New Year’s Eve, The Retrospective

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Heather says:

Tonight we’re having a geek in, because that’s how we roll in the Solos house. What is that? Another couple is coming over with their laptops. There’ll be food and drinks, video games, and geek talk. At midnight I’m sure there’ll be a toast. Just don’t tell anyone that my husband specifically requested that Velveeta Chili Dip. I told him I have an image to maintain and he’d have to make that grocery run -I kid. Mostly.

I want to thank all of you for being a part of the Home Ec 101 community. As it turns out, 2010 was a big year for Home Ec 101 and here are the numbers:

  • 278 new posts which brings the total to just shy of 1600
  • 532k+ unique visits
  • 856k+ page views

This doesn’t even count that I wrote Home Ec 101 the book over the first half of the year. Six months later I still can’t believe I made it through and managed to continue producing for the site at the same time. -I will admit, there were a few very rough weeks in the spring and I really can’t thank my husband enough for understanding that I was stretched to the limit and some things had to slide.

Let’s look back at some of the posts from 2010:


Mattress Cleaning and Other Indoor Sports -this post was picked up by Lifehacker, which was extremely flattering, even if I was writing about dust mites doing the nasty.
In the kitchen Balsamic Glazed Roast Chicken was my favorite recipe.


I had a brief appearance on a local morning show and was asked to demonstrate the kind of recipes I would be teaching in a workshop. I wrote One Baking Sheet and Dinner for 2 which went over quite well. (I should probably do a few more of these meal ideas, huh?)

Just for fun I ran a contest asking for Home Ec 101 Readers’ Favorite Tightwad Tips. The comments are invaluable, enjoy.


Cleaning Tips from Home Ec Readers and Short Ribs Braised in Beer are my favorite posts from this insanely busy month, but don’t miss Food Labels, Controversy, and MSG or Dishing on HFCS.


It was at some point during this month where I was asked how I could call Home Ec 101 a frugal website. My response [spoiler alert] is now the introduction to the book: A Day Late, A Dollar Short, No More: Life Skills are Frugal.


Homemade Granola, Stewed Chicken, and Sour Smelling Towels


I’ll admit, this month was hard, I’d gotten a little behind on my final deadline, the house sort of fell apart, and I was pretty much a stressed out mess. I received an email from a reader, the comments still choke me up. This is one where you helped me more than I can ever express: A Little Friday Encouragement from a Reader.

Customizing the Chore Routine is one of my favorite discussions on the entire site.

If you’re hungry, there’s Lowcountry Boil and don’t forget How to Sharpen Your Knives.


How to Cut Up a Whole Chicken is one of the most popular posts on the entire site. I’m not sure it will ever catch up to Tomato Pie, but who can compete with bacon?

We prepared for the Zombie Apocalypse -you know I’m teasing, right?- by learning How to Use a Charcoal Grill and to Stock an Emergency Pantry.


Things finally slowed down in August -can you call it slowing down if you drive cross-country with 4 kids?- and as you can imagine, I celebrated by doing more in the kitchen (much to the annoyance of some). Chili honey chicken thighs and drop dumplings were my favorite. I also stumbled upon a debate I didn’t know existed: Beet Sugar vs Cane Sugar.


How to Cook with Dried Beans, Passive Composting, and the Voluntary Ban on Phosphorous in Dishwasher Detergent were just a few of the riveting articles. I never said Home Ec was sexy.


How to Choose Freezer Friendly Recipes and How to Use Bleach Safely are tops for October 2010.


As usual we did the Countdown to Turkey Day series, which will be available as an email service next year -in time for our Canadian friends. (I’m excited about that). In addition to that was Saving Money with Powdered Milk and in the bathroom there are Tips for Toilet Cleaning. Oh the fun we have.


We wrapped up 2010 with an Introduction to Plungers, a discussion on the effectiveness on vinegar as a disinfectant, and we can’t forget those Nutella No Bake Oatmeal Cookies.

Thank you all for your comments and your encouragement over the past year. Without the emails, tweets, phone-calls, and occasional late night venting sessions on Skype, I don’t know that I could have managed to accomplish half as much.

If 2011 is half as fun or productive, it shall go down as a win.

I still can’t find a better way to mark the end of the year than the words of Ella Wheeler Wilcox, so enjoy the flashback:

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. May the New Year bring peace and joy to all those you hold dear.

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