole stuff too, if you can shove it all in that pita, that is. A new sandwich is born - Fistful of Thanksgiving! Yum!


Kalyn Denny said...

You're funny. I guess my cookbook is going to be about Tzatziki sauce then. What a short cookbook that's going to be!

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Okay, if we're playing this game, my cookbook would be about jambalaya! I never know which of my posts will resonate with readers; sometimes I'm really surprised at the posts or recipes people love.